December 7, 2016
As a futurist at Ford Motor Co., Sheryl Connelly forecasts trends based on changing consumer behaviors — insights with broad ramifications for society that also affect how the automaker designs, builds and markets cars.
As AdAge.com reports, Connelly has outlined trends to watch in 2017, based on a survey of 8,100 people across the United States, United Kingdom, China, Brazil, India, Spain, Germany and Canada.
Five years ago, Ford began documenting public mistrust of corporations, governments and media, and now says the suspicion has deepened.
“Where truth was once indisputable and often self-evident, today’s ‘truths’ are often heavily influenced by perceptions and reinforced by like-minded viewpoints,” Connelly’s report says. For marketers, transparency is more important than ever.
The survey finds that wealth is becoming an outdated measure of success, and ownership no longer equates with happiness. Ford is trying to adapt by marketing itself as a “mobility company,” with investments that include ride-sharing and autonomous vehicles.
The report further concludes that “punctuality is a dying art.” In India, 63 percent of respondents concur that “procrastination helps me be more creative or productive” (34 percent of U.S. respondents agree).
Meanwhile, “Products, services and values are adapting to accommodate a sampling society that prioritizes trying over buying.” Across all countries surveyed, 49 percent of respondents ages 18-to-29 said that in the past month, “I have walked away from a purchase decision because there were so many options, I couldn’t choose.” — Greg Beaubien
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