Societal Memory Loss Has Fundamentally Changed The Way Brands Need To Advertise

Societal Memory Loss Has Fundamentally Changed The Way Brands Need To Advertise

This is a guest post by Tim Flattery (main photo), head of CarsGuide Labs…

Instantaneous access to information and improvements in technology have created a world where we no longer have to retain information. Instead, we can simply gather what we need at the touch of a button. Evidence of this cultural shift includes changes in education best practice, which has seen curriculums move away from memorising facts and figures to teaching students how to research and locate the information they need on a case-by-case basis.

Moreover, our digital literacy has increased incrementally due to COVID. Over the past year, the global pandemic has seen technology giants benefitting as many succumbed to the necessity of online shopping. As a result, many consumers are enjoying a more simplified purchasing journey, making the need for brands to be present on review and comparison sites more important than ever.

The Ehrenberg-Bass principle states that to truly succeed at advertising, brands need to be available 24/7 to be seen and considered by consumers in the category. While theoretically correct, being ‘always on’ is prohibitively expensive in an ‘attention economy’. We need to understand the modern customer journey to tactically position ourselves in front of the engaged intender. The opportunity provided by review and comparison sites is compelling and affordable. We know the consumer is primed for purchase and so the influential opportunity for brands is huge.

In our most recent CarsGuide research report – The Digital Influence Study – 65 percent of car-buying intenders did not know or weren’t sure of which car brand to buy at the beginning of the research stage. That’s a huge number of people open to influence. Each intender spends on average 2.7 hours a week researching which vehicle to buy. In fact, 52 percent of buyers spend three months or less researching and the remaining 48 percent spend 4 months to a year searching for the perfect vehicle to suit their lifestyle. This shows the volume of time and information required to be truly present in front of an actively researching intender. The net result of the intender’s initial research phase is that at the start of the consideration stage they were looking at 3.1 brands and as the active research stage begins their consideration set more than doubles to 7.2 brands. To be included in that group of options, it is critical that a brand is visible as a choice during the research stage.

So where should brands be targeting with their advertising efforts and spend? When it comes to automotive car purchases, 76 percent of people intending to buy visit car review and car comparison platforms. Of course, review platforms stand true for other categories as well. When we book accommodation, we rarely remember the name of a fabulous hotel a colleague recommended. Instead, we also seek out information and recommendations in trusted news sites or magazines and rely on the opinion of an industry professional. Car review platforms also prompt intenders to consider new brands and models. In fact, 7 in 10 respondents from our 2020 Digital Influence Study agree that car review sites got them considering new brands and models. Here expert journalists creating trusted reviews becomes our first port of call.

Which brings us to a vital point. Not all review sites are created equal. A simple list of products and services does not mean that a consumer will make a decision based on their recommendation. Trust of the review site becomes directly attributable to the trust in the quality of the brand they recommend. When we come to booking a tradesperson, we turn to trusted institutions like Hipages, confident that the crowd reviews on the platform and the company’s expertise will point us in the right direction. The same can be said of any review, listing or comparison platform – it lives and dies by the trust placed in it by its audience.

Much like the printing press, improved digital availability and literacy has changed how we live and operate as a society. The new consumer journey is not based solely on brand recognition, but instead involves engaged consumers actively researching ahead of making a purchase decision. To be part of a consideration set, companies need to respond by being online 24/7 and the most effective strategy is to be visible where intenders are visiting – primarily review and listing platforms[6]. Consumers no longer need to retain information, instead we may be entering a world where review and comparison sites become the last brand consumers need to remember.

 




Please login with linkedin to comment

    Latest comments
    1. Well said Leigh. Lost count of the number of times I see “new”. Well said Leigh. Maybe “new” if haven’t seen it before. I sometimes give guest lectures and I always ask “What do successful businesses in 1620 and 2020 have in common?” Blank looks abound. Answer: “Happy customers.” (Not sure “customer centric was used back then”. The buzz words are new, the principals not).

