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Consumers are more connected than ever before. The explosion of the internet and proliferation of digital technologies have raised connectivity to a whole new level. Today's savvy consumers are no longer content with the traditional relationship they have with the brands they consume. Faced with a constantly evolving retail, technology and digital landscape, it is imperative that brand marketers and advertisers master the art of thriving and surviving in a new world where the lines between the physical and digital self are vanishing.
The reach of social media is far and wide: influencing, inspiring and empowering consumers like never before. People connect with not just their friends and families, but also indirectly with everyone else who are connected with them! Social media allows them to speak not merely in words, but even in pictures and videos today. Understanding social media and social networking is crucial for brands in order to know how they can.
Growth of mobiles, wearable's and IOT are changing the face of tech and how people with and interact with the world of tomorrow. Besides mobile, newer technologies like VR/AR and smart homes will impact how brands connect with tomorrows customers.
Mobile is connecting the world like never before. It is slowly becoming the most effective medium out there today as it provides unparalleled reach and engagement. How companies use this medium via new the platforms being made available everyday will guide a lot of brand building for tomorrow.
Digitalisation and mobile connectivity are altering the retail landscape by changing the way consumers research, shop and even pay for products. Mobile is changing this path to purchase in ways never seen before and brands need to be with the customers at the right moments and influence their think at every point on this journey.
The media industry will never stand still and you need to keep up to date with current and future media consumption patterns. Whether you need to measure advertising efficiency, analyze customer loyalty, or develop and schedule content, we can help. Discover why our experts continue to be at the forefront of media measurement globally.
Trends in technology are rapidly changing the world we once lived in. From shopping behavior to buying habits to personal brand and product preferences, consumers now have a growing variety of means through which they can seamlessly “connect” with online data. This constant flow of data leaves a digital trail that can help brands customize and tailor their ads, services and communications to each individual consumer, creating a personalized relationship that establishes brand loyalty and builds trust. With the arrow mostly pointing up, these ten tech trends are the most influential in shaping the needs and behavior of the Connected Consumer.
Those using invisible analytics have the ability to follow consumers through their daily interactions with businesses, effortlessly charting their exact consumption-based behavior over time to make smarter decisions with that behavior in mind. From the time of day they are most likely to make a purchase, to the amount of ads they view while “connected”, consumers are generating data that could be extremely beneficial for businesses that know how to use it. But building a trustful relationship is an important piece of the puzzle, as many consumers have indicated they are sensitive to how their data could be and should be used.
The possibilities around virtual reality have tantalized consumers for many years, especially in the video game and entertainment industries. A truly game -changing technology, millions of dollars have been invested into developing the virtual reality user experience, but that’s only the beginning. As the technology continues to advance, other possibilities for uses of VR outside of entertainment are emerging for brands that are thinking ahead. Will industries like travel, retail, business and education be at the forefront of this innovation?
Wearables have the potential to offer enormous benefits to consumers, but adoption of high profile options, like the Apple Watch, have been slow. However, as recent research has indicated, the consumers of today value health and wellness above all else, which is mirrored in the purchase numbers of health and fitness trackers around the globe. Even the opportunities that wearables offer to travel and leisure brands are set to take off with personalized travel services. With a wide variety of wearable technology options in the marketplace, differentiation is paramount to success, as well as a clear communication of the benefits to consumers.
As technology advances, everything around us is getting smarter, including our homes. There are still some major obstacles for the smart home, but the possibilities surrounding it should have brands getting excited. Ideally, operating systems, along with appliances and devices, would operate in sync with each other to provide the home owner with a simple and seamless enhanced living experience. Things are not quite there yet, but there are opportunities abound for brand partnerships and collaboration in a product market that consumers are inevitably expecting.
Drones recently became a hot topic in the media as everything from their possible uses to their safety has been widely debated, all while the technology has been advancing and costs have been falling. Now, businesses and consumers alike are aware of and realizing the extensive capabilities of unmanned aerial vehicles, such as commercial deliveries and aid deployment, to landscape mapping and mechanized farming. Can drones be an effective and reliable asset for businesses? That is the key as they evolve from a hobbyist market into a mainstream technology.
Artificial intelligence could take many shapes or forms, which is why major players in tech are now investigating this space. The race to harness AI and the millions that have been invested in start-ups shows the great level of interest s in machine learning, but of the many capabilities and technologies being developed, it’s not yet clear what will stick. As with any other tech trend, enhancing a product, service or experience for the end user with AI will be the difference maker, rather than simply developing technology for technology’s sake.
