I recently attended an IPA course concerning the continuously changing digital landscape and how this affects our creative industry. One area briefly touched upon was the change in consumers’ expectations – which is highly influenced by evolving tech and market saturation, with brands constantly competing with each other to gain advantage.

We live in a fast-paced world and immediacy is now an expectancy. Brands are tapping into tech to provide quick and efficient services. Next day delivery will soon be outdated with Drones able to provide hourly delivery and drop off goods to exact locations specified by the consumer. We can interact with our brands instantly via Instant Messenger in order to resolve queries (and complaints). 5G is expected by 2020, and it’ll be 100x faster than 4G; essentially our mobile devices will be far quicker than Wi-Fi – perhaps even replacing it. The expectancy of speed means that there’s a constant battle to provide the quickest, effective and most efficient products and services. In fact, 66% of consumers state it takes more for a company to impress them with new products and services than ever before.

And it’s not just a matter of speed and efficiency that drives the increase in consumers’ expectations, they demand custom-tailored marketing for a more personalised experience.

Personalisation is a necessity within email communications – be it name salutations or acknowledgment of recent purchases and interactions. The most successful brands will track our purchase history and link our profile traits to produce complex and rich databases in order to deliver tailored, relevant communications – and it’s proven to work. 59% of consumers say that tailored messaging based on past interactions is very important to winning their business. A successful campaign exemplifying highly tailored marketing is Lexus’s Facebook campaign ‘Beyond Utility 1000 to 1’.  1000 audience tailored ads increased engagement by 1678%, proving that audience relevancy is key.

With the shift to digital, the consumer’s journey to purchase has changed dramatically. A huge proportion of the journey is made up of silent research and we now spend hardly any time engaging with suppliers before transactions. Interestingly, we now expect lifetime support post-purchase, and the ease of contacting brands via tech such as Instant Messenger has helped to facilitate this. By committing to purchase, we also expect brands to commit to us – and provide us with support not just in the short term, but for the foreseeable future.

Technology and competition have drastically increased consumers’ expectations. To get a foothold in the market and gain advantage, it’s even more important to disrupt the market using the latest technology to impress your customers and set yourself apart from competitors.