Demographic data is losing its value as consumers become more unpredictable

 A new survey by customer engagement platform Twilio has found that global pressures are making consumers more uncertain and unpredictable.

As a result, 48% of marketers now question the value of traditional customer segmentation via demographic data. Instead, they place a renewed emphasis on real-time personalization (71%) and seek greater budgetary flexibility in where to invest and what to invest in (65%).

The survey of 300 UK marketing decision makers and 2,020 UK consumers revealed a significant shift in consumer behaviour. More than half (58%) of UK adults say their behavior and buying choices are more complex than they were three years ago.

Almost a third (31%) of UK adults say they are more hesitant about what to buy than they were three years ago, with the same proportion (30%) saying the pandemic has changed their behavior and thinking . Shoppers also appear to have become more savvy during this period, with two-thirds (66%) saying they are now working harder to find better shopping deals.

predict the unpredictable

This complexity is shared by the vast majority of marketers surveyed (85%), who believe consumer behavior is more fluid than ever. They cite the cost of living crisis (76%), social media, environmental awareness (both 51%) and the ongoing impact of the global pandemic (48%) as drivers of change over the past three years.

Given this shift, older approaches to customer segmentation and targeting are not meeting their needs, with 48% of marketers believing demographic data is losing its value. Instead, marketers are increasingly turning to real-time personalization and first-party data strategies to understand this new buying behavior, with 71% saying real-time personalization is more valuable and 58% saying it will be the key to their retention The most important technical step.

Real-time personalization powered by past customer searches, purchases and shopping data helps them deliver relevant content and options when they need them. Typically using event-based triggers, it will only happen if it is not backed by a solid foundation of up-to-date customer data across channels.

Sam Richardson, Customer Engagement Consultant at Twilio, said: “Like the current debate around outdated economic models, this research underscores that now is indeed the time to let go of old demographic customer segmentation methods and models. People are unpredictable and their shopping Journeys and decisions are non-linear. Marketers and customer service agents need to have data that can make the way they interact with customers more fluid.

“The only way they will be able to gain a deeper understanding of customers and all their nuances is to focus on the value inherent in first-party data. If you can personalize based on how people have interacted with your brand in the past and present, then you don’t have to Marketing strategies are built on outdated categories and guesswork. Unifying all data from all parts of the business into a single source of truth will help organizations understand what customers want when they want it.”

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  • Duncan McRae

    Duncan is an award-winning editor with over 20 years of journalistic experience. He started his tech journalism career as editor of Arab Computer News in Dubai and has since edited a range of tech and digital marketing publications including Computer Business Review, TechWeekEurope, Figaro Digital, Digit and Marketing Gazette”.

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Label: behavior, consumer, data, demographics