Email marketers shouldn’t dwell too much on their highfalutin, parochial tech concerns.
There are bigger fish to fry, such as the societal trends reflected in Top 10 Global Consumer Trends 2019, a study by Euromonitor International.
One key takeaway: Younger generations are becoming the focus for many businesses, but the older cohorts shouldn’t be ignored.
Another is that you can email or text people until the cows come home, but they’re still going to turn to their peers for advice.
Some findings are predictable. For example, millennials and Generation Z are most likely to visit social media, and even Gen Xers and Baby Boomers do so at least weekly.
Consumers are also spending more money online. Internet spending per capita remains low compared with that of in-store retail. However, online spending is growing steadily, whereas retail’s growth rate is declining.
Here are nine more trends highlighted in the study:
Age-agnostic: Older people want to be treated as if they were younger—and brand managers should cater to their preferences. In Japan, people age 50 and over will make up half the population by 2025. In the U.S., older people will be nearing 40 percent of the population. These folks have considerable spending power.
Back to basics: Less is more. Luxurious products or services can be a turnoff. People are moving away from sheer materialism and are demanding authentic products and experiences.
Conscious consumers: Marketers must prove that they are ethical and have “higher welfare products.” This sort of mindful marketing is no longer the domain of niche outfits.
Plastic waste is of particular concern to consumers.
Digitally hither and yon: People are increasingly working offsite and are creating and experiencing new things remotely.
Everyone’s an expert: They’re also cranky. As the study states: “Even wealthier consumers demand value for their money—and are just as vocal online about any bad experience.”
However, it adds: “Lower-income consumers will participate less in this digital trend on a global level. This demographic is less likely to have internet access, nor the time to research each purchase extensively as per the ‘expert’ trend. Expert consumers are also more likely to be ages 15–40 years and accustomed to using the internet extensively in their everyday lives with a focus on real-life experiences.”
Trading FOMO for JOMO: People don’t necessarily want to be plugged in at all times. The study says, “To disconnect, consumers are choosing to temporarily move away more often from phones to focus on real-life experiences.”
Increasing self-reliance: As people become more self-sufficient, consumers are taking more preventative measures against illness, unhappiness and discomfort without consulting a professional.
I want it now: Consumers seek instant gratification and frictionless experiences that mesh with their lifestyles, allowing them to dedicate more time to their professional or social lives.
Loner living: Older consumers—and some younger ones—are enjoying independent lifestyles. They have broken free of the stigma of living alone.
What does all this mean for brand managers, communicators and marketers? For starters, it’s crucial to provide “more authentic, lifelike interactions online.” Consumers expect seamless, hassle-free digital experiences—anything less will quickly cost you customers.
A version of this post first appeared on Media Post.