Diane Brady welcomes her fellow panelists: David Hayes (Tumblr), Rob Tarkoff (Lithium Technologies), Thorsten Dirk (Telefonica Deutschland), Christof Mascher (Allianz) to speak about the new consumer and how to reach him / her.
How has the digitization change the landscape? The panelists agree that it offers huge opportunities. "The new consumer is a publisher first, and a user of services second", David Hayes of Tumblr points out. Brands have to realize that consumers are ultimately reached through content. Even the word consumer marks a misconception. It's crucial that you treat them as an audience first and not just try to sell your products.
Is location still a factor? Do you need to address consumers differently in the US and Europe? Thorsten Dirks points to the macro-level: In the US you are dealing - more or less - with onelarge market while in Europe you have a lot of different ones. It is difficult to customize your product, service and communication for each and every country. There might be regional differences, but you shouldn't patronize your users by guessing what they might respond to based on their location, David says. They advises brands that their users are dramatically smarter than they think they are. Rob Tarkoff adds that you shouldn't customize experiences on assumptions. You can gain insights from the data and then adjust your service accordingly.
Christof Mascher explains that the differences in regulation for privacy and data protection are also challenging brands. Allianz is developing new insurance components for data protection you can combine and thus customize for your needs. David Hayes takes up the expression "Data is the new oil" which he thinks is quite disgusting. At tumblr, they say data is their DNA. Privacy is a human right and needs to be respected.
The new consumers are digital natives. It is not so much a matter of old and young. Millenials are also growing older, what matters are the skillsets you have to respond to. IBM is an example for a traditional, large company that do a fantastic job keeping up. They act fast like a small company.
Rob Tarkoff ends the panel with a quote: The risk of a bad decision is nothing against the terror of doing nothing. So fail fast!