Report: Social media down, audio and brand websites up for Aussie consumers

GWI and Team Lewis release Marketing in 2022: Multi-Moment Audience report investigating consumer digital behaviours, content and channel consumption and usage concerns

Only one in five Australian consumers believe social media is beneficial for society and four in 10 are concerned about the way companies are using their personal data online.

Those are just two of the top-line findings of new multi-country research from GWI and Team Lewis entitled Marketing in 2022: Multi-Moment Audience released this week.  

In its investigation of digital consumer behaviours, the report found only 22 per cent of Australian consumers aged 16-64 believed social media had a positive impact on society, compared to the global average of 23 per cent. On average, APAC consumers use four social platforms daily.

What’s more, the report shows almost a quarter (23 per cent) of consumers globally reduced their social media use during the Covid-19 pandemic, a decision Team Lewis and GWI put down to growing awareness about the implications of screen time on long-term wellbeing.

This was also reflected in screen time, which grew across the majority of markets but not in Australia. On average, Australian consumers own an average of three connected devices, lower than the global average of four.

Privacy was the top concern for consumers when it comes to broader interactions online both globally and locally. According to the report, 38 per cent of Australian consumers are concerned about how companies are using their personal data online, while 34 per cent have a preference to remain anonymous while interacting online. Within this group, 16 to 24-year-olds were the most privacy conscious (38 per cent), followed by 25 to 34-year-olds (28 per cent) and 35 to 44-year-olds (27 per cent).

In response, 56 per cent of local consumers said they’re clearing their browser history, 39 per cent decline cookies and 37 per cent use private browsing mode.

On a more constructive note, the GWI/Team Lewis report shows brand websites remain a key source of information for consumers, with 56 per cent visiting in the month prior to being surveyed. More than one quarter (26 per cent) also still read an email or newsletters from a brand, and 20 per cent said they’d watched a brand’s video content. The same percentage in Australia also said they’d watched a live video stream in the past week.

Looking at the types of media consumers are engaging in, the report found an increase in audio consumption over the past three years, driven by music streaming services and podcasts. On average, consumer globally listen to 94 minutes of audio on streaming services and 55 minutes via podcasts. Australia and Singapore are leading the pack for consumption of these two services year-on-year.

The importance of sustainability was also explored in the report and indicated Australians are behind global consumer counterparts in terms of wanting to hear about sustainable change. While consumers global expressed unanimous desire for brands to be reliable, authentic and innovative, only 38 per cent of Australians placed value on wanting brands to communicate on their sustainability goals. This compared with 58 per cent of French consumers. This is also despite half of Australian consumers saying they would pay more for an eco-friendly product.

For GWI/Team Lewis, the report led to three key themes that should be driving marketing approaches in 2022: Ending monotony to avoid marketing immunity; understanding how mood impacts an audience; and tapping into key motivators to foster more meaningful connections with consumers.

“Consumer expectations of a brand’s interaction with them is clear. They want unique, attention-grabbing creativity delivered in a personalised way,” said Team Lewis executive creative director, Simon Billington. “The complexity of message and the vehicle the message is delivered in is paramount to success.”

The GWI/Team Lewis report covered consumers across Australia, Belgium, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Malaysia, Netherlands, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, the UK and the US, with data sourced throughout 2021.

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