Your consumers are speeding up but here’s how your brand can sprint ahead

André Leb is Chief Business Marketing Officer at consumer insights platform, Prodege. With over 20 years in online marketing, e-commerce, and digital advertising, he tells us how he’s seeing consumers change and what it means for brands and the future of research. 

Have consumers fundamentally changed over recent years?

In some ways, they haven’t changed as much as you might think. We all know people are online and on their mobiles more and more, but what does that mean for brands? We ran a study recently to see if offline or online exposure is now more influential. What we found is that the mix is still the best way to get people to know your brand. Perhaps that’s never going to change. The real world still matters. 

What we do know for a fact is that people’s attention spans have been shortened by bite size videos and scrolling through information very quickly. That’s even more true of kids. It’s a shift that’s not going away. I think that ‘brain training’ is translating into surveys. People don’t go into depth as much as they used to. If you’re trying to get people’s attention for more than 10 minutes, you’re starting to push your luck. It’s really key for researchers to keep everything quick, simple, engaging and mobile friendly. 

The speeding up of consumers isn’t always a negative. Some startups are born out of a viral feedback loop. A new product launches, the right people talk about it and it has the power to create markets. But this shift also results in consumers making their decisions or changing their opinions a lot faster. 

Look at what happened with Budweiser in the US and how quickly their loyal fan base dropped their long-held emotional connection to the brand. It lost billions in market share. Influential people can share or comment on trending topics in no time taking the control away from brands. It’s important to really listen to customers and know exactly how they feel about the world and about culture. 

“It’s important to really listen to customers and know exactly how they feel about the world and about culture.”

How can brands keep up? 

Online research started by just digitizing the analogue world of traditional research techniques. A lot has changed since and now we are experiencing the birth of a new discipline. We’re working on creating entirely new categories in research that really get to understand groups of consumers in incredible depth at breakneck speed. 

Online surveys are getting faster and cheaper while still offering a great user experience thanks to tools such as high quality, engaging images, videos and interactive interfaces. At Prodege, we also have new ways of collecting information through our online loyalty programs, like cashback shopping for e-commerce sites and supermarkets, which provide a huge amount of behavioral data we can use to target customers.

And then there is AI! It is improving internal processes to the point of no return. Our conversational AI solution also provides speed to insights for clients who want qualitative level data at quantitative scale. It starts with researchers verbally describing their project objectives to our AI assistant, then returns an entire project proposal that can be edited as needed. This is a perfect example of AI speeding up an internal process. Once the project proposal is approved, clients can launch the survey to thousands of respondents simultaneously with our AI moderator. Like Mindlab, we also have a conversational quant survey where our AI is trained to ask probing qual-type questions along the way for deeper insights. 

There’s so much to play with, empowering researchers to focus on analysis and insight generation rather than the drafting of a proposal or time consuming collection of quality data. The tools are there to understand consumers, and it’s more vital than ever that we use them to keep up with the speed of their decisions. 

To find out more about how to power your insights with the latest AI developments, get in touch with the team at Mindlab


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