It is estimated that about 70% of all purchasing decisions are made according to so-called social norms, or other people’s decisions. It means that most of the choices cus-tomers make have little to do with what them themselves or their needs, and that cul-tural influences play a key role in individual ways of thinking. With the arrival of the age of social media, the world has become a huge, single collective mind that is guided, like all communities, by some invisible laws. Below is a list of the top 10 trends affecting that mind.
Have you noticed the considerable changes in advertising, especially online advertising? Dove encourages you to accept yourself and Always is trying to make people change the way they think of women. The biggest players on the market are selling ideas, or sto-ries, which people can identify with. Banner ad blindness (your brain somehow ignores paid banner ads on websites) is clearing the way for marketing content that educates customers by providing them with genuine informative value. Tell such a story to your customer to make him or her a fan and advocate of your brand, and yours sales will be-come a by-product of the process.
The four P’s
The results of a survey carried out by Mercer’s, the world’s most prestigious consultan-cy, among a group 30,000 employees in 17 countries, the biggest killers of motivation are failure to show respect, failure to notice topical and real problems, as well as “false democracy” (asking someone what they think once they have made the decision). Today, the biggest winners are businesses that think in terms of the four P’s: planet, people, purpose and profit. Money no longer matters as much as it used to, because people need to feel that they are part of something bigger.
It is women who make decisions
Women are responsible for the majority of the purchasing decisions made all across the world (in some industries, it is even 90%). Some PR agencies specialise in formulating their messages specifically to reflect women’s needs and ways of thinking, and the world’s biggest brands have been investing in women for a long time already. Harley Da-vidson is the market leader in sales of monocycles to women. More than a half of all business hotel guests are women, hence the West European trends towards creating femme-friendly places. In Vienna, Austria, gender planning has led to infrastructure modifications to make it easier for women to live in the city.
Soft skills are preferred
For US employers, emotional intelligence (EQ) is three times more important than logic (IQ). In a situation where two physicians are applying for work in the same hospital and if one of them is better in terms of relations with people, then even if he or she lacks certain knowledge or expertise, he or she is more likely to get the job than his or her colleague with a better education but poorer communication skills. New, soft jobs have emerged, such as coaches, salespeople, motivational speakers or leaders. Despite their great popularity, they are not yet “rationed” at the academic level. Nowadays, employees lacking soft skills are bound to lose in the race for success.
You are a product
More and more people contact you before they meet you. Whether they are going to phone you or invite to a meeting in the real world depends on the quality of the relation built between you and them in the virtual world, whether it is a website, an opinion-forming blog or a press article. Today, every person is a product, and the field that deals with it is called personal branding. It is personal branding that is mostly responsible in Poland for clearing the way for tailors or dressmakers that make clothes to custom, for photographs (All people, not only celebrities, need their services) or for PR agencies working for even small businesses. If your brand is trusted on the market, the market will forgive you for your mistakes and, through this positive perspective, look at what you have to offer it
The ”de-scale” effect
Never before have individuals had such a great power to influence as they do today. Self-taught bloggers decide on the success or failure of large brands, a home-made video becomes a viral watched by a dozen or so million people, and one stubborn hater can give a lot of trouble to a well-known and likable person. While 20 years ago people were encourages to invest in size and to grow bigger, today the ”de-scale” effect has emerged, meaning that the small ones can do as much as the big ones, but the small ones are faster and have greater mobility.
Agile instead of corpo
The decision will first go through the market research unit and will then be approved by board of directors. Right? That was the case in the past, but given the pace of change in the contemporary world, there is no time to take six months to make a decision. Teams need to be ready to change their decisions quickly, and flexibility is rated as the top pri-ority in skills-of the-future surveys. The motto for the future is this: Be prepared for what you can prepare for, but be ready to everything. Efficiency and speed (”agile”) have outpaced size and structure (corpo).
The global mind
Today, it is not enough to be Polish to be able to succeed on the market. International teams are more and more often the rule, not an exception. The best practices across the world are described on the Internet every day and they are available to everyone. If you want to succeed globally, you need to see yourself more like a citizen of the world, not a citizen of your country. With the American approach to marketing, the German way of managing and the Polish diligence, success can come faster.
According to some surveys, communication skills are responsible for as much as 85% of the result. The leaders today are people who have the ability to communicate their ideas precisely, to listen to others without interrupting them or imposing their opinions on others, and those who prefer coaching to imperiousness, who choose not to manipulate others or gossip about others. They know how to ask questions and how to build com-mon communication platforms. They do not refer to the past and they formulate their goals in a positive, measurable and motivating manner.
“We” is greater than “I”
The age of organisations that manage hierarchies instead of the actual levels of soft and hard skills is coming to an end. At such an organisation, a B class manager would, out of fear, never higher an A class manager and, what is more, would sabotage the devel-opment of his own team out of fear of losing his post. The future belongs to organisa-tion that make their teams happy (research shows that happy employees earn more money for their employers) and that develop together with their teams, never limiting their potential. “We” must be greater than “I”.