How to Fill the Funnel with New Consumers and Ready for the Economy 4.0?
by Milena Sardoz
Every entrepreneur or business owner knows that they need to see beyond when it comes to their business/brand, both today and tomorrow. Connected and wired to new tendencies, he understands that, in order to survive in this ferocious and ever-mutating universe, the law applied is the same one to that of Darwin – the strongest, and the most able to adapt to the environment, will always be alive. And that includes the relationship he needs to establish with his clients and consumers, each time more accelerated and completely immersed in the 4.0 Economy. But what in the heck is this thing called 4.0 Economy? Reading this question and having a lot of doubts is absolutely normal. According to a research from Deloitte in partnership with Forbes, only 14% of more than 1,500 executives who were interviewed throughout the world believed their companies are ready for the changes brought in by the 4.0 Economy. So it is perfectly acceptable that your answer should be “no”.
A result of the fourth phase of the industrial revolution, the 4.0 Economy represents the evolution in the analogic process to that of a virtual context, in which all the information related to production are accessible, in ways that machines can analyze all the data and, based on that, take efficient decisions more rapidly. This hybrid between artificial and human intelligence is not only applied to the industrial segment, but in all sectors influenced by technological resources. And that includes the area in which we dedicate ourselves – the advertising, the market for creating content for screens in general (not only movie screens, which have already been suffering mutations in the way it is produced, consumed and screened), and also television. “Just check out how advertising agencies, production companies and mainly the professionals of the area had to rapidly adapt to this environment”, says Patricia Weiss, from Coletivo Asas, “since otherwise they would fatally die or be washed out from the market. The consumer, who is in reality the boss in your business, is in the digital universe today – a fast-paced, well-informed and highly-connected world to other people (who, one might add, can either build up or destroy your brand, depending on the good/bad relationship you establish with them). Even clothes and shoes are consumed and bought through the internet nowadays”, she ends.
This creative economy – which allowed the emergence of disruptive and transforming businesses, like Uber, NetshowMe (a Brazilian company aimed at buying tickets), Netflix and streaming services in general, not to mention digital banks like Nubank and Cora, which facilitated the access and transactions to millions of users, just to mention some of them – has provoked a true revolution in the way brands and companies are created, managed, consumed and integrated to the market. And this has, evidently, impacted the appearance of a new kind of consumer. “For you to have an idea of the size of this impact”, states Daniella Borghi, who has worked in many agencies and startups, “just think about the appearance of internet itself, or even the cell phone. When and how could we ever imagine the shock that these two services and products could have caused, and what they have done to make ressurge this new kind of consumer, of people who now work, have fun, and shop using these two services/products?”, she says. “And with the internet of things (basically the fact that (almost) all services, products and objects will be connected to the net) this is going to change the market even more in a few years time. We have today electric cars, smart cars, that drive themselves, smart televisions, smart fridges. This digital world has come to stay, not only to ease and enhance our lives, but also integrate them, almost as if we were living in a kind of The Jetsons universe”, jokes Daniella.
And how can companies – many of them worried about environmental, social economic matters, fast services and efficiency – channel this potential consumer of the future, as worried as the next person in those very same matters? “First thing”, adds up Daniella, “it is necessary to get free from the chains of the past. What sometimes would work for the client/consumer – like the typoe of service, for instance – maybe today does not make sense anymore. Nowadays your consumer not only wants efficiency and speed, he mainly wants values”, she says. “The moral characteristcs, the personal and individual precepts of the business owner. If a business owner is not honest – by not giving you back your change, for example, or if he wants to pull a fast one on someone, to obtain some advantage for himself – those morals will be more than explicit in his business. And this will invariably make his audience flee. That’s not what the consumer of the future wants. Today he is even more demanding, smart, well-informed, and able to make the choices that will influence the destiny of a brand/company”, ends Daniella.
Many companies and brands have been cutting the limits, breaking from the past, without necessarily lose their essence. Even well-established ones have come to terms with this and sought to adapt very fast. Just see the change of path some of them have gone through – like Xerox, whose connection with innovations and technological transformations made the company scale in success; or BIC, which is more than a synonym of a product, it is also an example of a constant portfolio growth, extending it to stationer, lighters and razors; or even the Brazilian Havaianas, which, from a company considered of second rate, saw itself be catapulted to higher skies, connecting itself to an audience which is bigger, more sophisticated, while at the same time seeking a simplicity in its curves and design.
And finally the only evidence that does not change regarding the future is that Appreciation, Monetizing and Conversion of Intangibles are concepts still alive as mechanisms for business expansion and essential for the change in level for companies. By doing this these brands and companies include and pull to themselves this consumer of the future – who will transmit his consuming behavior and the way he interacts with brands/companies to the next generations, therefore transforming society into a more productive, conscious, efficient and, let’s hope for, much better.
Milena Sardoz is in Advertising, works as a Journalist and is a regular contributor to this website.