••• forecasting/trends research

Creating connections – online and off – in 2014

Chicago research company Mintel has released its 2014 consumer trends report, predicting that the future will be a collection of conflations: thinking globally but acting locally and wanting technological advancements to make life simpler.

Internationalism on the agenda

Social media and other innovations help eliminate the barriers and boundaries formerly presented by geography. One benefit of newfound global views is that people come to see themselves as citizens of the world. This expansion will help to evolve the definition of “local” beyond one’s immediate surroundings to their now far-away hometown, ancestral roots or simply to a place to which they feel a connection.

Life, streamlined

The demand for instant gratification will continue to drive consumers, who want faster solutions to their problems, resulting in technology that answers those problems – only to lead to a demand for even faster solutions. Wearable and more accessible technology can provide consumers with solutions to problems they weren’t even aware of having.

Drawing the digital line

In reaction to concerns resulting from hyper-connectivity, consumers will become exceedingly cognizant of the need to unplug, simplify and reconnect with the world around them. Americans will need to know when to unplug, which could lead to reconnecting with tangible and personal surroundings. This creates a need for products, places and people that force consumers to disconnect, such as establishments that ban the use of cell phones or offer an incentive for voluntarily putting them away.

Investing in prevention

Skittish Americans continue to anticipate and prepare for both the major and the minor events that could interrupt their status quo. More than five years after the Great Recession, emotions are still running high, as 72 percent of U.S. adults don’t like the idea of being in debt.
To download a full copy of Mintel’s report, visit mintel.com.

••• the business of research

3 challenges of real-time insights

There are many tools at researchers’ disposal to gather rapid results but, according to Jonathan Bacon’s January 8 article for Marketing Week, titled “Market research gets up to speed with real time data monitoring,” there are three challenges researchers must overcome when dealing with real-time insights.
1. Making insight pay. Marketers looking to use real-time insights must ensure that the insights add value to the overall business. Supermarket chain Iceland, for example, applies real-time insights to improve its Bonus Card loyalty scheme. Using software from Omnico, it collects and analyzes data to produce coupons and reward schemes targeted at individual customers. Iceland claims customer satisfaction has risen 20 percent as a result.
2. Maintaining the bigger picture. Brands cannot lose sight of their wider strategic aims. Neil Mortensen of Thinkbox says, “Looking at things such as subconscious processing and decision-making can remind marketers that a lot of the power in their communications comes from branding and emotion.”
3. Crunching the data. Real-time tracking done right requires the right technology and internal expertise. Restaurant chain Zizzi uses a real-time feedback tool by Empathica to break down insights on customer experience for different management levels.