Too late to shop green, rise of the rewatch, socialism shift, morphing money and algorithm hacking are the top five consumer trends that will have the largest impact on marketing leaders and their organizations in 2020, according to Gartner’s Consumer Top Trends, 2020.
“In 2020, we will see an overarching theme of consumers reconsidering consumerism — the constant acquiring of new goods and services to solve problems both personal and societal,” said Kate Muhl, VP analyst, Gartner for Marketers. “More than a decade into cause consumption, green purchasing, boycotts, buycotts and the constant promise of novelty, consumers appear to be looking for alternative paths to meet their needs and goals. Marketing leaders should consider these trends in their 2020 strategic planning in order to truly resonate with the modern consumer.”
Too Late to Shop Green
As fears about climate change continues to rise, more than half of consumers say they are more concerned about the climate than they were two years ago. “For consumers, the threat of climate change is real and urgent, and they are rallying against contributors to the problem,” said Ms. Muhl.
Fifty-nine percent of consumers say that big businesses are the biggest contributors to climate change. As a result, consumers are no longer buying green marketing messages from big businesses that call for consumers to personally make changes. Marketing leaders must tread carefully around green messaging and products to avoid charges of hypocrisy.
Rise of the Rewatch
Overwhelmed by choice, craving comfort and, in some cases, driven to examine how content from the past holds up to current social and cultural standards, consumers are embracing repeat experiences — like rewatching movies and TV shows. Eighty percent of respondents to the 2019 Gartner Consumer Behaviors and Attitudes Survey say that they regularly rewatch television shows or movies, with 20% doing so daily.
“As exploration-related values decline and consumers embrace repeat experiences, marketing leaders should make strategic and tactical moves that highlight stability and predictability over discovery,” said Ms. Muhl.
Consumer interest in socialism is on the rise and while the term “socialism” is polarizing, underlying policies often linked with socialism are uniting consumers due to their desire to explore collective solutions to complex problems. To navigate this shift, marketers must recognize the divisive political climate within the lives of their customers, market to the underlying drivers of why socialism is gaining favor and utilize broadly appealing values in messaging to connect with consumers across ideologies.
Consumers’ concept of money and expectation for control and convenience are in flux and Gen Z consumers are leading this movement. From app-based payment platforms to cryptocurrencies, Gen Z consumers are embracing alternative ways to manage their finances. Fifty-six percent of Gen Z consumers view app-based money transfer platforms such as PayPal and Venmo as equal in importance to bank accounts or cash. Marketing leaders must recognize that this shift is about more than payment preferences, and prepare for consumers who think about money more fluidly.
Algorithm hacking is consumers’ conscious efforts to manipulate or sabotage the algorithms that institutions and organizations use for efficiency, security or profit, in an effort to take back control. Algorithm hacking happens on a grand scale, but it can also be as pedestrian as consumers tweaking their social media profiles to change the composition of their news feeds.
“This is an emerging behavior that marketing leaders should expect will increase along with consumers’ knowledge, awareness and confidence about the technology,” says Ms. Muhl. “To address the risks that algorithm hacking presents, marketers need to build a strategy that takes into account the level of sophistication of their target consumers as well as the larger culture.”
Gartner for Marketers clients can learn more about these trends in the reports “Too Late to Shop Green,” “The Rise of the Rewatch,” “Socialism Shift,” “Morphing Money: Consumers’ Embrace of New Money Modes Signals More Than Payment Preferences” and “Algorithm Hacking Puts Marketers’ Data and Personalization Efforts at Risk.”
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