FutureConsumer.Now is a look at customer experiences and how they will evolve and transform our world over the next 12 years. If you don’t think it will be dramatic, take a look at the changes over the last 12 years and know the rate of transformation will compound exponentially due to innovation and new technologies. Consider our hypotheses about life for 2030.
Consumers will own fewer things
Instead, they will pay to use or access what they want, whenever they need it. Lifestyle subscriptions and services will increasingly replace product ownership. A thriving sharing economy underpins this shift, with an increasing emphasis on new forms of community, demand-led economies of scale and new combinations of physical or virtual service elements.
Location-aware services will enrich physical experiences (e.g. sports, music, experiential events) driving deeper personalization and unlocking new business models. While the online world has largely existed in parallel to the physical world, we will quickly see experiences cross the physical-digital divide. Content and entertainment will become ‘mobile first,’ with services customized and aggregated depending on the user’s location.
Right now time-shifted content is the norm, but place-shifted content (content stored on one device, but accessed from another) will be the prevalent by 2030.
Brands will need to build relationships with consumers in new ways
Traditional interruptive, untargeted advertising will decline, giving way to new opportunities for branding as more experiences and surfaces become digital and ad-supported in highly targeted ways. Storytelling techniques will be enhanced by innovative new formats such as VR and AR, which will continue to evolve. Brands will need to continue telling stories, leveraging technology and data to distribute new content, as part of organic experiences that are more relevant to consumers.
Service personalization has been a feature of TMT (Technology, Media & Entertainment and Telecommunications) services for many years. However, predictive analytics will help to match user preferences with products in new and exciting ways, helping to meet as yet unmet and unarticulated needs. A deeper, more granular set of data about all aspects of consumer behavior and desires will further enable a more unique, anticipatory digital experience. The biggest challenge however, will be bringing data and analytics to a state where the information can be aggregated, analyzed and mined for truly actionable insights in real time.
Consumers will become even more aware of the value of their personal data
Consumers will have the means to monetize their own data, or at least control it far more directly and transparently. Rules regarding consumer protection and data privacy will continue to evolve and dictate the pace of innovation in this value exchange. Interactions that prize transparency allied to consumer consent and control will set a new benchmark for trust. This will also set the tone for how different industry ecosystems come together, with data protection and privacy issues top of mind for all. New business models that leverage more granular data will emerge, supported by new value chains that process this data but a quickly changing regulatory environment will be a critical constraint to manage.
We will see cross-vertical sector convergence
As the landscape of the user experience changes, it will become increasingly important for TMT companies to tap into the broader ecosystem of brands with strong consumer relationships to curate their lifestyles. Companies will no longer be siloed within their individual industries (media, healthcare, automotive, etc.). They will be challenged to focus on a more integrated customer experience with access to personal preferences and habits.
These experiences will enable greater access to consumer data, and converged, ecosystem-wide collaboration will be required. The constructs TMT companies use to define their competition and partners today will be challenged to include collaboration across content creators, distribution opportunities, brands and surrounding industries to create interoperability and build scale to thrive in the future.