“When we speak of the Digital Era, it doesn’t mean that we have to know the Digital Era that well before we can jump in and act.” Mike-Veradis Vinyaratn, Chief Creative Officer at TBWA, stated opening up his session on Customer Behavior in the Digital Era. Mike explained that the Digital Era is so ubiquitous to him that he did not think that there was anything unusual about the Digital Era to talk about. “This is not a topic widely taught in schools, this is not a topic people would normally talk about. The only people who would talk about this are the professionals working in the field.”
To be honest, even the consumers themselves do not realize that they are living in a Digital Era, or even care at all which Era they are living in. Looking back through the ages, imagine the time where owning the Sony Walkman was the coolest thing in the world. Today, the Compact Disc is already close to distinction. Next, we have the iPod, which practically revolutionized the way we listen to music. And now, there are things like Spotify. The question is, from where do you think the Digital Era started? Probably not from when the cassettes or CDs were used; those were analogues. But between the iPod and Spotify, which belongs to the Digital Era? Keep in mind that even today, the Vinyl is starting to come back. So to be honest, the consumers do not care what the Digital Era really is? Because no matter what they, these are all merely tools that enabled them to listen to music. Therefore, the only things that change from one era to another are the place, time, and the ways in which we could access music.
Spotify or Apple Music changes the way we access music by bringing music straight to us. Today, we are starting to see that we as consumers no longer need to leave our houses to buy products and services. We can now search, select, order and make our purchases online. Mike summarized today’s consumers’ behavior in three words – Live, Love, and Buy.
Mike continued on to discuss the factors influencing customers’ behaviors, which also influences how communicators could change the way they think, the way they work in order to communicate with their customers. These factors are the factors driving customers’ behavior in the Digital Era. The first factor is Social Platform. This could be Facebook, Twitter, WeChat, etc. These social platforms completely changed the customers’ behavior today. These platforms introduced the concept of ‘content sharing’. As a result, consumers are able to select and share the contents that reflects their identity, leading to the addiction to positive feedbacks and engagement, which ultimately created a new culture in the Digital Era. In the case of Spotify, for example, asides from listening to music, Spotify enables us to create our own playlist, which reflects our tastes in music. These playlists could also be shared among other Spotify users who could choose to follow us if they have the same tastes, which further promote the addiction to social acceptance from online feedback of people in the same cultural group.
Today, Pepsi is no longer competing with Coca Cola, but they are battling this new culture. Everyday, we have thousands of millions of people who are addicted to gaining online followers, and these people are constantly chasing after contents that would help them gain those followers; contents that reflect their digital identity and values. Mike proposed three techniques in which we could reach out to these people. First, we should take the contents that are already out there and make it our own. One usecase example is that of Cadbury mashing up multiple viral clips online and turn it into their own original advertisement. Second, we could create something completely new to attract attention. Skittle once bought the air time of Super Bowl Sunday to create an advertising campaign where the ads is created only to be viewed by one single audience. Teaser ads were launch to announce this, and as a result, they were able to excite the public. Multiple online discussions were ignited to discuss the content of this ads. Third, we could steal what already exist and make it ours. Volvo launched a campaign called #VolvoContest where they asked the public to share any ads they saw on any other non-Volvo cars and share it using the #VolvoContest hashtag for the chance to win the Volvo XC60. These three techniques reflect our content creators that could create influential contents to shape customers’ behavior while also defining their own DNA.
Let’s watch full session here