You can certainly have too much of a good thing, and for a growing number of consumers, technology is one of those things. There is a growing awareness of the detachment that can come from being overly-attached to our devices. Hyper-connected often means over-extended and science is proving that this can have negative consequences on our overall well-being and relationships.
A digital detox doesn’t mean completely cutting the cord, but it does mean being more mindful in how we use our devices and how they affect us. New apps like Headspace help users pause, breath and cut back on just how connected they are—technology being used to alleviate the stress brought on by technology. Apple’s latest iOS update includes Nightshift Mode to allow users to switch their devices to a mode that won’t negatively impact their sleep (as much). Hate for email is only growing as an emphasis on quick in-person meetings grows in popularity, and some people are even turning off their devices for a set number of hours per day (gasp!).
For a variety of reasons, people are trying to unplug, cut back and separate from technology bit by bit, but marketers have grown accustomed to and have counted on a hyper-connected consumer. If customers become less connected, what does that mean for brands?
Fewer, Better Moments
A less connected consumer forces marketers to do what they should always strive to do—make the most out of captive audiences when they have them and take no moment for granted. If people cut back on the amount of technology they use, each moment is that much more valuable, and it behooves marketers to emphasize the value they deliver when people are paying attention with rich experiences and clear calls-to-action.
When consumers cut back, value matters, but so does the entire marketing ecosystem and how it works together. Using data to effectively follow consumers from one medium to the next will allow brands to deliver a consistent message to consumers across media—connected or not. For example, the ability to use data to follow consumers online to TV and back again allows a brand to deliver its message and ensure it sticks.
Perhaps the biggest opportunity is being helpful and getting consumers from Point A to their ultimate destination faster. The brands that deliver value and help consumers make the most out of the time they do spend online will become destinations in and of themselves. People will turn to them on their own volition during the “limited” time they choose to spend online.
We’re Still Figuring This All Out
We’ve become very connected very quickly, so it’s no surprise to see a degree of pushback. People are trying to find the balance in what all of this technology means for their daily lives, so this trend is bound to shift and then shift again. But as people figure it out, brands should too and help people do what they want to do online—whether that’s more or less of it.