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Advertising Market Research World

The five tribes changing the face of communication

By James Endersby | Managing director



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August 23, 2018 | 4 min read

It’s not just about what brands say, it’s also about ‘the who’ and ‘the how’

Standing out from the crowd

Standing out from the crowd

Communication is changing at an unprecedented rate. Brands that are able to navigate this fragmented landscape and tailor their messaging to the communication preferences of their key consumer groups are more likely to succeed in getting their message across to consumers.

Some of us know that a compelling story or picture is more likely to sway our decisions, especially when viewed on social media. Yet others are more sceptical about the online communication revolution. We are nostalgic for days gone by and would rather listen to someone we know telling us something.

In a rapidly evolving world, behaviours, preferences and attitudes are changing faster than ever and these differences have never been starker or more important.

To convince people to buy products and services, to support charitable causes, or to vote for movements and political parties, we need to ensure that we maintain a deep understanding of how best to communicate our messages. This means tailoring our communications to the right groups of people, delivering through the right mediums, and of course doing it at the right time.

Against this backdrop, our research has uncovered five communication tribes, each with very distinctive communication preferences.

Revealing the five tribes

Using an attitudinal segmentation approach we have narrowed down the population into these key segments, or tribes:

  • Snappy Socialisers: This tribe embraces the opportunities afforded by new technology enthusiastically. For this female-dominated group, personal relationships are key, managing to always find time for their loved ones despite a busy lifestyle. Though they understand stats, a compelling story and personal touch are more likely to sway their decisions.
  • True-World Traditionalists: Could easily be seen as the left-behinds in the evolving communications landscape. They are generally older, with a heavy skew towards the 55+ age group. They are more likely to be of a lower social grade (61%) (either blue collar workers or retired), and tend to have fewer formal qualifications.
  • Confident Calculators: This group feel that statistics are the most important, if not the only, way to accurately understand the world – more than three-quarters (77%) agree with this statement compared to 43% across the rest of the population.
  • Self-reliant Sceptics: Unlike some of our more technologically-engaged segments they are far less trusting of the outside world and most communication channels, but it’s important not to write them off as disenchanted or disengaged.
  • Breezy Believers: Quick to make up their minds when they are presented with affecting images or stories. Breezy Believers tend to rapidly form opinions based on what they read online (47% compared to 23% nationally). For this group, a first glance is often enough to fully understand a situation. Perhaps as a result, they are also the least likely group to say they like to hear a range of opinions before making up their minds. They tend not to be interested in the source of information they’ve heard or read and wouldn’t feel especially confident in knowing where to go if they did want to find out more.

This report is the start of an evolving communications journey for Opinium and our clients, enabling brands to navigate the complex web of communication preferences and ultimately maximise the success of their marketing and communication activities. Find out which tribe you belong to by taking our quiz.

Read the full report here.

James Endersby, managing director, Opinium

Advertising Market Research World

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