Social Media Predicts 2011 Consumer Trends

Social media has been around for long enough and has penetrated enough of the marketplace that researchers are beginning to study the data streams in this format to determine its level of influence.  J.D. Power and Associates just released its predicted consumer trends for 2011 based on data obtained through social media.

According to J.D. Power and Associates, here's what to look for next year:

  • Access:  Consumers continue to access more information and do it more quickly than in the past. As a result, marketers who are most nimble about making information available through their online networks, especially in a mobile format, stand to gain the most.
  • Elimination of Excess: Consumers are still reacting to the economic downturn by simplifying their lifestyles. When consumers purchase less, marketers will have to work harder to convince people that their products have value.
  • Quality: Consumers are asking why “low price and high quality are mutually exclusive.”  Marketers that position their products as having both qualities will succeed in the marketplace.
  • Control: Social media is giving consumers a sense of empowerment. Marketers that tap into the empowered stream of consciousness may be rewarded by the new consumer.
  • Identity: Traditional life stages are changing. It is no longer easy to attach specific ages to specific life stages. Consumers are marrying later in life and having children at later ages. Some consumers are no longer opting to retire but moving on to second-​stage careers. Marketers that tap into these new consumer identities may seem more authentic and win new customers.

The bottom line from this report indicates that social media has given researchers a new and immediate way to understand the consumer mindset. As a result of economic stress and changing social standards, marketers may need to evaluate their marketing plans for 2011.

[Source: Five Trends for 2011 Emerge from Mining Social Media. J.D. Power and Associates. 21 Oct. 2010. Web. 1 Nov. 2010] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.