– Mark Dolliver, Adweek
Maybe they’re flattering themselves, but lots of Americans believe they’ve become more adept as consumers during the past couple of years. However, an AdweekMedia/Harris Poll finds they are less inclined to believe that brands have adjusted their marketing to keep pace with this greater savvy.
The first of a pair of questions asked the respondents whether they think they’ve become savvier as consumers since the economy’s downturn began. The chart here excerpts the findings. In a breakdown by age group, the 35-44-year-olds and the 55-plusers were especially likely to say they’ve become much savvier as consumers, with 40 percent of each cohort voicing that opinion. The survey’s 18-34-year-olds, who may have thought they were pretty savvy to begin with, were the least likely to say they have become much savvier (27 percent).
One surprise in the data: While men are notorious for thinking well of their know-how, the poll’s male respondents were less likely than their female counterparts to say they’ve become much more savvy as consumers (31 percent vs. 38 percent).
While a majority of respondents believe they’ve changed since the economy’s downturn, a second question in this poll finds many of these people saying they haven’t seen a complementary change in the way marketers go about their business. Among those who’d rated themselves as savvier, just 18 percent agreed that advertisers have changed “a lot” in “the way they market brands or products since the economy has changed.” Another 34 percent said advertisers have changed “a little” in that regard; 26 percent said advertisers have “not changed that much” and 8 percent said they’ve “not changed at all.”
Educational level was a dividing line here. Among respondents who think they’ve become savvier as consumers, 47 percent of those with a high school diploma or less said they have noticed at least a little change in the way advertisers market their wares. Among college graduates, 58 percent said the same.