    2. The research seems to reflect historical experience… When Holden was the biggest advertiser in Australia, it had the biggest market share… go figure!
      40 years ago, some motoring enthusiast magazines contained “editorial” that was challengable in terms of opinion as to “the best” car choice alternatives… nowadays, its online influencers who wear this accusation… should we be surprised?
      Perhaps it would be prudent simply to remember the lessons of history?
      … AND that the internet is simply a medium of communication: The rules of managing your marketing mix, PARTICULARLY your Promotional Mix, haven’t changed one bit… only the media you choose that matches the SEGMENTS you are targeting.
      It may sound cynical, but marketing people with 40+ years of experience have observed that consumers NEVER have been able to retain information. 🙂

CarsGuide Labs

Latest News

TV Ratings: MAFS Total TV Reach Climbs To 3,041,000 Over 7 Days
  • TV Ratings

TV Ratings: MAFS Total TV Reach Climbs To 3,041,000 Over 7 Days

Nine’s reality TV show juggernaut Married At First Sight has demonstrated the huge power of catchup TV, with its television reach numbers climbing to more than 3 million in the 7 days since the show aired. According to OzTam’s latest 7 day VOZ figures the episode of MAFS which aired on the 21st of February […]

The Coffee Commune’s “Finding Brisbane’s Best Cafe” Achieves Record Entries
  • Campaigns

The Coffee Commune’s “Finding Brisbane’s Best Cafe” Achieves Record Entries

To promote the launch of its latest campaign, ‘Finding Brisbane’s Best Cafe’, The Coffee Commune (TCC) harnessed the power of radio, digital and programmatic OOH. The seven-week campaign also served to increase The Coffee Commune’s membership, and via TFM Digital, it saw a record 39,633 entries garnered (28,774 unique), with 880+ cafes nominated. Teaming up […]

Havas Wins Viatris & Uniting Property Services In Competitive Pitches
  • Advertising

Havas Wins Viatris & Uniting Property Services In Competitive Pitches

Havas Media Network has been appointed media agency of record for global pharmaceutical company Viatris and Uniting Property Services. Lead image: Virginia Hyland CEO Havas Media Network. The remits for both brands cover media strategy, planning, buying, digital performance and search, with Viatris also including retail marketing. A best-in-class global healthcare company, Viatris’ mission is […]

Fictious police desk with crime case records containing gun, blank photos, crime scene information sheet, cd roms, magnifying glass, keys, mobile phone, bullet shell and police reports.
  • Advertising

Crime Pays: Global-First IAB Australia & Neuro-Insight Proves Effectiveness Of True Crime Podcast Advertising

A global-first neuroscience research study has found that True Crime podcast content delivers advertisers’ engagement and memorability at levels known to be effective in influencing consumer decisions and changing behaviour. The Crime Pays: Guide to Understanding True Crime Podcast Audiences and Advertising Opportunities report from IAB Australia and Neuro-Insight, the world’s preeminent neuro-marketing and neuro-analytics […]

Spotlight On Sponsors: Melbourne FC Rocked By Off-Field Scandals But Partnership Portfolio Remains Solid
  • Marketing

Spotlight On Sponsors: Melbourne FC Rocked By Off-Field Scandals But Partnership Portfolio Remains Solid

It’s been a rocky few weeks inside Melbourne FC, with star Demon Joel Smith facing drug trafficking or attempted drug trafficking allegations just a week out from the season’s kick-off. Welcome back to B&T’s Spotlight on Sponsors series, where we unpack all the major sponsorship news from each NRL and AFL team in the lead-up to the new season. Despite a […]

“Cornerstones Of Community Strength”: CARE Spotlights Vital Role Of Women To Overcome Poverty & Recover From Conflict & Disaster
  • Campaigns

“Cornerstones Of Community Strength”: CARE Spotlights Vital Role Of Women To Overcome Poverty & Recover From Conflict & Disaster

This International Women’s Day, CARE Australia will celebrate women as global change-makers amid increasingly frequent conflicts and climate-related crises, with Ashleigh Streeter-Jones, Natalie Kyriacou OAM, and Justine Cullen spearheading the initiative as ambassadors. Lead image: Ashleigh Streeter-Jones In its third consecutive year, the ambassadors will champion CARE Australia’s Her Circle initiative, which recognises that: when […]