The Future of Mobile

Mindshare Trends Report reveals concerns over advertising and apathy over 5G

David Murphy

Mindshare has launched its 6th annual Mindshare Trends Report, revealing a pervasive sense of consumer uncertainty across technology, communications and culture. The main finding of the report showed that people want to have a better grasp of control over each aspect of their lives, particularly against a backdrop of recent economic and political uncertainty in the UK market.

The key areas of focus in this year’s report include 5G; biometric technology; streaming services; disruption in the brand landscape;and the transformation of advertising. The report highlights these trends as areas that are likely to drive the future of the media industry not just in 2020, but for the next decade ahead.

The report, which forms the backbone to Mindshare’s wider Futures programme, is a mixed methodology, consumer-facing study that aims to get to the heart of key sectors of society. The research took place over the course of four months, involving multiple quantitative surveys spanning 5,000 UK consumers aged 16+, as well as detailed qualitative consumer research, both online and face-to-face.

The five key trends expected to shape 2020 are:

Here, the report finds people are a little underwhelmed by 5G. Awareness of it is widespread but beyond this, knowledge is lacking, and the only message people seem to be getting is that it will be faster. In fact, 54 per cent of respondents felt that 5G is just the next 4G. Mindshare believes this will change, however, as people learn more, the networks and devices filter through and people start to think about how it will affect not only the things they currently do but consider the possibilities yet to come.

Body Talks
We now use voice assistants that can recognise our tone of voice, wearables that record our health data, facial recognition technology that determines our mood, and as tech that analyses our fingerprints and DNA. The report finds that people have complex and mixed feelings about the use of this type of data – only 7 per cent of respondents were comfortable with brands having access to their DNA data (that many? – Ed).

‘Ad Break’
The report finds that people feel bombarded and overwhelmed by too many irrelevant, intrusive and overtly sales-driven ads. 78 per cent of respondents said that advertising these days is “just trying to flog me stuff.”

With so many consumers feeling alienated, says Mindshare, change is essential for the discipline to flourish, and for trust to be rebuilt. Signs of reinvention are being seen though as the marketing world expands the boundaries of what people have traditionally thought of as “advertising” - reinventing how it uses people’s data, creating new brand touchpoints and content opportunities, and developing evolving ad formats, to fix the Ad Break.

Brand New World
Disruption is rife, and people’s expectations are changing, forcing brands to arm themselves in new and different ways – a Brand New World. The digital world and a changing retail landscape have revolutionised how brands learn about and engage with their customers, causing people to re-think their relationships with them. But brands still have a lot to offer and in the coming years they’ll be exploring new and different ways to deliver what really matters to people. The report holds some cheer for smaller brands, with 60 per cent of respondents saying they believe a lot of unknown brands are just as good, if not better than many established brands.

Living the Stream
Streaming is here to stay, but it seems like the supply of media will soon exceed the demand, as new companies are launching and consolidating, out to monopolise people’s free time. As a result of this growing arms race, we will be left with more choice of content than ever, but will this be too much for people to handle?

64 per cent of respondents said that with so many new streaming services mean it will get too expensive to access everything they want to watch, but 55 per cent said they don’t mind seeing commercials on streaming services if it means they get access to free content they enjoy.

“Our trends for 2020 are more all-encompassing in terms of subject matter compared to previous years,” said Sophie Harding, trends and insights director at Mindshare UK. “With all that is going on in the world, our research reflects that there are much broader cultural points of influence to factor in. People are taking stock and thinking about the bigger picture. Technology, brands and marketing are being questioned and re-evaluated along with a whole host of other areas of life. This year’s findings go right back to fundamentals – how people feel about connectivity and data, their relationship with brands and what they really want from ‘advertising’ and entertainment.”

You can view the full report here.