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Mindshare's 2018 Trends feature in Communicate Magazine

For global media and marketing services company, Mindshare, the publication of its annual Mindshare Trends report rests on the fundamental belief that consumer motivations are a blueprint for the future. The annual forecast surveys over 6,000 people, carrying out social and search analysis while compounding quantitative data with qualitative insights.

This year’s results continue to showcase the unrelenting trajectory of technological innovation, while the report pairs its findings with insights into how consumers, brands and the media can make use of such developments. Focusing on the value of user experience and balancing expert opinion with real-world application, this year’s Mindshare Trends include five key areas of focus: Get Snappy, The Exploration Game, Access All Areas, Automatic for the People, and Destination: Data.

With the proliferation of widescale imagery a dominant feature of digital communication, Mindshare’s research found that 73% of 18-24-year olds take photos or screenshots to help memorise things. Get Snappy harnesses the ongoing developments of visual search, facial recognition and scanning codes. Examples such as ASOS, Pinterest and Bing’s implementation of the former, illustrate the improvements of image recognition. Yet with Apple investing in both facial recognition and scanning codes across its recent iOS, creating valuable brand experiences in the future will rely on the upscaling of visual compatibility.

Beyond images however, Mindshare’s second and third trends consider both the macro and micro advances of technology’s inclusion in society, characterised through a willingness to accept tech as a form of discovery and exploration, and materialised in multifunction devices such as Amazon Echo and Google Home. Bolstered by a £1.7bn government backing into 5G technology, Access All Areas considers the booming advances of technology-driven infrastructure, and how in the coming years, ecosystems of technology will dominate the public and private landscapes.

Mindshare’s fourth trend not only concerns the forecasted developments of automation, but the consumer response to this. Interestingly, despite the popular consensus that continued automation may lead to apathy across consumer lines, 42% of respondents believe that dealing with a machine is easier than human interaction, with 53% of the 18-24 category agreeing. Yet Automation for the People welcomes innovations such as Amazon Go, favouring a scan-and-grab format that entirely rids retail outlets of the human component.

Like Get Snappy, Mindshare’s final trend is well underway, and has been for a few years. Although largely intangible, Jenny Kirby, managing partner at Mindshare, affirms that data’s implementation through brands such as Spotify and Netflix are only the beginning. With the data footprint increasing, from fitness apps to location and purchase history, GDPR and further issues surrounding consent will begin to take root at the centre of what is, currently, the most advanced trend on Mindshare’s 2018 list.

“We are rapidly approaching a point of confrontation for the internet consumer, where they will be faced with the reality of how much data they are giving away through their quotidian use of websites. For a long time, there has been an unspoken transaction going on; in exchange for permission to collect and use your data, advertisers have funded the development of web content. With the advent of GDPR in 2018, this transaction will be overt and the value of data will become very apparent to the consumer,” says Kirby.

For a closer look at Mindshare's 2018 Trends, click here.