Social media influencer marketing is having an effect on consumer spending habits. 30% of consumers (and 51% of millennials) are happy to try out products recommended by influencers on social media. That’s according to new research by marketing and consumer engagement expert, Valassis, based on the answers from 1,000 US consumers.
As long as influencers or celebrities are included, a quarter of respondents would also trust adverts more. That trust runs even deeper for millennials with 48% noting improved trust.
And the study shows that consumers take pleasure in engaging with brands on social media (28%). But 30% expect brands to respond immediately if they share a negative experience.
“Consumer expectations have dramatically increased – demanding brands to deliver exactly what they need in real time,” said Carrie Parker, vice president, marketing, Valassis. “Marketers have an opportunity to better connect with consumers by shifting focus beyond the traditional purchasing journey and addressing individual motivations and consumer context.”
Parker has a point, because 47% of all consumers valued advertising more when it was matched to their needs.
Over a third (34%) said they appreciated companies that used data to personalise ad experiences for them.
Product awareness appears to be an essential component of this allowing brands to establish closer bonds with consumers.
“Today’s shoppers have more tools than ever at their disposal to research brands and products. Whether through exposure to online reviews or targeted ads, consumers are constantly converting information into new decisions,” said J. Walker Smith, chief knowledge officer, Kantar. “While the acceleration of innovations, such as algorithms and artificial intelligence, are helping to remove a lot of the ‘information sludge,’ it’s important for brands to prioritize informative and educational interactions that act as an integrated part of the information ecosystem.”
The study also found that 68% of consumers believed they’re not better informed about purchasing decision than they were five years ago.
Indeed, 60% research products online before shopping and 62% pay attention to product labels.
Advertising can even act as an in-store pathfinder for 43% of shoppers who believe that ads should guide them through a store to locate products.
51% of consumers want ads to help educate them to find the best experience.
But today’s shoppers are aware of the value of their time and 69% wish to checkout as quickly as possible. This is driving an increase in auto-replenishing services.