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Human value must be put back in marketing - report

12 Dec 2018
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After two decades of rapid technology, innovation and clutter, people and organisations are rethinking what they really want from business, tech and design.

Accenture Interactive’s Fjord Trends 2019 suggests that human value is about to be put back in the centre of innovation. Customers reportedly feel overwhelmed and have to manage too many things fighting for their time and attention, but they now crave ‘more quiet and meaning in a noisy world’.

"Digital is facing a big spring cleaning: a time when we decide whether something still has value and relevance to our lives,” comments Accenture Interactive New Zealand lead Ben Morgan.

“Digital is now so widely adopted that its novelty has worn off. In their attempt to declutter, people are being more selective about which products and services they incorporate into their daily lives, choosing to disconnect, unsubscribe or opt-out if the value exchange is not mutual. Never before has the responsibility of design been more important.”

That mindset will soon force businesses to revamp their approach and take advantage of the new opportunities it brings, the report says. Now it’s time to take stock and rethink products, services, and experiences that people actually want and value.

“Value creation will not come from simply growing bigger, but by being better. Consistent with our mission to create, build and run the best customer experiences for our clients, we believe this year’s trends support our guiding principle that the best experiences are those that make people’s lives better, more productive, and more meaningful,” says Morgan.

Opportunities include the following, according to the report:

Silence is Gold: Feeling overwhelmed has become a health issue. By embracing mindful design, brands must find ways to make themselves heard by consumers who crave quiet in a noisy world.

The Last Straw?: Enough talk. People expect products and services to have built-in sustainability, or they'll reject those that don’t.

Data Minimalism: People and organisations disagree on the value of personal data. Is transparency the key to bridging the gap?

Ahead of the Curb: From electric scooters to drones, urban mobility has turned cities into free-for-alls. It’s time to combat the clutter with unified ecosystems that meet real-time needs.

The Inclusivity Paradox: 2018 was a wake-up call to listen to a variety of voices. But how do we design for all without inadvertently excluding others? Stop thinking of people as types and start adopting a mindset mentality.

Space Odyssey: Work and retail spaces need a digital makeover. It’s time to rethink our approaches and tools for designing spaces.

Synthetic Realities: We live in a new world in which reality is crafted and synthetic. With face-swapping and voice simulation creating more believable synthetic realities, companies must work out how to capitalise on it — and manage risk.

“The opportunities for meaningful and mindful design to revolutionise a number of areas are greater now than we’ve seen in years,” Morgan says. 

“We’re on the cusp of a creative revolution: the opportunity to rethink our products and services in order to take care of the world we live in, as well as the people in it.”

Fjord Trends 2019 draws upon the collective thinking of Fjord’s 1,000+ designers and developers in 28 studios around the world. The annual report is based on first-hand observations, evidenced-based research and client work.