UK consumer brands conversations:

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Specialist technological media measurement companies have an obvious interest in overstating the importance of their latest products while advertising agencies and marketing companies also shout long and loud  in order to sell their latest monitoring and listening tools.  But all the hype about the latest trends in technological scrutiny of consumers makes it easy to forget that basic human behaviour doesn’t change fundamentally - though it may adapt and alter in certain aspects over time.  Just occasionally some original market research surfaces that should be a sharp prod to the marketing industry to remind it that most consumers are people for whom technology plays a much smaller part in their brand communication than the hype would have us believe. The above chart shows UK data from the US company Feller Kay Group who found, using the same methodology that they do in the US, that the typical UK participant surveyed discussed 70 brands each week with another person, or persons, compared with participants in the United States who only discussed 65 brands in a week.  The chart reveals the brand categories that people in the UK talk about once or more a day.  Food and dining, i.e. food products and places to eat, tops the list of categories followed closely by Media & Entertainment that is, TV films and places to go.  It’s interesting to note that people talk far less about Personal Care & Beauty products, or Children’s Products.  This is aggregated data, so that for specific consumer segments, like young parents, it is probable that Children’s Products, bottom of this chart, would rate much higher up the scale of topics discussed.  The survey was conducted in May using 2,600 representative UK consumers aged from 16 to 69 years old.  I would expect a high degree of seasonal bias in a survey of this type and would anticipate that in November and December Children’s Products would rate much higher in aggregate. That food and eating should be the most talked topics should come as no revelation as these subjects have been a central, and vital, interest throughout the course of human evolution.  Neither should it be a surprise that conversations about media & entertainment happen so frequently: Ofcom reported in August this year that people in the UK now spend 45% of an average day consuming media content and services.  The chart shows that for many people a conversation about cars (automotive) is likely to be more frequent than conversations about their homes but even the popularity of cars is superseded by talking about Beverages (drinks) which are nearly twice as likely to take place. All the Keller Fay Group surveys have shown that more than 90% of the word of mouth conversations about brands take place in the offline world, usually in a face-to-face situation.  This is another fact that would not surprise any social anthropologists, or indeed anybody who has studied human evolution.  Digital marketing specialists should appreciate that only around 6% of brand conversations take place online: Of these 3% are via email, 2% via instant messaging or text message, and 1% via social networking sites, chat rooms or blogs.  The data clearly demonstrates that for US and UK consumers by far the most important brand conversations take place in a person-to-person context.  Unfortunately for the marketers’, such personal conversations are difficult to scrutinise, so although you can expect to see a continued emphasis on the monitoring of social media conversations, remember that these only reflect around 1% of consumer brand conversations. November 2010
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2010

UK consumer brands

conversations:

Specialist technological media measurement companies have an obvious interest in overstating the importance of their latest products while advertising agencies and marketing companies also shout long and loud  in order to sell their latest monitoring and listening tools.  But all the hype about the latest trends in technological scrutiny of consumers makes it easy to forget that basic human behaviour doesn’t change fundamentally - though it may adapt and alter in certain aspects over time.  Just occasionally some original market research surfaces that should be a sharp prod to the marketing industry to remind it that most consumers are people for whom technology plays a much smaller part in their brand communication than the hype would have us believe. The above chart shows UK data from the US company Feller Kay Group who found, using the same methodology that they do in the US, that the typical UK participant surveyed discussed 70 brands each week with another person, or persons, compared with participants in the United States who only discussed 65 brands in a week.  The chart reveals the brand categories that people in the UK talk about once or more a day.  Food and dining, i.e. food products and places to eat, tops the list of categories followed closely by Media & Entertainment that is, TV films and places to go.  It’s interesting to note that people talk far less about Personal Care & Beauty products, or Children’s Products.  This is aggregated data, so that for specific consumer segments, like young parents, it is probable that Children’s Products, bottom of this chart, would rate much higher up the scale of topics discussed.  The survey was conducted in May using 2,600 representative UK consumers aged from 16 to 69 years old.  I would expect a high degree of seasonal bias in a survey of this type and would anticipate that in November and December Children’s Products would rate much higher in aggregate. That food and eating should be the most talked topics should come as no revelation as these subjects have been a central, and vital, interest throughout the course of human evolution.  Neither should it be a surprise that conversations about media & entertainment happen so frequently: Ofcom reported in August this year that people in the UK now spend 45% of an average day consuming media content and services.  The chart shows that for many people a conversation about cars (automotive) is likely to be more frequent than conversations about their homes but even the popularity of cars is superseded by talking about Beverages (drinks) which are nearly twice as likely to take place. All the Keller Fay Group surveys have shown that more than 90% of the word of mouth conversations about brands take place in the offline world, usually in a face-to-face situation.  This is another fact that would not surprise any social anthropologists, or indeed anybody who has studied human evolution.  Digital marketing specialists should appreciate that only around 6% of brand conversations take place online: Of these 3% are via email, 2% via instant messaging or text message, and 1% via social networking sites, chat rooms or blogs.  The data clearly demonstrates that for US and UK consumers by far the most important brand conversations take place in a person-to-person context.  Unfortunately for the marketers’, such personal conversations are difficult to scrutinise, so although you can expect to see a continued emphasis on the monitoring of social media conversations, remember that these only reflect around 1% of consumer brand conversations. November 2010
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