There’s a growing tension as brands and consumers are at a crossroads between technology adoption and new usage, while traditional advertising techniques seem to be challenged by consumers. And word-of-mouth is driving most of what we’re seeing in terms of purchasing.
As a social media reference simply becomes… a social reference, the trust cycle is obviously driven in a more controlled manner by the consumer: through mobile devices, micro-needs can be fulfilled both on the inspiring part, and the pricing part. It’s not so surprising then, that 70% of teenage YouTube subscribers trust influencer opinions over traditional celebrities, as YouTubers seem to be more authentic, more relatable and paradoxically more inspiring than classic product placement.
However, celebrities who play by the book of digital influence can maximise both traits: media power and a loyal social media following.
With smartphones, unit shipments are now slowing down globally (Morgan Stanley), as consumers have reached a plateau where they can have access to any good bargain online.
The first relationship between a consumer and a product tends to become more of a review, from either a friend or an anonymous user. In this trust economy, an ever-evaluating attitude is the new normal.
[quote]Posting to a social network site is like speaking to an audience from behind a curtain. The audience remains invisible to the user: while the invitation list is known, the final attendance is not. Feedback such as comments and likes is the only glimpse that users get of their audience [/quote]
– Michael S. Bernstein, Eytan Bakshy, Moira Burke, Brian Karrer (Facebook Research)
When talking to our clients, partners, or influencers themselves, a few constraints or uncertainties quickly rise. At the very centre of these: Are influencers really delivering Return On Investment?
Our answer is very direct: this is not the right question to ask, because the causality is far more sophisticated, and goes back to the responsibility of marketers themselves.
Read the full 40-page special report on RE-UP’s website here.