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Consumers are rejecting generational stereotypes: it’s time for marketers to get personal


Consumers are rejecting generational stereotypes: it’s time for marketers to get personal


No one could have predicted the surge in digital usage over the past two years. We’ve shifted our work, social interactions, and spending habits to our screens at an unprecedented rate. 

Through this migration, a new consumer evolved. This consumer segment has a population of one and refuses to be stereotyped. They align with people with shared interests, not age, and want brands to see and know them as multidimensional.

New Adobe research reveals that individualism is alive and well. But simply recognising this isn’t enough. Brands must keep pace with evolving consumer preferences and habits as well.

So how can marketers deliver next-level personalisation at scale with this disparity of consumer needs? Here are some considerations to make consumers feel seen and heard while building brand advocacy and trust at scale.

Generational markers are a common pitfall 

Our society is obsessed with generational stereotypes; however, they are not an effective shortcut for marketers to understand an audience. 

From Baby Boomers sharing views on youth to Gen Z’s obsession with a new TikTok challenge, marketers must do their due diligence to identify an audience and offer personalised interactions based on an individual’s specific expectations.  

Nearly 70 percent of consumers think negatively of brands that interact with them based on broad labels like “millennial” and “Gen Z” or inaccurate assumptions. When brands interact with consumers across the region more personally, they win brand loyalty, with the majority (69 percent) reporting they will advocate for a brand that has personalised content for them. 

Most people also want brands to understand them as people in different areas of their lives and interests. In 2022, three times as many APAC consumers felt closer to people who share their passions and interests (62 percent) than those of a similar demographic. 

As we build trust with consumers through personalised interactions, we must recognise that decision-making based on demographic trends or stereotypes hinders consumer trust. 

Championing consumer individuality is the modern marketing prerequisite

Long gone is the broad-brush approach to marketing. The shift from just targeting segmented groups to behavioural data and tailored content within the consumer journey is well and truly alive.

With 86 percent of consumers in APAC wanting to be treated as individuals with unique interests and preferences and Australians with the overwhelming majority at 91 percent, marketers need to consider tailoring content with a high-value add payoff. 

More than ever, consumers trust brands that listen and show empathy. Brands must demonstrate that they can understand them as individuals and anticipate what is next.  

Intelligent automation solutions to increase personalisation and trust 

Investing in customer data platform technologies is critical to understanding and exceeding consumer expectations. Over two-thirds of consumers (75 percent) now expect personalised experiences from brands holding their data. 

Consumers want technology-driven personalisation and will reward organisations that get it right. Data platforms like Adobe Real-Time CDP allow organisations to create a complete view of every consumer, while respecting privacy and delivering real-time personalised experiences at scale.  

Such intelligence platforms also ensure future-ready compliance with data privacy and policies, giving marketers confidence and more time to focus on the consumer journey and driving innovation.

While personalisation builds trust, when broken the repercussions are immediate and often long-term, directly impacting the bottom line. 

To drive bottom-line growth and build lasting consumer trust, brands must acknowledge the new consumer behaviours and attitudes that value next-level individualism and personalisation. 

Duncan Egan is the vice president, digital experience marketing, APAC & Japan, Adobe.


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