How promiscuous are you?
20 June 2012
I am always a little dubious of any media debate that centres around the idea of ‘the new consumer’ or ‘putting the consumer first’. The former irks me mainly due to the fact I am a little tired of ‘investigating the new consumer’ and the latter just confuses me - how can any brand be successful if they are not already doing this? Perhaps I am looking at it a little too simplistically, but hey, that’s my opinion and I am sticking to it.
Earlier this week I sat in on a panel discussion in Cannes, put on by Havas Media, which examined ‘putting the consumer first’. The panel included Cella Irvine from Vibrant Media, Machinima’s Allen DeBevoise and C Squared’s Charlie Crowe. Admittedly I was dubious about the topic from the outset, for reasons already mentioned, but in the end I was pleasantly surprised by the themes and ideas that came out of the discussion. It inspired much food for thought, but my favorite moment was the discussion of promiscuous consumers, brought about by Charlie Crowe. *Disclaimer: I'm not being sycophantic. Though Charlie is the CEO of the company which owns M&M Global, I was genuinely impressed, honest*
While there has been a lot of discussion about converging technology, time spent online versus TV and the shift in consumer behaviour, Charlie’s view was one with which I wholeheartedly agree. Consumers are not fundamentally changing; they still love TV, they still love to read magazines, they still go on the internet and use their mobile phones. Consumers are just media tarts becoming more promiscuous in how they consume media.
Trying to keep them in monogamist relationships is a fools errand. Forget trying to understand why they are going online more, or reading print less - just give them an incentive to stay in whatever environment you might be in and, for lack of a better phrase, convince them ‘to be faithful’. If you make it worth their while, they’ll stick around.