By Colleen Fahey
Traditional marketers learned different consumer behaviors than many of the behaviors today’s marketers grapple with. For one thing, the consumer has grabbed the wheel of marketing. For another, there’s a trend toward listening instead of, or in addition to looking, especially on social media. Here are six topics on marketers’ minds today and how they should influence your sonic strategy:
- Homemade and Raw – A visit to TikTok and other social platforms shows us that highly curated content doesn’t equate to more engagement. Consumers want to know that the messaging they’re receiving from brands is the real deal. Even stars (brands in themselves) show themselves on flat days, sad days, and bad-hair days, not only when styled, choreographed and spotlighted. Watch Doja Cat to see how far this attitude can go: Doja Cat on a tough day and Doja Cat in all her glory.
- TikTok Influencers – They’re running your brand’s musical identity! Are you OK with that? Brands need to think about how to insert their own sound on TikTok in a way that grabs attention before users scroll past, since most of the app’s viral audio is only around 30 seconds.
- “My peeps understand me” – When a community forms around a brand, that’s a signal that they’re connecting. Gen Zers are fine with this, as 54% believe brands can create communities based on common interest and passion.
- Diversity – To be a community, there’s no need to be demographically similar. 58% of millennials and 48% of Gen Zers have sought content from more diverse creators and podcasts in the last year.
- Podcasts — How can a person be part of a good conversation without the threat of a political argument? Many turn to podcasts. 2022 data shows that 62% of U.S. consumers are listening to podcasts, up from 57% in 2021. With no visuals to support the podcast’s brand, audio details become increasingly important. At the very least, ask if your podcast’s intro and outro are based on your sonic identity?
- Hands-free buying – Customers across age groups (including Gen Z and 65+) are increasingly using voice assistants to make purchases – and also to support the shopping process, like looking up product information and tracking purchases, according to Vixen Labs’ 2022 Voice Consumer Index.
You’ll notice a lot of moments where a snippet of your unique sound could replace your absent colors, logo and typeface – and help keep your brand in people’s minds. And you’ll see places where you might be able to provide tools that will help your influencers, podcasters and communities create content that supports your brand in the course of their creations, without shoving it down unwilling throats.