Brands and marketers need to change their mindset about today’s consumers and engage in a multifaceted rethink of their approach to winning consumers’ hearts and minds amid the growth of personal media, Japanese advertising experts have said.
At the forum "You Are the Hero not the Target. The New Era of Storytelling" held at AdFest 2015 recently in Pattaya, Kazuaki Hashida, creative director of Tokyo-based Hakuhodo Kettle, and Takahiro Hosoda, creative director of Tokyo-based TBWA\Hakuhodo, said that consumers should not be described as a target but as a hero.
They explained that consumers had become content messengers and creators as a result of the development of information communications technology. The way to create and communicate via advertisements with smart consumers had changed from big screens to personal screens, including smart phones, tablets and computer notebooks. Both creative directors said that there were five areas where adverting agencies could gain a better understanding of consumers.
The message: Marketers should turn a simple message into an interactive one. Today, content has become a key part in a communicaton strategy. Good storytelling can persuade consumers to engage with brands and maintain loyalty to a brand.
Media: Advertising strategists should understand that traditional media channels were revolutionised by cutting-edge technology. With this change, media was transformed into a platform. Both advertising experts described it as a "stage" for customers to ride the trend.
The brand: To embrace the consumers as a hero mantra, the brand should be adjusted and personalised for each customer, as each one has their own lifestyle and needs.
Reward: Marketers should change a reward to a celebration. Consumers are motivated by celebrations, and doing so would result in consumers deeply engaging and interacting with a brand.
Corporation: It is very important that consumers view a brand as a friend. Consumers never betray their friends. They need to feel like they can trust a brand.
The advertising experts said that now was the time for brands to invite consumers on a journey through effective communication and by preparing a proper stage for them to enjoy great content. Brands should change the way they treat consumers to build brand loyalty and business sustainability.