As vaccination rates climb, we’re heading into the Spring sunshine like bears out of hibernation. We’ve all made adjustments and, like my waistline, things are not likely to bounce back into the same shape. How many of you are likely to be back in the office full time? Anyone keen to squeeze their feet back into high heels?
Consumption patterns have changed dramatically over the last two years. Consumers are becoming more socially conscious and looking for brands that connect with their values. We talked earlier in the year about how you can help corporates connect with conscious consumers. But a bigger challenge for corporates is looming. Not only are consumers more socially aware but they are also much harder to reach. Their consumption behaviour has changed dramatically.
What are the issues corporates are facing and how can you be the solution?
The streaming services like Netflix, Stan and Amazon Prime have taken a large chunk of free to air TV’s audience. But it means that traditional TV advertising doesn’t have the same reach. When the AFL Grand Final was screening, my neighbour’s little boy came running into the kitchen. ‘Mum, the TV’s broken!’ he exclaimed. No, it wasn’t broken- it was just an ad break. But he was so used to viewing stuff online with no adverts, that he didn’t understand what happened to the program.
Reaching younger audiences
The younger the audience, the harder it is to reach them where they hang out. When I was a kid, we used to have Saturday morning cartoons on the TV and watch the kids’ programs after school. They all had targeted advertising with toys and stuff we could pester our parents about. Now they’re doing online games, watching Disney Plus and skipping the channels that corporates historically used to find them. Brands are having to use creative ways to engage, like this co-promotion between Lego and Adidas to target a teen/tween cohort.
The shift to online consumption
Have you been addicted to online shopping? Each parcel is like a little present to yourself and you eagerly anticipate the box on the doorstep. Whilst retailers expect a rebound in shopping when lockdown rules end, online is here to stay. But how to attract audiences and consumers who love online and won’t be responding to store displays, pop ups or in-store specials? Yes, there are online ads, but how many of us try to skip the ads and get to the content we need? We’re also not travelling as much as we used to, or using our cars, so train, tram and billboard advertising is not reaching the same number of eyeballs.
It’s a perfect storm for corporates trying to connect with their audiences. Not only are consumers more picky about the brands they use, they’re much harder to find. This is where a partnership with your NFP comes to the rescue. You’ve got a ready-made audience that loves and trusts you. Here’s how you can make the most of the key asset you have:
- Describe your tribe- it’s not enough to tell a corporate partner that your core audience is women aged 25-50. You need to go deeper and conduct some MOSAIC or other research, identifying the demographics, income, education levels and behaviours of your tribe. Then you can identify the corporates that might be interested in your audience and have strong proposition for why you’re a good fit.
- Create emotional engagement- if you look at a corporate’s social media posts, they’re lucky to get a handful of likes or shares (except the ones that are complaining about poor service). The exception is when corporates post about a partnership with your cause. We’ve noticed that engagement on charity related posts is at least three times greater than normal traffic. Use your content to help the corporate inspire their audience and create greater connection.
- Facilitate access- that doesn’t mean handing over your database. But if you’ve got a valuable or hard to reach audience for a corporate, then think about creating activations for the partner that give them visibility and access to that tribe. That could mean events, joint advocacy, in-store activations or online promotions.
The shift towards conscious consumerism does provide opportunities for your non-profit. But the changes in consumption and behaviours allow you to play to your NFP’s strengths- your audience and your followers. Leveraging your tribe will position you as the solution to a corporate’s growing problems- and enable you to command a better price.