On 29th April, a Friday, instead of our usual chit-chat sessions (conducted every Friday to share knowledge & learning from varied spheres of life), we did something different! The entire team received a new plan wherein we were all assigned a unique task!
Being in the digital marketing industry, we are usually immersed in technology. We rarely go out and meet the real consumers whom we target on digital platforms – the consumers to whom we build awareness and drive sales for our clients. It was the time that we went & understood these consumers better. So we headed to one of the largest malls in Chennai, Express Avenue in the hope of meeting such consumers.
The whole idea behind the session was to interact with people and find out the awareness of whether they are aware of the digital platforms and that they are being targeted with advertisements day in & out. The entire team of Social Beat was split into teams of two each. Half of the teams were targeting people to find out about their knowledge in the area of digital advertising. The other half had a client for each team and decided to find out the consumer awareness of the brand. The main objective was to conduct a survey amongst the audience we target through online mediums on a daily basis and this was a first time for us! The exercise lasted for about two hours. The teams garnered a lot of knowledgeable outcomes by the end of the day. “A face to face survey helped us analyze and gauge the reactions of people when they were answering the questions asked”, said Kruthika, our social-media specialist which tells how different was it from a usual online feedback and survey we take.
Our survey on Digital marketing involved asking the following questions to people:
• Do you click on ads on Facebook?
• Do you know what Google ads are and if yes, have you clicked on one?
• Do you pay attention to banner ads?
• Do you use an Adblocker?
• What was the last thing you bought online?
• Do you prefer shopping from websites or mobile apps?
The insights were pretty surprising as most of the people did not even know what Facebook and Google advertisements were or how they looked like. “We had a mixed experience meeting people. On one hand, it was great to talk to them and get insights. But on the other hand, most of them did not know anything about being targeted online via advertisements”, said Bindhya and Natasha. While that was the case with people not aware of ads online, they do pay attention to banner ads but only for informational purpose and the consumers claim not to click on display ads, but that's contrary to our experience where we receive meaningful leads and sales from Display advertising.
Coming to social media & Facebook ads, people are not aware of it because they do not know the difference between an organic post and an ad on their news feed. Fewer people who were aware of Facebook ads admit clicking on them only if it is attractive enough. Most of the people we met do not use an Adblocker on their browsers.
We also did a dipstick survey on whether the consumers are aware of our clients’ brands. Throughout the survey, the digital marketing experts at Social Beat were able to meet consumers, understand the reach of the brands (that we handle) and understand the competition in different industries. Many shoppers also highlighted that some of them still do not trust online brands (possibly biased by the fact that we were surveying these individuals in a mall). Word of mouth still plays a bigger role in influencing people so there is a lot of scope for Influencer marketing.
At the end of two hours, the activity was insightful and left us with an understanding that digital marketing has a long way to go!