(Mega) Trends & Data for a post-Covid world

In Feb 2020, the MIT Sloan Management published 9 Megatrends That Will Shape the World in 2030 such as climate change, transparency, and nationalism that will be driving the workforce 10 years from now.

McKinsey shared their Understanding and shaping consumer behavior in the next normalas of July 2020 and it’s down to Behavioral Science which tells us that identifying consumers new beliefs, habits and “peak moments” is central to behavioural change.

Five actions can help companies influence consumer behavior for the longer term:

  • Reinforce positive new beliefs
  • Shape emerging habits with new offerings
  • Sustain new habits, using contextual cues
  • Align messages to consumer mindsets
  • Analyze consumer beliefs & behaviours at a granular level

Very timely, the even brilliant HBR conducted the same research in 2013 and 2020 (during lockdowns) and the results are in late Aug 2020: Knowledge Workers Are More Productive from Home. This materialise as:

  • more effective prioritisation of our work
  • making time for work that matters most to us
  • work is more important, less tiresome and contributes to the company’s objectives

The concerns are interesting:

  • challenges of getting started on something new (the forming/storming stages of team development)
  • and the note on training & development interestingly reflects the perceived bias regarding “e-learning”: While time spent on self-education went up during lockdown, this was mostly due to online webinar and course attendance— which helps build knowledge but doesn’t encourage the active experimentation and personal reflection that help us really grow.

Unfortunately, online learning as a bad reputation as people imagine lonely hours staring at a screen, listening ot a lecturer. This is the opposite of Hyper Island’s learning by doing approach and during the pivot this year due to Covid, all face-to-face learning journeys were not ‘translated from offline to online’ but completely reimagined as gamified and immersive learning journeys, complete with murder mysteries and virtual tours of Silicon Valley.

Back to HBR, heres’s the 2013-2020 comparison:

  • Lockdown has helped us more effectively prioritize our work.
  • We have been taking more direct charge of our time during lockdown. We don’t have colleagues or bosses badgering us, and we don’t get drawn into meetings by force of habit, just because we happen to be around.  The result is a reassuring increase in us making time for work that matters most to us.
  •  In 2020, respondents say their work is more important, less tiresome, less easily offloaded and contributes to the company’s objectives.  Not only is their work important, they feel important as well! Of course, there is some self-justification going on here: When we think our work is important, we are more likely to gain personal utility from it and less prone to delegate it. But it seems there is also some reprioritization occurring, with people stopping some of the less-important activities they used to do and focusing their energy in a more effective way.  Overall, the findings here are consistent with the notion that knowledge workers are more intrinsically motivated — and taking more personal ownership — during lockdown, in large part because of the increased degrees of freedom they are getting.

McKinsey analysed the Chinese consumers changing shopping habits post COVID19 in May 2020 and it is packed with data for over 100 million shopppers. The case for change is clear:

  • Continue to protect customers and employees
  • Drive triple digital transformation: Manage your business in real time and digitally; Don’t just sell online, engage your customers digitally end-to-end; Transform your business model
  • Align with consumer trends: healthy, local, and delivering value
  • Transform your supply chain to be agile and resilient

Tech can improve efficiency by 2-5 percent of sales and, depending on starting position, drive sales and make or break market share during a crisis. Retailers need to pursue a triple transformation of people (new capabilities and ways of working), technology (modularizing core tech and deploying software-as-a-service across the value chain) and business (delivering value for the customer).

Think with Google – The retail road to recovery: Tips on how retailers can better connect to consumers shows the June 2020 GlobalWebIndex: 38% of APAC consumers who weren’t online shoppers prior to the pandemic say they intend to continue to shop online. 

“A Peek into your Consumer’s Future 2020” report from Think with Google highlights 3 consumer shifts: With Me, All to Gather, Shared Commerce and it shows the influence on marketing of brands and businesses within APAC. The report is packed with intell & nice references to APAC startups.

The McKinsey podcast from 4 Aug 2020 Meet Generation Z: Shaping the future of shopping shared that Gen Z archetypes are similar to other categories of customers, they break down into the same 7 segments as the rest of the total population across 3 clusters and it is not about life stage:

  • Value customers
  • Quality customers
  • Image cluster -> this is a movement across ages (moving from value)

Couple this with Decoding the ‘messy middle’ of purchase journey from Think with Google which is based on Behavioral Sciences and highlights our 2 mental modes (between the triggers and purchase) and 6 cognitive bias that influence purchase decisions (Category heuristic, Power of now, Social proof, Scarcity bias, Authority bias, Power of free)

Also from Think with Google, with consumer behaviours changing, 3 ways first party data can help you stay on top: it shows the value of a connected data-driven strategy with nice examples around the world. And the power of first-data with BCG study confirms that companies linking all 1st party data sources outperform those with limited data integration:

  • incremental revenue from single ad placement, communication, or outreach up to x2
  • perform x1.5 better in cost efficiency metrics