From streaming services to social media, online video is being created and watched by Connected Consumers across a variety of devices at a rapidly growing rate. Brands and businesses are already thinking ahead about how to reach the Connected Consumer of the future, and with the mass adoption of mobile, smart TV and on demand video streaming services like Netflix, it’s obvious that online video is leading the way. With this already huge market likely to further evolve, online video consumption looks like it will be a tech trend for years to come.
The mobile payments market is a complex one that varies geographically around the globe, with many mature markets using incumbent payment mechanisms that are proving difficult to supersede. However, a number of African and developing Asian markets have gone straight to mobile payments, creating a fragmented global environment that’s difficult for brands, manufacturers and retailers to understand. One thing is clear: Connected Consumers have indicated that they increasingly want to pay with mobile.
The explosion of the smartphone is a clear indication that constant connectivity has become a priority to consumers. And adding connectivity to vehicles has inevitably created the ultimate, connected car experience, with safety, autonomous driving and entertainment driving the demand. Connected cars are moving full speed ahead with consumers, as the technology is already available and newer vehicle models now offer connected features in some shape or form.
A market with huge potential, 3D printing allows both consumers and businesses to locally produce products and parts on-demand from digital 3D models. While this could drastically transform businesses’ manufacturing processes, it also carries the potential to create and leverage new data as products begin their life cycle digitally. Will Connected Consumers discover and eventually adopt this technology? Some are skeptical, but accessibility and affordability – two of the most important factors – are becoming closer to reality.
Technological advancements are a dominant force across every industry, and we believe these ten tech trends will have the most impact on consumer needs and behavior. With the wants and needs of the Connected Consumer in mind first and foremost, these emerging trends could be the key to your business’ future success in the digital age.
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Far from being light viewers, 18-24 year olds are voracious consumers of video content overall. 41 percent of their total viewing is spent using a laptop, whilst viewing on mobile devices is relatively insignificant. Traditional TV content and movies dominate their time spent viewing on a PC/laptop.
Founded in the late 19th century, the Olympic Games were meant to bring the world together for a little friendly competition – to celebrate athletic achievements away from political issues and other concerns.
But the outside world has intruded on the games before – think Munich 1972. And this year, before they have even started, the Rio Summer games are surrounded by storms of controversy. Impeachment, government bankruptcy, Zika, and uncertain environmental conditions at some athletic venues have presented many potential distractions and continue to draw media attention.
How are consumers themselves really feeling in 2016? GfK Consumer Life provides an important reality check on all of the discussion and debate. Our latest research shows that Brazilians are most concerned about:
Recession/unemployment, corruption and terrorism are now the fastest-rising concerns in Brazil.
Not surprisingly, terrorism is also weighing on the minds of citizens around the world. Our latest findings show double-digit increases in the concern over terrorism in Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, UK, France and Russia. The concern in Brazil has risen only modestly in comparison – in the 4-7 point range, which places it among markets such as the US, Korea, Indonesia and Australia.
According to some recent sources, there are some 2 million unsold tickets to the Rio Games. But worldwide TV and Internet viewership promises to be strong, with a host of new platforms – smartphones, tablets, etc. – now more viable as options for watching the games. Close to a half (47%) of global tablet users have watched/listened to content on their tablets with a free service or an app. Similarly, over a third (36%) of smartphone users have done the same on their smartphones.
As an alternative, while still very nascent, virtual reality shows promise to those wanting to experience the Olympics without the worry. According to GfK Consumer Life, many Americans are interested in using VR for anything from watching movies, TV shows and short videos, to visiting travel destinations and playing games. And, close to a quarter (24%) of Americans would like to watch sports via virtual reality.
The VR concept is much more appealing to men (36%), especially Gen X men (40%), and affluent Americans with a household income of $100K+ (32%). According to NBC, Samsung Gear VR users will be able to watch exclusive Rio Olympics coverage via the new NBC Sports app. The success of the VR Rio experience (albeit somewhat dependent on streaming speeds) might be a pivotal moment for how future generations will consume media and entertainment.
