As consumers shift from a “I want” to a “We need” buying philosophy, your marketing needs to adjust, too. Here are a number of statistics and trends to get you thinking along the right lines.
News flash: Enormous change has taken place in the US and global economies over the past few years. Those changes have shifted consumer priorities and buying behavior.
We all know it, of course. Yet it’s hard to nail that concept down into practical terms sometimes. Thus, I found a number statistics from Jim Taylor of the Harrison Group very actionable. Jim rocked the house in his opening keynote at the DPAC III conference in New York City last week. Frankly, he was better than coffee to get my mind working furiously with new ideas for how to improve messaging and content strategy.
A few sample stats:
- 35% of affluent Americans believe we are on the verge of a depression.
- Harrison group predicts a 5% drop in media spending in the next year
- Harrison Group is projecting a 4% decline in consumption rate over the next
- 12 years for the top half of consumers
- 15% of people indicate they are close with friends they have never met in person. (The room laughs, but it’s true for me too!)
- 58% of affluent American adults are involved in some form of content sharing, up from 0% 10 years ago
- 76% of the most powerful Americans attribute their success to their knowledge of technology
- 79% of Americans believe it’s more important to know where to search for a fact than to know it
- 32% of affluent American adults maintain one or more social networking profiles
- 60% of American HH are happy. Happiness has rocketed! A greater sense of self control, the end of the “I want” economy
Look at any retailer message – shabby is chic and saving is in. Taylor says 60% of women credit the recession with making them smarter about happiness (not based on money) and prudent spending habits. They view this as a self rewarding challenge …. a source of self esteem.
This is game changing stuff that goes way beyond the choice of channel – email, social, search, web, retail, catalog — all are affected. We must adjust our content and marketing strategies. We are serving a new set of decision makers, and must market to them in a new way. Taylor says women drive the decisions for the household. Kids now participate in decisions. Even in cars and houses.
The recession has a significant impact …. the average HH is spending 12% less on average. Americans are saving more, and because of the shift in priority and fear of the economy, consumers are changing the way they think about the morality of shopping itself. How we make decisions has moved from “I want” culture to a “We need” economy. It’s collaborative.
Taylor says that 88% of affluent HH in America are feeling good about saving money, and a full 68% have started to keep a budget. Brand standards are changing …. traditional measures like “I’m loved” or “I’m successful” have ceased to be emotionally resonate. Taylor says they are not at zero, but are significantly reduced part of the equation. What is increased in importance is quality , craftsman ship and service. There is a much higher impact from, “I bought it before. ” Consumers are looking for fiscal wins, not just emotional wins. Anything we can do as marketers to remove the “purchase risk” will sell goods. Remove those risks …. be they price, testimonial, service, reward for loyalty. The brand now reflects my values as a person …. moral and economic values. Our new economy thrives on resourcefulness, not on status.
Bottom line: consumers want interdependency, not independence of channels. Be sure to combine your search, bricks, website, email, social networks.