Recommendation Generation ignored by British businesses advertising time warp

Independent research published today by Onva, a leading customer experience consultancy, proves that British businesses have failed to adjust to the needs of the ‘Recommendation Generation’ and are wasting billions on out of date techniques. With organisations such as the CBI complaining that the government does not listen to its needs, today’s research illustrates that the same accusation can be leveled at UK commerce and the way it treats British consumers.

Dump your ad spend – The Recommendation Generation use word-of-mouth to make purchase decisions

A whopping 70% of consumers are more likely to buy a product or service on the back of a personal recommendation or online review. Only a small fraction of people (10%) are likely buy a product on the back of an advertising campaign.

And. To reinforce this view, just 16% said they would spend money on advertising to make a brand more attractive. While 64% said they would invest in providing a better experience to give customers more reasons to recommend.

Matt Manners, managing director of Onva stated: “It’s clear that British business is trapped in a 1960s time warp. Consumers want to be listened to and involved in a brand’s future and all they get is an expensive diet of advertising.” It’s evident that marketing budgets are not split accordingly. How much do British businesses spend on listening to customers and focusing stimulating recommendations from loyal customers?

UK consumers shocked at advertising wastage

Borders, MFI, Jane Norman, Woolworths, and Habitat are all iconic brands that have gone to the wall. Hundreds of stores closed and thousands of employees are out of work with many more on the brink and yet the great advertising debacle continues at the despair of the British public. When asked for their response at how much is spent on failing advertising each year almost half (45%) stated: “It’s shocking, they should find a lower cost way to communicate their message and keep more people employed.”

Manners continued: “With cult TV figure Don Draper of Mad Men regaling the glory years of the 1960s advertising executives, it seems British business can’t tell fact from fiction and are stuck there with its antiquated ‘tell’ techniques. They might have moved online or to social media but the technique is still the same; tell customers what to think and continue to throw money at advertising. It’s just not working anymore and it’s time to focus on the needs and expectations of the recommendation generation.”

Re-evaluate advertising, ditch the celebs and start listening to your customers

When respondents were asked what would make them more likely to continue buying a product or service almost half (48%) highlighted that they’d like a company to listen to them and act on feedback and 28% wanted exclusive access to try products before anyone else. In fact, this clear desire to be involved was supported by 25% wanting to be involved in the development of new products and services and 22% wanting advance information. In marked contrast less than one in ten would be swayed by a big advertising campaign and only 6% by a celebrity endorsement.

“It is quite clear, consumers listen to other consumers and are deaf to what business and marketing executives want to tell them. Involving the customer is the key to success. They want to be listened to, they want their feedback and loyalty to matter, and they want to help shape future developments and be given the inside track on what will happen next. We’ve seen the rewards this approach can deliver and it’s time for the rest of the market to wake up,” Manners concluded.