Are Consumers Gaming You? Let Them, Says Mindshare Study

Nearly half of the consumers surveyed in a new Mindshare study are attempting to use their knowledge of digital marketing to get better offers from retailers.

The survey, which polled 2,000 North American consumers, found that just 47 percent reported that “advertising helps me learn more about the products companies have to offer,” yet 66 percent of respondents feel they are “always being marketed to.” But the study also found that 47 percent of respondents have attempted to purchase airline tickets on days prices are lower, and 31 percent admitted to intentionally leaving items in online shopping carts in hopes of receiving a discount from the store via email or native ad.


In fact, the study could actually indicate that consumers are enjoying the back-and-forth relationship between consumers and brands in the digital space, even if they are less cognizant of enjoying advertisements, according Mark Potts, head of insights for Mindshare North America.

“I think consumers like the fact that they are able to buy things for less money even if there are no sales on,” says Potts. “Any person that feels like they’re being followed around the Web by an ad sometimes might find that a little bit odd, but I don’t think that in the end, consumers see the game as negative.”

But while native advertising is supposed to feel more subtle than traditional marketing, the abundance of native pervading online spaces could be causing content overload for consumers, according to Jeanne Jennings, managing director of digital marketing for Digital Prism Advisors.

“Bombarding people with marketing can damage their relationship with your brand,” says Jennings. “It’s a fine line between maximizing revenue (a good thing) and turning people off. The key isn’t to stop native content; it’s to do a better job of it and make it valuable, relevant, consistent, and effective at driving readers to action.”

One way to keep advertising relevant rather than irritating is to play along when customers attempt to “game” the system. According to Jeanniey Mullen, vice president of marketing for NOOK by Barnes and Noble, playing along with customers who want better deals is a good way to begin conversations and reach new audiences.

“If someone is so committed to your brand that they will take the time to wait for your response, you have their attention and their trust,” says Mullen. “These are people who will not only continue to come back, but share their positive story with others. Embrace this and make it your key to growth.”

Homepage image via Shutterstock.

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