How businesses can respond to changing consumer perceptions

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We live in a visual world. This signifies that each picture, video, drawing, vector or GIF has the potential to inspire and entice. Of course, visual content material can have an equal and reverse impact on customers as effectively. Therefore, it’s extra essential than ever for corporations and types to know what’s essential to their prospects and what drives their determination making. Because when it comes to know-how, the consumer perceptions round it can be a minefield.

About the creator

Dr Rebecca Swift, Global Head of Insights at Getty Images.

Until very just lately, many information articles, TV tales and social media posts geared toward customers had a tendency to painting each excessive when it got here to know-how. On one finish of the spectrum, there have been articles giving warnings round how smart phones create unhealthy physique comparison and hurt relationships and belief with loved ones. On the alternative aspect of the spectrum, know-how was depicted as driving reference to family members and productivity in a single’s private {and professional} lives.

However, all this modified very just lately, when the Covid-19 disaster necessitated self-isolation practices. This fast shift in how folks reside their every day lives has seen know-how develop into a drive that brings folks collectively. Internet usage elevated sharply as folks started to work from home and join to their associates and family members – who they couldn’t see in actual life –- through their gadgets. Moreover, applied sciences like streaming motion pictures and video games have introduced leisure and luxury to many.

The changing attitudes toward technology

So, clearly, attitudes in direction of know-how are shifting presently – largely out of necessity. Of all of the driving forces in folks’s lives right now, know-how has arguably been the one which creates the best quantity of dynamic pressure. In a world the place the on a regular basis portrayal of know-how within the photos we see, the tales we learn and the anecdotes we expertise have to date been so contradictory, how are businesses meant to navigate these opposing messages and respond to customers when it comes to delivering new applied sciences and tech-driven providers? Especially in a time the place societal change is transferring at an accelerated tempo.

Having beforehand taken a deep dive into consumer attitudes in direction of know-how by surveying over 10,000 folks globally, I’d like to supply up some suggestions for businesses and steps they can take to navigate a complicated panorama that’s usually at odds with itself. In order to perceive folks’s attitudes in direction of right now’s applied sciences, we should perceive the consumer segments and their various attitudes.

Examining conflicting consumer attitudes towards technology

Technology is throughout us and it’s consistently evolving, making it a tricky idea to keep up to date with. It can vary from the newest apps to electrical automobiles. In my work, the information informs that individuals captivated with know-how have a tendency to be youthful, specifically members of the Millennial and Gen Z generations. Nevertheless, the vast majority of folks of all ages acknowledge that know-how makes them really feel extra linked to the world and family members, helps them preserve observe of objectives, and opens doorways to experiences we wouldn’t in any other case have.

Yet, as social media and cell machine use continues to develop, there’s continued to exist a rising refrain of individuals elevating issues about how dependancy to know-how is negatively impacting lives, harming relationships, and inflicting anxiousness or melancholy—notably amongst younger folks. We could begin to see these attitudes shift as self-isolation around the globe brings a few shift in folks of all generations experiencing know-how as a uniting drive, moderately than one which divides and alienates.

Data privacy and cyber security are two different areas associated to know-how that rank as high issues amongst customers. People need corporations to show they’re dedicated to defending privateness and knowledge. Many authorities legislations have addressed this, within the type of GDPR rules throughout Europe and the current CCPA regulation in California. While regulation on the authorities stage is essential, corporations nonetheless want to be certain that private knowledge is handled severely, revered and never misused.

Indeed, whereas know-how permits us to plan higher, do extra, select effectively, file our moments and share at will, there stays the concern that privateness is in danger and concern about turning into misplaced in our screens on the expense of {our relationships}.

Positive portrayals of technology

Businesses providing services and products rooted in know-how can ease these tensions and issues by portraying know-how in a approach that emphasizes the optimistic advantages of innovation. This will resonate with customers who’re already on board with tech.

In order to win hearts and minds, it’s essential that businesses don’t “take folks out of the image”, so to communicate, when it comes to know-how. Depicting know-how benefiting and dealing alongside people is the correct plan of action. Visual representations of frequent social behaviors involving know-how – corresponding to taking selfies, video conferencing with colleagues, and connecting with associates – are essential to acknowledge within the photos, movies, and illustrations an organization selects in its portrayal of know-how.

In instances of nice change and upheaval, know-how can and needs to be portrayed because the drive for good in its highest potential. Allowing folks to join, assist each other, share concepts and specific feelings are all methods by which know-how helps us in instances of uncertainty and even disaster.

Addressing AI and cybersecurity

There are sure areas of tech where customers have been ‘split’. One instance is Artificial Intelligence, of which is cut up 60% in favor of, 40% distrusting of in accordance to current analysis. But tech manufacturers shouldn’t essentially keep away from discussing subjects like this which are thought-about controversial. Instead, manufacturers ought to combine such utilization into life-style, journey, healthcare, schooling, enterprise content material, and many others. to make it extra relatable. By bringing fashionable know-how into actual life, it turns into normalized and reassures these which are nonetheless nervous.

At a time when issues about cybersecurity and AI taking human jobs are additionally rising, there’s a acknowledged want for photos and movies that present how know-how advantages, or not less than works alongside, people. The visible content material that corporations select can be a strong driver of positivity and can go a good distance to assuaging issues and even fears.

Moreover, businesses additionally do effectively to create futuristic and optimistic visible content material that depicts how customers would possibly reside their lives or how tech would possibly look in years to come, creating an aspirational viewpoint on the tech for many who are enthusiastic about it.

Ultimately, the language of know-how modifications as shortly as tech itself. We’ve witnessed this in simply this previous 12 months. And that holds true of visible expectations— notably if you work in a cutting-edge discipline. Staying present is essential, as is knowing know-how’s advantages and disadvantages in any given second in time, so that you just can tackle them appropriately with the correct content material that may resonate positively with customers.

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