Global Adobe survey of more than 12,000 consumers shows nearly 9 out of 10 will abandon a bad content experience

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The FINANCIAL — Demonstrating the mounting pressure for content marketers, Adobe on December 14 released new findings showing that global consumers are increasingly multiscreening, impatient and demanding to be entertained. The report, “The State of Content: Rules of Engagement,” surveyed more than 12,000 consumers across six countries in one of the industry’s largest and broadest global surveys of consumer views on digital content.

The study found that more than 8 in 10 digital device users would stop engaging with content that is too long or hard to view across devices. It also uncovered robust consumer demand for tailored content from brands, with 73 percent of those surveyed saying they’re open to content recommendations from brands based on past behavior, and 75 percent saying they are willing to exchange at least one piece of information about themselves to prompt better suggestions. The full report, including the new “rules of engagement” for content marketers, can be found here.

“This is a wake-up call for content marketers everywhere,” said Brad Rencher, senior vice president and general manager, Digital Marketing, Adobe. “To break through, brands need to earn consumers’ trust, use great design and apply smart, predictive connections that add value to the experience.”

The Multiscreen Reality

People report using an average of five different devices, and most (83 percent) report using multiple devices simultaneously.

Globally, consumers are using an average of 2.23 devices at the same time and U.S. consumers reported using the highest number of devices at the same time, at 2.42.

While the majority of consumers report positive feelings when asked about multiscreening (81 percent feel entertained, 80 percent feel connected, 76 percent feel productive), nearly half (47 percent) say they are distracted when multiscreening.

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Skepticism Looms

Consumers are skeptical of most content they view online: half of consumers (50 percent) question whether negative comments or reviews have been removed, 49 percent wonder if an author was incented to write a positive review and 48 percent question whether a news article is biased.

The majority of consumers (81 percent) consider a product endorsement by an ordinary person more trustworthy than a celebrity.

Consumers are most likely to trust content from someone they’re close to, such as a friend or family member (63 percent).

Only 23 percent of consumers trust content from companies whose products they don’t buy, but that nearly doubles to 43 percent if the source is a company from whom they do purchase.

Humor is Humanizing

More than two-thirds (70 percent) of global consumers agree that humor makes companies more relatable, yet only 14 percent rated current branded content as entertaining.

Nearly one-third (29 percent) globally believe that content that entertains is more important than accuracy.

Entertainment is particularly valued in France, where 42 percent believe it’s more important than being accurate.

Most consumers (64 percent) share content online, with 37 percent noting they enjoy sharing content to make others laugh. Another 36 percent prefer to share content that speaks to issues that are of personal importance.

This study expands on Adobe’s “State of Content Study:  Expectations on the Rise ,” released in October, which highlighted potential pitfalls for content creators as U.S. consumers raise expectations for content quality and design.


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