Sunday, February 25, 2007

Breaching Consumer Cynicism

Because of the vastly technology-oriented society consumers live in today, it is harder and harder to create successful marketing campaigns and target consumers effectively. In Peter DeLegge’s article, “The Marketing Relevance Imperative,” this exact issue is speculated upon. Delegge mentions that consumers are getting tired of receiving ads that are mass-targeted to them in general. In this day and age, they have unprecedented access to information and have learned how to become “more adept in tuning out predatory messages.” Delegge argues that the only way for marketers to make sure their messages are heard is to make them relevant to consumers. Only by creating campaigns that means something to consumers, can marketers effectively connect with them; and vice-versa.

If there is one thing that all marketers have in common, it is that they all want in on the secrets of making consumers more receptive to their messages. But the problem today is that most consumers are raised to be more cynical of marketing messages in general. As part of Generation Y myself, I grew up being exposed to floods of marketing and advertising from a young age. Many promotional efforts and marketing schemes have been a nuisance to me since my teenage years. The article states that consumers have evolved under these circumstances. They have learned to recognize “a shark fin and steer clear.” For example, so many consumers have Tivo and watch pre-recorded television shows. They are able to skip over 90% of the commercials with a click of a button. Likewise, internet programs such as pop-up blockers and adware also filter out spam. With the technology boom at its peak, how can marketers find more innovative ways to market and channel their products?

That is the question I would like to address in my paper. I’m sure all the other marketers would like to know how to penetrate the cynicism consumers have today and connect with what they really want/need. One of the ways I think this can be accomplished also relates to DeLegge’s concept of relevancy. I think the best way to connect with someone is through their emotions. Marketers have to go beyond the surface needs/desires and really engage consumers’ hearts. Personalization may be an answer. Google has been doing pretty good on that aspect. They now allow you to personalize your Google homepage and place all your favorite links on one convenient webpage. Another way to better understand consumers may be to study psychoanalysis. Certain neurons and transmitters in the brain deal with memory and decision-making. If we understand the physical process in which the brain takes in information, perhaps marketers can project messages more successfully. By tapping into the human psyche and researching what really makes consumers tick, marketers will have a stronger foundation for understanding consumers and their buying behaviors.

1 comment:

stephen said...

Serena - Great topic. And a really good post as you explore and offer suggestions for your paper. Sounds like you are on a good path, but let me know if you want to discuss anything along the way.