At a recent MII event, we became hyper-fixated on hyper-fatigue while hearing the steeling statistics and future forecasts set to impact consumers for years to come as described by Brian O’Connor from Mintel.

Consumers are becoming fatigued as a result of the fast pace of daily life, increased use of technology, and having to move from crisis to crisis. They are trying to cut through the noise and connect with what matters to them.

These claims are backed by clear consumer data showing that 40% of Irish consumers in 2021 reported feeling stressed, and 42% reported anxiety – up from 25% and 24% respectively in 2019-21. It seems they are placing the blame on digital technology and interactions with 47% of Irish consumers concerned with the mental health implications of using their phone too often and 87% feeling that social media has a negative impact on people’s mental wellbeing.

There is however an interesting dichotomy at play here whereby consumers are still looking to their devices for solutions. 38% of Irish consumers said they look to social media for guidance on healthy eating, 38% still want to be amongst the first to try new technologies and, according to Deloitte, 30% of Irish consumers check their phones 50 times or more per day.

Those of us with a more optimistic mindset can see that, while hyper-fatigue is of course a worrying trend, it also creates an opportunity for brands to provide support to “overcome the overwhelming”. So what does this look like for the coming years?

Now: (next 12 months)

Reduced FOMO and being forced to slow down gave some consumers the chance to re-evaluate their lives. The pause on new out-of-home experiences and having time to appreciate the tactile experience of products were among the many impacts of spending more time at home.

Consumers are emerging from the pandemic into a cost-of-living crisis. Lower-income and even financially secure consumers will want to prepare for future uncertainty as the economic forecast in many regions appears to be negative. Technology is also advancing rapidly, but people remain unconvinced of its actual benefits in spaces like the metaverse, NFTs or cryptocurrencies, which can make them feel disengaged.

Brands need to investigate ways they can provide immediate and real value to consumers in both digital and physical spaces.

Next: (18 months-two years)

Consumers are predicted to find meaning, solace and a restored sense of purpose in reconnecting with their surroundings, communities and themselves. We expect to see a polarised response to relaxation and unwinding in the wellness space; retreats that offer a digital detox and the opportunity for consumers to immerse themselves in nature will appeal to some, while others will navigate their wellbeing through wellness apps.

In response to consumers’ financial pressures, brands should continue to offer solutions to manage costs and tap into their demand for escapism, exploring opportunities to collaborate and help consumers establish new connections.

Future: (five years+)

Demand for convenient options and interactive experiences are expected to grow, implying that technology will continue to play a vital and influential role in consumer experiences.

However, brands will need to establish boundaries to bring order to the influx of information and initiatives to enable consumers to form healthy connections with resources in the technology, wellness and leisure spaces.

Functionality will go a long way towards serving the underserved. Digital advancements have already had an impact and carved out a space in the tech segment, which will grow as more consumers look to brands for practical solution.

We would like to sincerely thank Mintel for sharing their valuable insights with our MII members during our recent invite-only, senior marketing management event.

If this trend has got you thinking about your own digital marketing strategy, why not sign up for our upcoming Executive Diploma in Strategic Digital Marketing starting March 14th.

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