The blurring boundaries of people and brands

We assess the five major digital challenges brand owners need to overcome to improve marketing in a stressed digital era.
Blurring boundaries
Kirsty Cooke
Kirsty
Cooke

Editor, Kantar, UK

Blurring Boundaries is an exploration of the changing dynamics in the relationships between people and brands caused by technology.

Blurring Boundaries means people are becoming more like brands, and brands are becoming more like people. To maintain a purposeful relationship with their customers, brands owners need to develop new communication strategies grounded in a clear understanding of their purpose, differentiation and personality as well as engagement principles that take into account the different challenges rapidly evolving technology presents.

Marketing challenges identified in the report include:

  • Always on communications: Consumers now spend an average of 3.5 hours online and using social media – in addition to 2.7 hours consuming offline media.
  • Online crisis of trust: 40% of connected consumers globally are concerned about the amount of personal information companies hold about them.
  • Increasing ad volumes: Between 2008-2015 the number of brands advertising increased by 30%+.
  • Algorithmic identity crisis: Almost three quarters of online consumers complain of seeing repetitive ads.
  • Social media platform proliferation: More than one in three social media users believe most of the information on social media is unreliable.

These, and other, challenges make digital marketing today frustrating for consumers and marketers. Blurring Boundaries outlines the steps brands need to take to re-examine their relationships with people — what the brand stands for, how they present themselves, what they say, how they say it, and how they behave.

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