consumer atttitudes

Social Media Has the Potential to Influence Undecided Voters


How do information sources shape voters’ political views in our increasingly polarized society? New research compares the effects of mainstream media and social media on U.S. consumers who vote Democrat, Republican or identify as undecided. The findings point to the powerful potential influences of social media, especially on undecided voters, such as in determining the outcome of presidential elections. The study also suggests political marketing strategies to influence potential voters.

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When Should You Apologize for a Service Failure?

  • MSI

GPS and other new, digital technologies have given companies capabilities like never before. They also bring up new questions. For instance, if a company using GPS can see a small service failure is about to occur, should it proactively apologize in real-time or let it go? Proactive apologizing can backfire, which may cause the customer to perceive this service experience as lackluster, leading to decreased satisfaction, trust, recommendations and patronage. What can be done to help managers decide if and when to apologize, and when appropriate, how to do so in the right manner? This study offers some insights.

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Why We Should Measure Disengagement

Attention to advertisements and content is a hot topic today. New measures designed to assess engagement and identify powerful creative and sticky content are being employed. However, a new study suggests that the focus on engagement misses an important aspect: disengagement.   As advertisers are looking for ways to increase attention to their marketing efforts in light of distracted, multi-tasking consumer and ad clutter, recent research efforts have focused on “attention” measures that assess length of exposure and amount of engagement. (Note: We will soon report on an ARF Town Hall on this topic.) A new study in the Journal of Advertising Research, however, suggests that more efforts are needed to understand and measure “disengagement”. In sum, the researchers argue that:

  • Disengagement from advertising is the psychological state where the subject withdraws. A low level of engagement is passive, but it is not disengagement. Disengagement is a more willful and active withdrawal from engagement. Better understanding of that process is needed.
  • Researchers have examined advertising avoidance but paid little attention to the fact that consumers often disengage without actively avoiding ads.
(Note: A similar argument was made in a presentation at an ARF conference. Researchers from Google and MediaScience also stressed the need to better understand and better measure lack of attention and disengagement and recommended differentiating between Inattention, Passive Attention & Active Attention.)
  • In this new study, the researchers describe measures they developed to assess cognitive and emotional drivers of disengagement (such as skepticism about advertising or a brand) as well as the consequences of disengagement (such as less recall and reduced word of mouth).
Sources: Tripathi, S. et al., When Consumers Tune Out Advertising Messages: Development and Validation of a Scale to Measure; Journal of Advertising Research (JAR), March 2022, Volume 62, pp. 3-17. When Consumers Tune Out: A New Scale Evaluates Ad Disengagement – The ARF and Charron, C. and Varan, D., Exploring the Multiple Dimensions of Attention, 2019 Exploring the Multiple Dimensions of Attention Google MediaScience AxS 2019.pdf  

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Insights from Research on Comfort Levels During the Pandemic: “We Are Never Returning to Normal”

“We are never returning to normal,” according to Joanna Piacenza and Samantha Elbouez, of Morning Consult. You’ve likely read that sentence before. It’s possible you’ve thought it on a particularly bleak afternoon, or you heard a friend say it from behind a computer screen — or from behind a mask. But when you look at the data, there are signs of hope that at least some Americans can return to some semblance of normal. We’ve been fielding our “Return to Normal” surveys for 109 weeks. The first survey gauging consumer attitudes on the coronavirus yielded results on Jan. 26, 2020. Analyzing the more than 239,000 U.S. responses we collected, tells us what consumer attitudes and habits didn’t change during the COVID-19 pandemic, which ones boomeranged, and which ones may be forever altered — essential insights for business leaders considering if and how they should be changing their consumer strategy as various ramifications of the pandemic continue indefinitely. On the second anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic, head of Industry Intelligence Joanna Piacenza unpacks consumer comfort insights from Morning Consult’s 109 weeks of survey research. Background: Morning Consult’s “Return to Normal” project has primarily served to highlight consumer comfort levels throughout the pandemic by charting the share of Americans who feel safe doing certain activities. We’ve seen healthy majorities report high comfort levels for many activities, but we’re nowhere near pre-pandemic normal. When looking at this consumer survey research, it’s important to understand the part that motivated reasoning plays in consumer comfort. While respondents are considering whether they’d feel comfortable re-engaging in certain leisure activities, there’s also an element of pent-up demand — activities that consumers miss doing or want to do often present differently in public opinion research. What’s more, high consumer discomfort isn’t necessarily a death sentence for industries connected to these activities: As you’ll see with moviegoers, many report discomfort but still show up to the theater. Source: Piacenza, J. and Elbouez, S. (2022, March 2). What Our Return to Normal Looks Like After Two Years of the Pandemic. Morning Consult. Tags: Covid-19, work culture, consumer attitudes, consumer behavior

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NYCU: Are Big Brands Missing the Boat?

According to Morning Consult’s “What’s Ahead,” the IAB’s executive chair thinks large brands are not prepared to meet marketplace challenges.    "There is this giant chasm between the large, incumbent brands that have dominated the consumer economy for 150 years, and the smaller brands that have proliferated in the past 10 to 15 years," Randall Rothenberg, Executive Chair of the IAB, said. "Not only was there a chasm, but almost a complete lack of knowledge from the large brands about what was happening out there in the marketplace. These big guys, they're under enormous threats, so they need to learn new strategies, and the small fries need to learn some of the things the big brands have known for a long time." Source: Meyers, A. (2021, November 7). What’s Ahead. Morning Consult.

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