Five tips for global brands seeking to reach Connected Consumers

24 September 2021

Whether they’re streaming their favourite shows, listening to music and podcasts, or placing an order through an app, consumers are using connected devices every day. And this digital connectedness has undoubtedly changed the way they engage with brands.

To learn more about this shift, Amazon Ads worked with Ipsos this year to survey 3,000 Americans ages 18-64. Our goal was to learn about how consumers are streaming, where and how they’re interacting with brands, and what they’re seeking from their brand interactions. We presented our findings in a new report, “Diving Deep with Connected Consumers”, as well as in blog posts on who Connected Consumers are and how they shop.

To make our findings even more actionable, we set out to learn how global advertisers can apply them to their international marketing strategies. Amazon Ads recently held a panel hosted by Maggie Zhang, Head of Measurement Success, Amazon Ads, and featuring David Spencer, Manager of Emerging Media Partnerships, General Motors; and Cara Lewis, Executive Vice President and Head of US Media Investment, dentsu. Together, they discussed their takes on key Connected Consumer insights for global brands.

Connected Consumers are open-minded and curious

Connected Consumers (respondents who self-reported that they use a smart media device at least once per month1) show signals of being receptive to new brands, experiences and products. “When it comes to self-describing their personality attributes, Connected Consumers over-index on descriptors such as ‘open-minded’ and ‘curious’,” Zhang said. “And 35% of them tend to spend time researching products or services before they make a purchase.”

These attributes can make Connected Consumers an appealing cohort for brands seeking to launch and gain adoption for new and innovative products.

“Both curiosity and open-mindedness are two areas that align perfectly with what we're trying to do at General Motors,” said Spencer. “We are transitioning to electric vehicles and are planning on launching 30 electric vehicles by the year 2025. So we're going to need people to remain open-minded about new types of vehicles and the benefits that they offer, not just for the vehicle itself, but also for the environment. Research is the other big piece of that, because there's a lot of new information that consumers need to understand about electric vehicles, how they work and what the advantages and disadvantages are.”

Amazon Connected Video Customers expect more from brands

Amazon Connected Video Customers are a subset of Connected Consumers who have reported watching Amazon’s ad-supported streaming TV content at least once per month.2 This audience self-reported being younger than Connected Consumers, with 67% being between the ages of 18 and 44.3 In addition, “one-third said that shopping is one of their favourite pastimes, and they're also more likely to be opinion leaders, early adopters, and trendsetters,” said Zhang. This is a tuned-in audience who is seeking more from their interactions with brands.

“There are three things that are important to this group,” said Spencer. “They want things that they can engage with. They want to be entertained. And they don’t want to be annoyed.” Essentially, they don’t want to be interrupted. “And if they are interrupted, we’d better be entertaining them or providing them something useful,” Spencer added. “That’s our goal in terms of how we engage with them, and it’s something we take very seriously.”

For brands, that means working closely with creative agencies and tailoring messages so they resonate with their audiences. Content plays a key role. “We want to align and integrate into content that actually makes sense for the Connected Consumers that we're trying to reach,” said Lewis. “It’s important to reach them through content that they want to see, and then make sure that they're seeing the ads that they actually want to see.”

Amazon Connected Video Customers are influencers

Amazon Connected Video Customers are much more likely to share their experiences on social media than Connected Consumers and the general population.4 “They’re very likely to be sharing and positioning to friends and family what they're interested in,” said Lewis. This goes back to the importance of reaching this audience with content that resonates. When a message hits home with Amazon Connected Video Customers, it can be very meaningful and motivate them to share it with those around them.

Utility plus creativity can help brands resonate with Connected Consumers

“My definition of relevance is utility,” said Spencer. “We at General Motors are providing our customers with the information that's going to help them make a purchase. If we're not doing that, we're missing the mark. Consumers’ time is valuable. It’s squeezed and fractured more every year. In order to cut through that, we've got to give them the information they need, and we have to do it quickly and easily.”

When utility meets creativity, the results can be impactful. General Motors has been experimenting with interactive ads via connected TV. They recently ran an ad for Cadillac that allowed viewers to book a test drive through the connected TV app experience.

“The future of this area, right now, is very underutilized throughout the industry, and there are massive opportunities to do more with interactivity and the connected TV space and get creative with it,” Spencer said. “That's on us to figure out.”

Reaching Connected Consumers on the big screen is impactful

“We've had connected TV as a part of our holistic video strategy for quite some time, and that's only going to continue,” said Lewis. “Connected TV needs to be a part of our clients’ plans, and it needs to be a part of just overall language on a day-to-day basis.”

For brands, there’s a benefit on showing up on the big screens where people are streaming their favourite movies and shows in the comfort of their own homes.

First, there’s bringing your brand to life in a memorable way. “General Motors cars are very complex and there are a lot of features that we like to talk about, and there are a lot of important safety concepts we like to cover,” said Spencer. “But most importantly, we like to have the theatre of that large screen to be able to show the vehicles in the best light possible.”

And then there’s the trust that brands can build with customers when they show up alongside the right content. “There's content that appeals differently to every relevant audience that we have, and we want to make sure that we're always appearing near content that consumers trust and want to consume,” said Spencer. “That's going to be a reflection of our brand and people's willingness to trust us.”

For example, General Motors has a saying that goes “zero congestion, zero crashes, and zero emissions”. “That's all about protecting not only your life, but protecting your future, and protecting your time. That's what we want to get across with much of what we advertise about our vehicles,” Spencer said. “We think that partnering with premium content aligns nicely with that message. So if consumers are watching premium content and believe in the content that they're watching and trust the content that they're watching, they're going to feel the same about General Motors.”

And with the number of connected TV users rising each year, this will remain an important space where brands can connect with their customers.

“We align what we're doing, from an investment perspective, with where the audience is going,” said Spencer. “So the evolution of our connected TV strategy is going to follow the audience, and that audience is growing. And we're going to be doing more of it in the years to come.”

Want to learn more about Connected Consumers? Check out the full report (available in English only): Diving deep with Connected Consumers: How to reach, engage and delight the streaming viewers of today.

Sources

1 For the purposes of this study, “smart media devices” include smart TVs, smart speakers, smart displays and streaming devices.
2 Amazon’s ad-supported streaming TV content includes content across IMDb TV, Twitch, live sports on Prime Video, and broadcast apps and Amazon’s News app on Fire TV.
3 Amazon Connected Consumers study, July 2021
4 Amazon Connected Consumers study, July 2021