What do consumers want from advertising? What will trigger them to investigate an offer?

In our last blog based on the findings of our Loyal Losers Part Two (LL2) study we looked at consumer attitudes towards recruitment and retention adverts. In this post we look at what consumers want from brands’ ad campaigns.

While the brands we reviewed in the study are ahead of the curve in adopting a customer retention approach to their advertising – particularly when so few brands are doing this – our research highlights that brands generally are missing out on a huge opportunity, and consumers still need to be convinced regarding retention offers.

Existing scepticism, and the belief that only new customers are offered deals, perhaps blinds people to existing customer offers, making them resistant to the genuine intention of brands to build a relationship with them. However, brands that persevere with clear offerings have an opportunity to build trust with their customers and to make them feel valued and cared for. They can also differentiate themselves in crowded markets where other offers simply aren’t resonating with consumers.

What do consumers want from advertising?

Here are four things brands need to know about what consumers want from advertising:

1. Transparency – honesty is paramount
When information is unclear or confusing, consumers are likely to interpret this as brands attempting to hide something about the offer.

If I see any small print in an advert I just think it is a waste of time even looking into the product or service as there must be something extra to pay for that they are not telling me. [It’s] the old adage, ‘if it sounds too good to be true, then it is’.” Female, 35-44, Loyalist

2. Identify terms and conditions (T&Cs) – don’t ignore or hide them
Consumers want to make an informed decision on whether to look into the offer further and want to read the T&Cs – so brands shouldn’t bury these or where to find them.

Reading the fine print helps me decide to either use that brand or product there and then or to research it further.” Male, 18-24, Conditioned Switcher

3. Understand and include only the right amount of information
There should be enough detail to summarise the conditions for the offer, but this shouldn’t be so detailed that it is a struggle to read. If people are interested in the offer, they will take time to find the full T&Cs on the website.

I think three lines of text are too much to read/take in. All the other ads only had two lines.” Male, 45-54, Neutral/ unengaged

4. Be clear on prices and what customers get for their money
The consumers we spoke to were most interested in understanding what the advertised offer/service involved, and how much it cost. People want the ability to make an informed decision about whether to look into the offer further. Not having enough detail affected clarity and people’s belief in the offer, leading them to think more negatively or to become more sceptical about the offer/brand/advert. For most, a lack of detail is a turn off.

Asked “How might you change any of the adverts to make them work better and be more appealing?” a Female, Loyalist, aged 35-44, said…“Clearly state the amount of spend required.

Get in touch to understand how the findings could impact your brand.

Loyal Losers Part Two (LL2) featured in Marketing Week on 4th December 2014.

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