Be it your marketing strategy, business planning or product development approach, wrap it around (at least one of) the biggest priorities for consumers for the coming year:
- Consumers will demand more control over their data
Business leaders in the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report 2019 listed a ‘massive incident of data fraud and theft’ as their fourth largest concern, after extreme weather changes, failure to mitigate for climate change and major natural disasters.
The Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA) is South Africa’s data protection law. Essentially, the purpose of POPIA is to protect consumers from harm by protecting their personal information. Organisations are not allowed to access, process or use consumers’ data without their explicit consent.
Not only is regulatory pressure increasing on companies that do so, but Deloitte reports that 71% of purchased data is inaccurate.
- Everything that can be personalised, will be personalised
Research is repeatedly showing that the supermajority of consumers prefers to work with brands that offer personalised experiences. A research report released by Epsilon indicates that 80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase when brands offer a tailored experience.
Personalisation can take many forms, but the most popular varieties are coupons based on the customer’s locations, communications on the customer’s preferred channel, and recommendations based on past purchases or service history.
The other side of the coin is that consumers are turning away from live conversations in favour of services that don’t require talking, such as SMS and social media. Automated channels are also growing in popularity, with 49% using chatbots or automated assistants at least once per week, according to Epsilon. With that said, 45% of consumers are open to any channel, as long as the service is effective.
- Value over noise
The rise in mental health issues related to the always-on consumer mentality has compelled companies such as Apple and Google to launch tools to monitor the amount of time we spend glued to our screens, while Windows is aiming to minimise distraction. Companies such as Mindful Technology have flourished by creating values that highlight the importance of human connection over device connection.
As humans, we want focus, connection and ultimately value. We want subtlety, and companies that shout to get our attention will no longer have the best gains. Products and services need to focus on user needs in a holistic way while being respectful of the ecosystem in which they’ll exist for users.