Consumer trends to consider

By: Vanessa Claire Lucero December 31,2015 - 08:02 PM
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Senior netizens and the millennials are among the consumer profiles that businesses should consider in drawing up marketing strategies for 2016. (CDN FILE PHOTO)

In developing products or drawing up marketing strategies for 2016, businesses would do well to consider 15 consumer trends.

Charmaine Bautista-Pamintuan, chief marketing officer of the Inquirer Group, classified these trends into four pillars: Profile, Patterns, Perception, and Participation.

“The first of the pillars is (consumer) profile. Our definition is based on consumer life stages,” she said during the first Cebu Daily News (CDN) Conversations in late November.

RISING PROFILES

The four rising consumer profiles are: millennials, tech seniors or “lola techies,” malesumers, and fit-leisure.

Millennials are those born between 1980 to 1990, and are between 25 and 35 years old. They compose about a quarter of the Philippine population and contribute some $2.5 trillion in terms of global spending capacity, said Pamintuan.

“They are also social and highly online — very bad for those in marketing because they (millennials) are bombarded with a lot of advertising and marketing information. They tend to be very skeptical in the promotional materials being provided to them,” she said.

The second, which comprises around 11 percent of the 1.5 billion people who are currently online on social media, are the seniors.

“This is a growing demographic not given much attention. However, senior netizens are the new social media audience. One of the fastest growing demographics is this one,” Pamintuan said.

According to the marketing expert, 40 percent of all seniors online connect with family members, 30 percent share photos, 20 percent are into social gaming and 10 percent are actively joining promos.

Malesumers, or man-sumers, compose the third profile.

Contrary to the older practice of having a single-income household, where the man of the house is typically the provider, households are veering more toward dual-income practices, and males are seen as being more participative in the home-making process, even going so far as to buying items for the house and participating in child-rearing.

Pamintuan said that unlike women, who oftentimes shop based on emotions, male consumers generally go for practicality and functionality.

“Be very specific with your products. Give product reviews that are functional in nature,” she said.

Then, there’s the fit-leisure profile, or the consumer who wants to combine both fun and health.

“This mindset is driven by the desire of Filipinos to be healthy but at the same time, they want it to be fun. We see companies actually riding on this opportunity by creating brands and products that respond to this trend,” Pamintuan said, citing popular zero-calorie products that have hit the market by storm.

BEHAVIORAL PATTERNS

Patterns that businesses should take note of are: need for content, concept of shared economy, demand for free and premium products, uncompartmentalized reading habits, and the omni-channel and the Internet of Things.

Pamintuan said consumers are now generally hungry to discover and share new content.

“Photo quotes and infographics provide a versatile way in how content is delivered,” she said.

Consumers are also moving toward a shared economy, or an open access form of ownership.

Several companies have moved into the shared economy sphere, such as Facebook and Airbnb, and are generating income by allowing others onto their platforms to create content.

“In this shared economy, the driving force in currency is the product review or customer features,” Pamintuan said.

Those in marketing and advertising also have to take note of the balance between free and premium products.

While consumers want products or services free or at the cheapest deal, the same consumers are also willing to pay for the experience, even at a premium fee, she said.

At the same time, companies also have to be wary of the emotions that can be generated from their posts.

“Emotions can change drastically now more than ever. The emotions elicited from your feed differs from posting to posting,” Pamintuan added.

More and more consumers also look for a “seamless experience” when moving from medium to medium in looking for and buying products.

This is more apparent in retail and hotels, which need to make sure consumers get the same experience on the website and in their physical stores.

Consumers also look for the Internet of Things, or better connectivity and networking among physical objects, as is the case with smart homes.

PERCEPTION

Under perception, Pamintuan identified three trends: the “I was here mentality,” “Tell it to me visually,” and “level-up mindset.”

“Perception refers to how consumers see themselves and how they want to be perceived,” she said.

Following this train of thought, the marketing expert said that consumers now have a need to share experience online. This is followed by the pressure to produce new content everyday, which businesses can ride on.

“This is where staycation can come in, or the need to feel weekends with experiential activities. You want people to see that you’re going places or seeing things,” she said.

Consumers also typically use visuals to share these activities to the rest of the world, the most popular of which are photos.

Businesses will be able to attract more consumers by marketing more visuals.

Not only that, there is a growing trend toward investments rather than basic necessities.

“Filipinos now are shifting from survival mode to investment mode. Before, the drive was just to be able to eat and put food on the table, but now, given the economic performance that we have, we are slowly leveling up to the idea of investment,” she said.

PARTICIPATION

The last pillar of consumer trends highlights how people join activities or events, which are more often online than not.

“Gone are those days when people walk the streets to espouse what they were thinking,” Pamintuan said.

Three trends were identified, namely: “just in,” “trending Pinoy” and “Google is my best friend.”

“Just in is the ability or desire of people to react on topics and create buzz in the fastest time possible,” Pamintuan said, noting that many businesses are tapping into this by posting content and hoping they “go viral.”

“To do this, you have to keep your ears on the ground and react very fast. This is called ‘react-vertising’,” she added.

Consumers now also use social media as an influence to pop culture. Sites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have begun utilizing the concept of “hashtagging” as means for consumers to get to concentrated content.

Google has been a particularly useful tool for consumers to participate in the online market, Pamintuan said.

“Google is the answer to all seemingly hard questions. Everything is at your fingertips. Your content is on demand, whenever and wherever you want it,” she said.

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TAGS: consumer, Inquirer Group, market, retail, trends
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