Brands that understand consumers on a personal level are at an advantage

Duncan Egan, Vice President of Marketing at Adobe APAC Japan

Adobe announced new research revealing the growing importance of brands understanding customers at a personal level – and interacting with them as individuals, in real-time. 

Rejecting age-based stereotypes, the majority (86%) of consumers in APAC want to be treated as an individual with unique interests and preferences, with one in two consumers (57%) saying they feel negatively towards brands that interact with them based on broad assumptions and labels, including age-based stereotypes such as “Millennial” and “Gen-Z”.

What can brands do to unlock preferences?

“Across APAC, clients are calling on brands to demonstrate that they know them, show them, and will help them in the moments that matter – not once, but all the time. To meet that standard, brands need to unlock preferences in real-time through customer data and use it to deliver relevant interactions and content at the right moment. Scaling that across up to millions of clients is the next step,” said Duncan Egan, VP of Marketing, Adobe APAC Japan.

Adobe’s study shows the emergence of a new consumer who is not defined by age, refuses to be stereotyped, and expects to be understood as the unique person they are today.

What were the insights of Adobe’s research?

Brands seeking to meet consumer’s new expectations must ensure they are equipped with the latest customer data platform technologies, creating a complete single view of every customer capable of delivering personalised experiences in real-time.

Time to get personal

The survey of 5000 APAC consumers (2000 Australians, 2000 Indians and 1000 Singaporeans) reveals three times as many APAC consumers feel closer to people who share their passions and interests (62%) than those of a similar demographic (19%).

The vast majority (86%) of consumers want to be treated as individuals based on their interests and preferences. Australians felt more strongly about this, with half (49%) rejecting the stereotypes of their generation and 91% wanting to be seen and treated as an individual.

Change is constant

Adobe found that consumer tastes are constantly evolving, reinforcing the need for brands to move away from simple groupings based on age or other fixed demographic factors.

Consumers’ collective experience over recent years and months has only added to that rate of change. Most consumers across Asia Pacific see themselves and their peer group differently from how they were pre-pandemic, and 79% have adjusted their preferences and tastes even further in the past three months. The average person takes on a new interest or hobby six times a year, rising to ten times a year for people under the age of 25.

Brands’ ability to keep pace is also a significant expectation for Australian consumers. When asked, 62% of Australians said they have changed their favourite brands as their tastes and financial situation has changed. Real-time visibility and delivering experiences in line with emerging preferences is vital to keeping even the most loyal customers on side.

Individuality is key

Today’s consumers have high expectations for the brands they engage with – they expect brands to see them as unique people, keep up with their changing habits and interests.

Almost half of Australians (46%) now expect businesses to have a clear understanding of who they are as individuals, and only contact them with information relevant to what they are interested in at any given moment. More than one in two Australian consumers (59%) think negatively of brands that use broad assumptions and stereotypes to engage them.

Over two-thirds of consumers (66%) say they expect personalised experiences from brands they share data with, with more than half (50%) wanting real-time offers relevant to them.

However, 25% of Aussies say brands are not doing this well or are inconsistent in their efforts to keep up with their preferences. Regular efforts to engage consumers with bespoke offers related to their interests is of the highest importance – more than three times as many people want frequent, thoughtful gestures (61%) over bigger one-off moments (14%).

Meeting consumers where they are

Adobe Real-Time CDP empowers brands to continually meet members of this new generation where they are. This customer data platform allows organisations to view and manage customer profiles, make updates in real-time, and activate customer insights through Adobe Experience Cloud applications across the entire customer journey – ideal for the sort of frequent, relevant and personalised connections today’s consumer now expects from brands.