Shant Oknayan
Apr 1, 2024

Welcome to the year of the 'Prosumer'

As digital literacy grows and the content market booms, consumers aren't happy just sitting back and letting brands drive. Instead, they're proactively shaping today's marketing narratives, writes TikTok's Shant Oknayan.

Welcome to the year of the 'Prosumer'

In the aftermath of global events in the early 2020s, including the Covid-19 pandemic, brands are grappling with a newly formed landscape—one that's volatile, fast-paced, and unforgiving—and are recognising that consumer interaction is now primarily funneled through the world of online content. The persuasion this new market demands isn't mere words of intent; consumers have become digitally savvy and expect to be riveted.

Creativity is not just a trend, but a paramount ingredient in forging meaningful connections and engaging consumers. According to recent studies from the Boston Consulting Group, today, an impressive 79% of consumers in the APAC region engage in these discussions. They're not just passive consumers; they're also creators, generating content at unprecedented rates and taking further action after interacting with it. This compelling data paints a clear picture: a creative, scalable approach to content creation is no longer optional but a necessity as we welcome a new breed of consumers: The 'Prosumer'. 

Prosumers are rewriting the rules of engagement. Not only do they consume authentic, personalised content, but also passionately create their own, fostering communities of like-minded individuals who resonate with their shared interests. They are the driving force in the shift towards creative, scalable content creation, and brands must recognise this shift in order to thrive in the evolving digital marketplace.

Prosumer-driven strategy

With Prosumers now dominating the online landscape, it serves as a constant reminder that the shift in how individuals interact with products, services, and content will be here to stay. Given this landscape, one thing is certain: Brands must evolve and adapt as content has become a fundamental pillar of a winning business strategy. In fact, Adobe’s 2023 Digital Trends Report found 79% of senior APAC marketing executives acknowledged the increased demand for content. Meanwhile, the Kantar CrossMedia database 2023 study found that creative quality contributes to nearly 50% of campaign performance.

To assist businesses in engaging Prosumers and combating creative fatigue caused by repetitive content, I recommend adopting three key practices: Recut, remix, re-imagine. Crafting resonant creative assets through these practices will enhance campaign relevancy and improve brand metrics.

As a first step, brands should optimise existing assets for seamless integration into platforms with minimal friction. Next, adapt these assets to harmonise with a platform's unique style, and this is often achieved through platform-first creatives and collaborations with creators and users. Finally, leverage the platform's capabilities and community to bring creative concepts to life, extending their impact from online realms to offline experiences, thus generating an online-to-offline (O2O) effect.

This can contribute towards elements of creative success of what we call the '5+1Vs of content and creativity':

  • A higher volume of videos online
  • Mitigating creative fatigue through an increased velocity of asset refresh
  • Ensuring there is validity with native videos on respective platforms
  • Diversifying content with variety 
  • Sustaining vitality by replacing decaying videos
  • Driving more value with quality creative ideas that stick.

One such example is Samsung Electronics' social campaign to introduce a feature of Galaxy Watch6 which helps users achieve optimal exercise purpose and intensity according to their fitness capacity. The brand put together a hashtag challenge, #HRZoneWorkout, to encourage players to increase their heart rates by working out to "tag" as many hearts as possible to attain a high score.

This initiative was highly successful, with over 15,900 video creations in just over 12 days—62.5% higher user engagement, and an 8.5% increase in brand awareness. It effectively translated a heritage product into the Prosumer language, enabling them to engage, connect, and have fun.

Countless opportunities await brands as they explore more immersive narratives, paving the way for deeper connections with their audience, heightened brand loyalty, and innovative avenues for delivering memorable experiences in the evolving landscape of consumer engagement. As we think about the future, it is crucial to acknowledge that digital space no longer has an 'impersonal' nature. Brands should feel encouraged to unlearn traditional methods and embrace a forward-thinking approach in this new year.

At the end of the day, creativity shouldn't be a one-off lightbulb moment—it needs to be always-on, exciting and engaging every day not just during 'magic moments'. Those who are adept at thinking and creating at scale, and who can truly harness the potential of prosumers, are those that will emerge as harbingers of this new era.

Shant Oknayan is vice president, TikTok Global Business—Asia, Oceania and Africa.

Campaign Asia

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