Our second inspiration session took place on the 1st of March at our Cape Town office, and we were honoured to have IPG Vice President Terry Peigh sharing insights into the consumer behavioural journey with us. Clients and marketers from various industries joined us from all over the country to learn from one of the leading communication specialists in the world.

The event kicked off with delicious welcome drinks courtesy of Botanist Gin, one of the brands we’ll be working on under Edward Snell, an exciting new client for MullenLowe.
Sushi, poke bowls and cheese boards were on offer for those feeling a little peckish before the presentation, and an infectious buzz filled the agency as we mingled and got to know each other a little better.

Kirk Gainsford, our CCO welcomed our guests, and after a brief introduction from Sarah Dexter, our CEO, Terry Peigh took the stage.

The Shape Of Things To Come
His team’s research has been conducted over 9 years, in 7 countries across the world. The US, UK, China, Russia, India, Brazil and most recently, South Africa, all form part of the study into the major changes in consumer behaviour, and how they are impacting the marketing world today.

The question, “how does the consumer process the massive influx of information” has been asked in each of these markets, with very surprising results.
One might assume that with the rise of the internet, social media, and traditional media growing exponentially every year, the consumer feels overwhelmed with all the data they’re presented with daily, but what Peigh has found is quite the opposite.
Consumers are welcoming all this information, and more so, seeking it out. The species has, in many ways, evolved with the times, and this information has turned into social currency consumers are hungry to acquire.

The Importance Of Trust
This is of course excellent news for marketers, but our responsibility has shifted somewhat, and building trust has become more important than ever.
Peigh’s research shows that consumers value truth and trustworthiness more than ever. Trust in the government, business, sports, and of course advertising has dropped significantly with the advent of “fake news”, and as marketers we need to find new ways to build and maintain trust.

The Impact Of Influencers
One way to do this, as Peigh and has team have found, is the use of influencers. But these influencers may not be what we think they are. Friends, neighbours, colleagues, and family all influence our perceptions of brands. They form the first, and most trustworthy tier of influence in the consumer’s mind. Next up is what he calls “micro-influencers” – online personalities with a small but dedicated following, who provide honest insights and opinions on products and brands. After that there are the bigger influencers who build careers around this, and have much larger followings, and then of course celebrities.

The Way Forward
Understanding how to best utilise these different groups of influencers in the most effective way is imperative to our success as marketers going forward.
Knowing that consumers are seeking out this information, and eager to learn about brands should dictate the way we develop our comms, and we are excited to explore this for our clients going forward.

A big thank you to Terry and his team for sharing their research with us, to every client and marketer who joined us, and to our team for putting on such a successful event.
We eagerly look forward to the next one, and hope to see you there.