There’s another bright spot despite the anxious atmosphere. Consumers around the world are increasingly embracing unfamiliar ideas and ways of life, with the value of “Open-mindedness” ranking at #9 in 2015 (out of a list of 50 personal values) among 20 countries. This represents a jump of 7 places from 2014. In fact, the notion of being broad minded is up across all regions tracked by GfK Consumer Life.
Similarly, the desire to learn more about different people, countries and cultures is on the rise, as reflected in the rising value of “Internationalism,” which ranks at #42 globally — up 3 places from 2014. The value of “Internationalism” is up among all regions tracked.
The lessons of this data are clear – while worries are real, they may not be as dramatic in some cases as headlines might lead us to expect, and concerns around attending the Olympics don’t necessarily translate to watching or streaming them across a variety of devices. With consumers around the world increasingly valuing open-mindedness and internationalism, the Olympic Games remain a global playing field for marketers and brands to truly come together. Can you take reassurance to a new level? Are there opportunities to back your messages with real social campaigns to ensure small but meaningful changes across the world? Authentic messages that connect with your target audiences on an emotional level will be key.
Jola Burnett is a vice president and consultant at GfK Consumer Life. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pokémon Go is the new augmented reality game released by Niantic over the last two weeks that has taken the world and social media by storm. Players take the role of Pokémon trainers, and use their smartphones to capture monsters that are overlaid onto the real world using the smartphone’s camera. They are tasked with collecting all 151 Pokémon, and game play also includes using real world locations as PokéStops – where special items can be found, and Pokémon Gyms – where players can battle Pokémon left by other trainers.
On Tuesday 11th July security concerns around Pokémon Go were widely reported in the news media. These stemmed from the iPhone version of the app asking for full permission to access the Google accounts of users after it was installed. This level of permission includes access to Google Maps history, Google searches, and even the ability to read Gmail messages.
Niantic reacted quickly to this and updated the app on Tuesday, releasing a statement saying that this was an error and they are working on a client-side fix so Pokémon Go only has access to basic profile data.
According to research conducted in 2015 by GfK Consumer Life, 48% of consumers in the USA and 37% of consumers in the UK agree that “It is very important to actively manage my online identity and personal information”.
However since its release Pokémon Go has held the number one position in the App Store. Whilst download information is not made publicly available, it is safe to assume that downloads of the game numbered in the millions, even before Niantic updated the permissions required.
This means that millions of consumers were prompted to confirm that the application could have full access to their Google account and chose to accept.
This begs the question: How much do consumers really care about their data? If the latest gaming craze is enough to convince consumers to allow this level of access, do these claims around the importance of privacy add up in real life? At what point does a product or service become attractive enough that concerns around privacy no longer matter?
If nothing else this is a reminder of how much information mobile devices collect, and how easy it is for smartphone users to allow third parties to access this information without really considering the consequences.
Even with the new lower levels of permissions Pokémon Go is still collecting GPS, profile and account information. This allows them to build up a robust set of location data alongside identifiable information, a very powerful tool in understanding consumer behavior.
But the story doesn’t end here – in addition to gathering valuable information passively, augmented reality games can also be used to influence consumer behavior.
Niantic have previously worked with brands such as Softbank and AXA to include in-game advertising in their virtual reality worlds, and the developers have stated that they plan to do the same with Pokémon Go.
Players of Ingress can use in-game items to give them an advantage over their opponents. The game includes rare and improved versions of these items in the form of the ‘SoftBank Ultra Link’ and the ‘AXA Shield’. The AXA Shield is more likely to be obtained by the player when they visit an AXA location, encouraging the players who want the very best items to engage with partner brands.
Similarly in the not too distant future Pokémon trainers will be able to visit real world brick and mortar locations of Niantic’s partners to receive additional items or other in game benefits.
Thus the real power of augmented reality games lies not only in the wealth of information brands are able to collect on users, but also on the ability to influence behavior in the real world via benefits offered in the virtual world.
Jack Millership is a Research Manager of Market Opportunity and Innovation at GfK. Please email him at email@example.com to share your thoughts.
This article first appeared in ResearchLive 19/07/16.
Understanding the shopper’s purchase journey is one of the toughest challenges manufacturers and retailers are facing today. However, armed with the intelligence on what route shoppers take when making a purchase, how different online and offline touchpoints influence their purchase decision, and which media they are exposed to, you can optimize your omnichannel strategy. So what do you need to do to take more control of the shopper’s purchase journey?