Fit for the Future: Ten Trends

April 27, 2012

In a recent article titled “Gartner’s 10 consumer macro trends,” the contents of a new Gartner report were distilled to provide a handy checklist for forward-thinking organizations.

This article provides a strong confirmation of Mindshare’s strategic direction. We’ve always prided ourselves in being out front—in going beyond the conventional. Our remarkable success over the years has been a testament to that vision.

That was Act 1. Act 2 will be even more compelling, pushing the envelope even further—from “Refine” to “Redefine.”

Below is a summary of the article’s main points, including my commentary on how each one relates to Mindshare Technologies and the future of feedback:

1. The great depression, part two: consumer confidence and the new normal
“Consumers seem to put a higher value on media and communications products in times of recession as they cut back on more expensive substitutes.”

In other words, “high expense, low yield” products are in trouble. Mindshare elegantly bridges the gap between company and customer, for minimal cost, and undeniable ROI. We are value.

2. The impact of acceleration/deceleration: the temporal digital divide widens
“The most valuable product technology and service providers can deliver to consumers is extra time in the day. Products and services that help consumers fill their time more productively and/or pleasurably are the most compelling.”

“Productivity” means doing more, doing it right, in as little time as possible, and using up as few resources as possible. Mindshare is productivity. We do the heavy lifting, so understanding business improvement opportunities is effortless to our customer. This allows the customer to focus on their main objective: running their business.

3. Women wanted: unlocking gender opportunities
“The consumer technology market is trending towards producing and marketing more female-friendly technology products targeted at the market’s single biggest demographic: women.”

What can I say? Women make the world go ’round. Without them, it’d be Armageddon. Just ask my wife. Mindshare goes to great lengths to design solutions that are both practical and aesthetically pleasing, something only a woman could fully appreciate. We create solutions of elegance.

4. The power customer replaces consumer power
“Dealing with empowered consumers makes life more challenging for brands, but it is an opportunity for competitive differentiation to organisations that invest in meeting the demands of power customers.”

We are customer empowerment. We’re the grease to the wheels of competitive advantage. We give the customer their rightful place at the top of the pantheon of corporate priorities.

5. The social information lifeline
“Consumers are increasingly turning to social networks for news and information and tuning out of mainstream media news feeds. As a result, news format and content are progressively being reconstructed around social media channels.”

People are increasingly skeptical of information that comes from those with a dog in the fight—think marketing, mainstream media, etc. Customers trust impartial and particularly relationship-based info much more. There are big opportunities in taming the wild west of social media into more structured and universally actionable formats. Text analytics is a big key here.

Human progress has followed a pattern of (1) increasing availability of information and (2) increasing quality, reliability, and relevance of that information. Our solutions provide both—more information, and, more importantly, better information.

6. Humanity 2.0: consumers become the computer’s ‘killer app’
“The market is being driven by self-reinforcing patterns of technology usage that are fundamentally changing consumer behaviour. . . . Technology providers must anticipate changes in consumer behaviour early to create a credible presence in the new media environment.”

Technology is only getting started in improving our lives. Gartner mentions anticipating changes in consumer behavior. We intend to take that one step further: We intend to DRIVE changes in consumer behavior. We are after paradigm shift, not just incremental improvement. Stay tuned….

7. Renegotiation of consumer trust
“Brands that help customers through hard times can build strong emotional and cognitive loyalty among consumers, leading to significant opportunity for brand extension.”

Forging deep emotional bonds requires fertile soil—soil consisting of the best, most committed people, and a product that INSPIRES, not just merely meets expectations. Judging from the response at our Best Practices Conferences and our unparalleled client retention, we’ve earned a loyal following already. Our company mantra is “Your Success is Our Success.” We’re not interested in signing customers; we’re after brand evangelists.

8. Changing channels: brands chase the migration of consumer mind share
“Technology and service providers should build multichannel operations around business intelligence systems to understand consumers’ voices of the customer, using business analytics to track the behaviour across channels, reallocate resources and rebalance priorities as necessary.”

Supporting our clients in multiple channels is critical. The end customer doesn’t care which method is easiest for the manager to work with. They’ve got something to say, and you need to listen. We are oxygen for our clients when it comes to understanding customer preferences and prioritizing the allocation of resources to best meet their needs. Mindshare is optimization.

9. The death of complexity
“The consumer market is becoming less tolerant of complexity. Although consumers tend to buy products with ever-richer features, they often prefer those that are simple and intuitive. The ability to provide appealing and intuitive user interfaces has become a critical point of differentiation among competing technology providers.”

In other words, beneath the hood, the engine needs to have the precision and sophistication to do everything right—but the consumer demands simplicity. The main goal of a car is to get from Point A to Point B, but the comfort of that experience is a huge differentiator. Our reporting app is designed with that principle in mind. Easy answers are often wrong. Right answers are often difficult to identify. We are easy and right. We guide you to the right answer—the optimal solution—and we do it now, so you can spend your time improving your business.

10. The destiny of demographics and rise of the mainstream middle-class
“Technology and service providers must increase engagement and exposure to emerging markets.”

The world is a big place. We have already developed the tools to expand anywhere customers have opinions. With an unparalleled international-ready feedback platform and a growing international footprint, the sky’s the limit. Mindshare leads in global feedback.

Here’s to the future!