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Anthem Worldwide identified 10 consumer and shopper trends and countertrends and fielded a study to get a pulse on these sentiments in the U.S., U.K. and China. One of these—Consumer Engaged, Shopper Informed vs. The Art of Skimming—related to how consumers behave. Consumers were asked which they believed would be more prominent in 2013: “Getting into the details” or “Skimming the highlights.” The study conducted by Ipsos from December 17–25, 2012, included an international sample of 1,500 people (500 from the U.S., U.K., and China, respectively) from Ipsos’ online panel.
“The results of the study support the conclusion that despite the pervading belief of marketers that consumers and shoppers want to simplify as much as possible, 58% of total respondents believe “Getting into the details” will be a more prominent trend in 2013 compared to the counter trend “Skimming the highlights,” said Kathy Oneto, vice president, brand strategy, of Anthem’s San Francisco office.
While U.S. consumers were balanced in their responses, 61% of U.K. consumers and 59% of Chinese consumers were more strongly aligned with the sentiment that “Getting into the details” would be more prominent compared to “Skimming the highlights.” Despite people being busy, it appears they are willing to dig in and take advantage of the data now available to them.
Oneto commented on the trend of consumer engaged, shopper informed, saying, “One could argue that today’s consumers are more engaged with brands than ever before. Some even create ads for brands, while others create movements that change company actions. At the same time, shoppers are now armed with and connected to more information, reviews and recommendations than in the past, making them savvy, engaged purchasers.”
“And yet, there’s merit to the art of skimming countertrend,” noted Oneto. “While some people engage deeply with brands and have more informed purchasing habits, Twitter has fueled brevity of communication. Our full, on-demand, connected lives amplify Twitter’s impact, making us consume information in bite-sized pieces, catching only the headlines and wanting to know more with less.”
Oneto also remarked, “When consumers are given too much information, they are more likely to overthink their decisions and feel less confident about the choices they make. Marketers will need to restrain themselves and fight the impulse to say it all, and instead cater to consumers’ desire for brevity and impact. The most important question marketers need to ask themselves is this: How can you tell your story in as simple and consumable a way possible, leveraging visual design cues and copy to drive purchases and build affinity?”