Noted anthropologist and author Anna Kirah of CPH Design, spoke about how consumer attitudes and consumers are currently living in “the age of turbulence” as interconnectivity is aiding this turbulence, although not necessarily in a good or bad way.
Consumers are now empowered through global conversations and no longer follow what brands are pushing to them as well, according to Kirah. She adds that consumers now want to be taken seriously and expect to be heard as well as to work with brands.
Today’s digital natives also “move in and out of chaos” and between online/offline spaces effortlessly, said Kirah. People aim to become “everyday heroes” in the societies that they find themselves in and aim to promote causes that they believe in.
Success for brands and marketers should therefore be about flexibility in this rapidly changing world, said Kirah. She revealed that brands need ordinary people, and should include ordinary people in their messaging, as they learn to adapt to what motivates their consumers as well.
Kirah concluded her presentation with a “Big Sister” scenario in which brands and companies are developing communications that are instinctively aligned with consumers’ needs.
In the panel session that followed, Rob Campbell, managing partner and creative strategist Asia for Sunshine, urged brands to better understand what their customers are saying and doing online.
He dismissed a lot of online marketing as “lazy” and said: “95 per cent of brands don’t know how to do it. They only buy time rather than creating something that would be popular.”
Ashutosh Srivastava, CEO Asia-Pacific, of Mindshare also noted that not enough clients and agencies are walking the talk to adapt better to digital marketing. He added that most marketers are still bounded by the status quo and would follow what others around them are doing instead of daring to stand out.
“People are digital natives, agencies and companies are digital immigrants. They can’t market to them, they need to market with them,” concluded Kirah.