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People Want To Get Personal With Brands -- When A "Like" Is Make Or Break For A Brand's Bottom Line

JWT/OgilvyAction and EXPO partner in research study on the importance of digital communication

CHICAGO, Jan. 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- JWT/OgilvyAction, an industry leader in full-spectrum shopper and retail marketing services, and EXPO, the first consumer network focused on creating and distributing high impact user-generated product video, recently partnered to uncover how consumer engagement with brands online can impact overall consumer behavior.

A quantitative study was conducted across the United States via an online survey, with initial findings supported by three separate focus group interviews with consumers from across the country.

The initial findings from the study have shown that 80% of shoppers are digitally engaged with brands in some way. However, some consumers, termed 'Brand Connected Consumers' (BCCs), are more connected than others, and can have a great impact on the public opinion and the potential sales of a brand. 

BCCs are more digitally engaged with brands and represent about one in four consumers. This group is defined by specific online activities that they perform at least once a week including looking for information such as messages, videos or pictures about brands and posting messages about or directly to brands on blogs or websites, and social networks.

"The BCC is truly a 'brand journalist' in the online space," said Jessica Thorpe, Vice President of Marketing at EXPO. "Their ability to share helpful, and often positive, information about a product or service to thousands of peers not only qualifies them as a brand advocate, but also demonstrates the extent of their influence."

"In a landscape of channel blurring and intense competition, the shopping experience can serve as a great point of differentiation for retailers and CPG brands," said Bridget Durica, Manager, Insights & Research, JWT/OgilvyAction. "BCCs are using social media outlets as the new customer service center, voicing their thoughts – good or bad – in a very visible and public way. We see this as another opportunity to extend that experience into the pre- and post-shopping space, to engage at key points throughout the shopper journey."

Previous research has concluded that 129 million Americans or 91% of online adults today, use social media. Brands are quickly learning that consumers' brand interactions can impact buyer behavior. 

The BCC study also concluded the following:

  • When BCCs are satisfied with their digital interaction with a brand, they are significantly more likely to recommend the brand's products or services, with four in ten reporting purchasing more of the brand's products or services.
  • Although the majority of posts are positive, when BCCs do post a negative comment, it goes unanswered by brands more than half (56%) of the time. Seven in ten shoppers report that they stop buying the brand in these cases.
  • Across a variety of categories, BCCs are most likely to seek and post info to/about retailers and Consumer Packaged Goods brands.

"A brand's silence in the social space – specifically the lack of acknowledgement – can be detrimental to future sales success," said Ken Madden, Executive Vice President, Head of Digital, OgilvyAction North America. "In the social space, brands have an opportunity to build rich relationships with consumers and shoppers.  But that comes with certain expectations of engagement.  Brands need to put improving online consumer interaction through give-and-take conversation high on their list of marketing New Year's resolutions."

About JWT/OgilvyAction:

JWT/OgilvyAction was formed in 2010 to bring together the expertise of JWT's shopper marketing company Malone Advertising, with OgilvyAction's experiential marketing capability to form the industry's leading fully-integrated, end-to-end shopper marketing and activation agency. Part of WPP Group, JWT/OgilvyAction gives clients access to the complete range of shopper and retail marketing services.  From strategic planning for shopper, local and direct marketing, to customized media plans for national and local markets, the agency is focused on solutions that build brands and connect with shoppers.  For more information, visit our website at www.jwtaction.com.   

About EXPO:

EXPO (www.expotv.com) is the first consumer network focused on creating and distributing high impact product video to drive engagement and conversion. The company's end-to-end solution captures, manages and publishes persuasive consumer video for leading manufacturers and retailers. Through EXPO's platform, clients can harness their own brand enthusiasts and fans or rely on EXPO's community of consumers to produce authentic video content, such as product reviews, how-tos, demonstrations, recipes and other topics relevant to a client's brand. EXPO guarantees the content's quality and timeliness, allowing brands and agencies to use the video to support campaign messages, communicate new product benefits, capture video SEO, or simply spark engagement on social platforms. Clients can leverage EXPO's proprietary distribution network to ensure the videos are placed on product pages of top retailers, social networks, and across all owned and mobile destinations.

SOURCE JWT/OgilvyAction

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