Always Connected – Never Engaged?

Recently, Google partnered with Ogilvy and TNS to find out how marketers can reach what they call the “Generation C” – an always-connected, multi-screen audience that’s striving for a more simple and meaningful life. Put in simple words, in their report called zen-like “When the Path to Purchase Becomes the Path to Purpose” the answer is to engage with them based on their passions and interests. Consumers choose the brands that engage them on their passions and interests 42% more often than they do those that simply urge them to buy the product being advertised. And interestingly enough, three in four Generation C consumers share the brand they love.

Furthermore, as we never get tired to state in this blog, an ever-connected audience uses an increasingly fragmented media landscape. “TV is still a juggernaut with high usage among certain consumer segments, but greater usage is not equivalent to greater influence.” Just check out this chart to get an idea what really makes a difference in today’s consumers’ buying decisions:

Word of mouth is the most important factor in Gen C's buying decisions.
Word of mouth is the most important factor in Gen C’s buying decisions.

The conclusion of the report is that brands need to keep their focus firmly on their brand’s core and how it relates to their consumers’ passions, which is something we fully agree with. However, being Google (and the owner of Youtube) their example for a successful marketing maneuver is to create Youtube videos “that generate an emotional experience of ownership”. While this is definitely a building block of a successful marketing campaign, we are convinced the best approach is to create a holistic customer experience that focuses on emotions and consumer interests – but across all channels and all touch points: traditional media, point of sale, online and in other types of direct interactions with the consumer.

While Google envisions successful brands to be able “to leverage the unique ability of online video to provide a digital test drive for the products they are considering”, we already work with brands that use online content to generate a truly immersive experience: real test drives for the products they are considering. And this is just the beginning of what experiential marketing is capable of.

Read Google’s full report here.

Cover photo: Krocky Meshkin/Flickr CC