Trends and Trajectories that Matter for Marketers

by Sat Duggal

Customer Experience Design

After a rocky 2010 dominated by the Great Recession, we're gearing up for big things in 2011. EMM Group has identified seven developments that we believe will have a significant impact on how companies, clients, and customers interact over the new year.

1. The Silver Tsunami

The youngest boomers turn 65 in 2011. By 2030, the population of Americans 65 and older will increase from 13% to 19% - nearly one in five.1 As the healthiest, longest-lived, best-educated and most affluent elders in history, aging boomers will continue have a huge influence on every market from healthcare and financial services to housing and technology.

2. Mobile

There are now over 223 million U.S. cell phone users over the age of 13, and an estimated 40-50% of mobile devices sold in 2010 were smart phones.2 Consumers are expressing a clear demand to manage their lives on the go, placing increasing pressure on products and services that have not yet mastered the mobile market.

3. The Cloud

As Microsoft, Amazon, Google, and other majors continue to build out the cloud, companies benefit from increasingly flexible infrastructure and deep interconnection. At the same time, staying competitive in such a fluid environment means constantly re-evaluating the value you deliver to customers. In 2011, you may have to ask yourself more than once: "What business are we really in?"

4. Everyone is a Star

The explosion of social media, blogs, and user-generated video has now expanded well beyond the teen market. As consumers of all ages get accustomed to being stars in the movies of their own lives, they are demanding ever-higher levels of personalization in the products and services they buy. Marketers must figure out how to compete for "product placement" in these individual and ongoing movies.

5. Location, Location, Location

At least 4% of online Americans – and 8% of online adults ages 18-29 - are now using a location-based service like Foursquare. Driven by the forces of #2 and #4 above, this trend will become relevant to virtually every business as more consumers experience and evangelize the benefits of personalized experiences based on where they are at any given moment.

6. Simplicity

Constantly inundated by information, but short on time, customers and clients will respond best to products that don’t require a user guide and services that filter out irrelevant details and make their lives easier.

7. Sustainable Green

The days of paying a premium to be environmentally sensitive are waning. People want to be green, but they’re tired of waiting for green products that work just as well and cost the same as non-green products.

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Keywords: Customer Experience Design