The relationship revolution

A new way of knowing

What do your customers want? Whilst this isn’t a new question, the ways in which it can be answered have evolved rapidly over the years, with today’s evolution happening at a faster rate than ever.

Identifying consumer trends is a skill the most successful marketers, brands and organisations have always leveraged to drive industry forwards, in many cases capturing the hearts of loyal consumers and experiencing exponential growth along the way.

In the most exemplary instances, these breakthrough moments can even spark entire industrial revolutions. Famously, Henry Ford’s vision of mass production brought about the Fordist model of manufacturing; the mass production of standardised goods on a moving assembly line using dedicated machinery and semiskilled labour.

The Fordist model – widely credited as a key catalyst for the second industrial revolution – was founded on the recognition of a single fundamental consumer need: to have access to affordable, desirable personal vehicles. 

Similar recognitions of human need have since brought about further revolution, and at a seemingly accelerated rate. In fact, whilst according to the Economist, the Third Industrial Revolution only officially got underway in 2013, we’re currently on our Fourth Industrial Revolution in just over 100 years, with industry now accelerating so fast we’re simultaneously entering the fifth.

However, whilst innovating to meet your customers’ needs is no less essential in today’s fast paced, globalised and highly digitised world, consumer desires are often far less clear cut. Rapid technological advancements and an ever-expanding landscape of possibility, in tandem with increased pressures on the environment, healthcare and community  have split the attentions of consumers, and seen micro-trends frequently come and go, often before most businesses have a chance to adapt.

So how does your brand identify consumer needs and behaviours quickly enough to cut through the noise and connect with audiences today? 

A new age for brand relationships

One key distinction sets apart previous industrial revolutions from this, the hybridised 4th/5th IR, which here at the mci group we refer to as ‘The Relationship Revolution.’

Whereas in the past, the invention of technology would spring solely from the human recognition of a particular need – as in the case of Fordism – in the Relationship Revolution it is often technology, specifically data-generating and processing technology, that informs the digital marketer of changes in the market and drives innovation in real time. This revolution is categorised not only by the prevalence of big data, but by an increasing expectation from consumers that brands use this data to deliver products they need, in a way that they can trust.

According to Data Science Central, the volume of business data across all companies worldwide doubles every 1.2 years. And on an individual level, studies show an estimated 1.7 megabytes of data will be generated per second by every person on earth. That’s an enormous amount of data to interpret. And this data isn’t distributed evenly across businesses. 

As Klaus Schwab, Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum points out in his book, The Fourth Industrial Revolution, data-based innovation requires “new forms of collaboration”, as established businesses are often data-rich, but have “lower sensitivity to evolving customer needs,” whilst young, dynamic firms tend to be more “capital poor and lack the rich data generated by mature operations.”

With such a disparity in data access and data literacy, how do businesses – large and small, old and new – begin to turn this mass of data into information that can help them connect with existing and prospective clients and consumers in a meaningful, dynamic way? 

Brand relationship technologies

The key to developing a successful marketing strategy in the Relationship Revolution lies in identifying consumer needs before the fact, with powerful data-analysing technologies, access to high quality data and the relevant talent to analyse and advise upon the findings. These factors come together to form a new way of knowing your audience. A set of ‘Brand Relationship Technologies’ capable of delivering exactly what your consumer needs in a faster, more dynamic and more accurate than ever.

The mci group’s own specialist consulting & market research agency, Insidery, leverages expert analysts and strategists, and high quality data and technologies to deliver incredibly accurate insights.

Their comprehensive market research data, intelligent data management and in-depth insider knowledge enables the mci group to identify previously untapped potential along the value chain and in communication and craft a bespoke marketing strategy that will deliver on your audiences’ expectations in real time.

Here’s just one example of how Insidery helped us align our products with changing customer needs.

Quote from Insidery talent about the importance of real time data in identifying and responding to audience needs.

In conclusion

In the Relationship Revolution, the implementation of a successful marketing strategy is dependant upon identifying consumer intent as it develops. Organisations of all shapes and sizes need to leverage technology and talent in order to truly understand the individuals behind the granular data, and adapt their own output, from brand to product, in order to truly engage with the customer of tomorrow.

To find out how the mci group can help your organisation succeed in the Relationship Revolution, call +41 22 33 99 500 or email: