The Art of Conversation

by | Feb 23, 2022

M&C Saatchi TALK have published ‘The Art of Conversation’, a research report which demonstrates public perceptions of brands and their place in conversations, as well as the shift in attitudes from audiences towards them.

As audiences seek to reconnect with the world and re-evaluate priorities post-pandemic, conversations have never been more important. For brands, it’s essential to understand what audiences are thinking, feeling, believing, and what really matters to them in order to truly connect with them and make meaningful impact.

 

M&C Saatchi TALK surveyed 1,000 nationally representative consumers to unveil attitudes towards brands, and the characteristics of conversation that make a brand more shareable, memorable, and trustworthy. These findings, combined with expert opinion from senior marketeers and audience thought leaders, allowed them to identify the subjects driving audience conversations, how these develop, and the key areas they’re taking place.

 

” report shares a deeper understanding of how brands can earnestly, authentically and successfully navigate and earn a place with those that matter most. This is valuable as the requirement to navigate conversations, and to have a better understanding of the business’s audience to achieve ambitions – at speed – has never been greater.

 

“It’s really important for brands to have clarity on their own values and mission. Consumer truths can’t be turned into cultural conversations without these brand truths to back them up. Conversations are the conduit through which these values and truths are shared and connected with consumers, with communities, and with the world. Meaningful brand conversations are no longer just a ‘nice to have’; they now have a direct impact on consumer purchasing decisions.”

Alex Michael, Head of Growth

 

Creating Brand Conversations That Matter

 

Over half (52%) of all respondents said that since March 2020 their attitudes towards brands have changed. At a pivotal time when brands are coming under increased scrutiny, audiences actively want them to speak on meaningful issues, and will share relevant conversations with those closest to them – family, friends, and colleagues.

 

Further still, when assuming price and quality are equal, 40% of consumers are more likely to buy from the brands that speak on issues that matter to them. The research also reveals the three most consistently important topics across nine sectors – climate change, sustainability, and health & wellness. Failure to embrace these conversations means that brands risk customers going elsewhere. However, care and consideration of the diversity of audiences and their needs are required to connect with them genuinely and meaningfully.

 

Essentially, brands need to marry what their audiences think, feel and do, with their brand truths – their ownable and distinctive advantage, as well as cultural catalysts.

 

Ensuring Brand Conversations Are Heard

 

M&C Saatchi TALK’s report highlights how the various dimensions of conversations can play a role at different stages in a customer journey. For example, looking at awareness, to be more ‘shareable’ nearly two thirds (61%) of consumers say brand conversations should be more ‘supportive’, ‘knowledgeable’ and ‘inclusive’.

 

Leading Brand Conversations That Drive Meaningful Change

 

60% of consumers said that their family has the greatest influence on their purchasing decisions – indicating the extent to which people rely on an extended network of family, friends, media, and influencers to assess which brands to buy.

 

It’s also vital for brands to understand which audiences hold the most influence in an individual’s decisions, and the nuances between them. However, it’s equally as important to identify influential voices within the business – brands must have the right voices in the room in order to connect with the right audiences externally.

 

“We have always been firm believers that conversations have the power to create change. These findings are just the beginning and we’re committed to continuing to develop our understanding of, and specialism in, the evolving shape of conversations and how we can get better at navigating, creating and leading those that create meaningful change, together with our clients”

Ryan Woor, M&C Saatchi TALK COO

 

Access the full report .

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