31 (126) 2017
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Recommendations in social media more effective than TV ads

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Community portals are changing the balance on the media market.

Consumers’ interest in spending money on on-line video transmissions has increased. The Digital Democracy Survey by Deloitte has proven that nearly half (49%) of US consumers subscribe to chargeable streaming transmission services. Community portals are the key source of information for every third Millennial, while 70% use them for communicating with brands. Along with new formats, new content consumption methods are developed, among others Binge-watching –  watching several or all parts of a serial at one sitting. Almost three-quarters (73%) of respondents declared to watch video contents this way.

As demonstrated by the Deloitte survey, 40% of Millennials (today's 20 to 30 year-olds) and of Generation Z (i.e. people born after 2000) regularly binge-watch TV serials and programmes, which in practical terms means watching six parts at one sitting (for around five hours) on average. Since binge-watching is gaining popularity, advertisers and marketers face must find out how to reach their audience using this trend.

“One solution involves more strategic product location in binge-watched contents, which often do not include ads. Another one involves production of feature-length films in the form of mini-serials to make them more attractive”, says Krzysztof Przybysławski, digital media director, Deloitte Digital. “Obviously, developing new platforms is also an option, to make money on the binge-watching phenomenon”, he adds.

Mainstream social media?

What influences purchase decisions regarding different types of goods and services? According to the Deloitte survey, for Z and Y generations, recommendations in community portals are of key importance. Thus, their impact is much stronger than that of TV spots. According to 27% of Generation Z respondents, online recommendations published by friends in social media are 'very helpful' in making decisions to buy a product or service, while mere 18% shared the opinion with regard to TV spots.

There is one more challenge related to TV spots: the manner of watching them: nearly 99% of Generation Z respondents and Millennials admit to perform other activities when watching TV. As demonstrated by the Deloitte survey, we do on average four other things when sitting at the TV screen. “When companies decide to go for TV ads, they must be aware that viewing measurement does not tell the whole story. The very fact that a TV set is on does not guarantee that anyone pays attention to it. When planning a media campaign, brands must include the power of social media recommendation”, says Michał Owczarek, creative+strategy director, Deloitte Digital.
Community portals as a source of information

According to the Deloitte survey, 84% of US consumers use community portals (over 90% of Generation Z and Millennials). They use social media to discover new programmes. Both Generation Z and Millennials have indicated that these portals are more effective than TV ads in this respect. Moreover, every third respondent has indicated that community portals are their key source of information, while a mere 21% of respondents from this age group indicated TV. If measured for all respondents, this platform is the most popular source of information for 40% of them.

Community portals provide brands with opportunities to directly communicate with their clients. According to the survey, nearly half (45%) of US consumers declare to be more fond of companies and brands involved in social networks. 70% of Millennials communicate with corporations through social media. Nearly three quarters of them consider this communication channel more effective than a phone call. “The generation raised up in the world of new technologies has brought their use to perfection. Social media provide benefits to both brands and consumers. When misused, they can give rise to many questions and doubts. When firms do not respond to customers’ needs, the latter have a tool that lets them share their dissatisfaction with other potential consumers. Thus, in the world of new media, caring for customer satisfaction must be a priority”, says Olgierd Cygan, Deloitte Digital CE leader.

Online ads do not fit all

At present it is hard to imagine a firm that is absent from internet. Despite the popularity of social media and their advertisement potential, reaching the audience may be a challenge, especially that nearly half (45%) of Millennials use ad pop-up blockers and 85% of them say that doing so improves the speed and efficiency of Internet operation. Some 40% of them block pop-ups in their smartphones, too. How, then, can a company produce viable advertisement communication using the internet? More than half of respondents would like to receive location-based ads, while 46% declare to pay more attention to ads they can skip than to those they cannot. “In this respect there's no difference between Internet and other media; users dislike blatant advertising. On the other hand, compared to traditional media, it opens up new opportunities, such as geolocation”, concludes Mr Owczarek.

The survey included a representative group of 2,121 American consumers and was carried out in 2016.

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