Maria Garrido, global head of data and consumer insights at Havas Media Group, reveals an opportunity for content aimed at a demographic less inclined to ad block.
There’s those that do and those that don’t. And the ones that don’t are more likely to be women over 40 years old. I’m talking about the thorny issue of ad blocking – a practice that cost publishers $22bn in 2015 and shows no sign of abating.
According to GlobalWebIndex, the largest proportion of people who use ad blockers to prevent websites or apps from displaying disruptive advertising are men aged between 16 and 34 years old. Only 23% of women ad block, and those that do are likely to be in the millennial age bracket.
Women over 40 years old don’t ad block as much, and yet they’re technologically savvy and one of the most important demographics to advertisers.
This mature female audience already takes more than 80% of household shopping decisions and their numbers will swell to 148 million in the EU over the next four years.
Ad blocking world
At today’s (23 March) Guardian Changing Media Summit, I discussed targeted content and women’s growing importance to advertisers in an ad blocking world, with Coca-Cola’s social media director for sustainability, Tim Goudie.
Like Havas, Coca-Cola believes that meaningful storytelling, relevant content and having a purposeful impact on community and environment is a key way a brand’s values can better resonate with women and audiences as a whole.
Our Meaningful Brands study shows us that, in order for brands to create a meaningful connection for the long-term, they have to go beyond functional benefits and contribute to people’s daily lives and society-at-large.
The example we used on stage was Coke’s Women’s Empowerment 5by20 initiative. As part of this, Coca-Cola provides business skills training for women in rural areas to run their own businesses, offers access to financial services and builds support networks.
The resulting stories have substance and depth. They resonate with all audiences who want to hear more about how brands positively impact the communities in which they operate.
Our industry has a real job to do reversing the ad-blocking trend among millennials. There is no doubt that getting these types of stories out there will help.
But when planning more meaningful and impactful content, we should perhaps prioritise those audience segments who haven’t tuned out, and repay their receptiveness and loyalty with content that’s dedicated to what we know about their everyday cares.
Health, fitness and friends
For 40-plus women, our Meaningful Brands study shows us they care about their health, fitness and friends and 71% genuinely want the brands they buy to significantly contribute to society.
This may appear warm and fuzzy but what is it’s true impact on business?
Well, Coca-Cola uses brand effect studies to measure the business impact that social media campaigns like 5by20 have on consumers. What it finds is significant increases in ‘brand love’ and company trust among consumers who are exposed to these types of messaging.
“Incremental rises in meaningfulness increase both purchase intent and a consumer’s willingness to advocate for the brand”
Havas assesses the impact of meaningfulness on share of wallet. Our studies tell us that meaningful brands gain, on average, 46% more share of wallet. Incremental rises in meaningfulness increase both purchase intent and a consumer’s willingness to advocate for the brand.
The point is, whoever your content is aimed at, having the proper metrics in place to assess the impact on your business, will allow you to validate impactful brand storytelling and develop narratives that people not only care about but which importantly effect the bottom line as well.
Once brands have figured out how to engage with the right consumers beyond their product benefits with true human insight, demonstrating that they understand people’s lives and contribute to society as a whole, then they won’t have to worry about ad-blocking any more. The right audience, whether they be women, millennials or whoever, will engage with brand content for the long-run.