5 ways digital has changed the way we judge, love and consume.

As marketers, we often get wrapped up in how digital has shaped customer relationships with brands. We view it as a transactional channel for reaching and engaging with prospects, a mechanism for driving results, or merely a line item on a media budget. What we often overlook is arguably the most important piece — how technology affects our relationships and the choices we make. 

Skim, Skip, Swipe

Digital, social and mobile have moved far beyond tools for practicality and convenience.

They have shifted our emotions, expectations and connections with people. This has changed the way we spend our free time, communicate with others and the standards we hold ourselves accountable to.

Love is expressed through double taps, friends can be gaming avatars and swipes turn into long-term love affairs. The reality is the world is not only round; it’s adaptable — often a vertical box that fits within a 6-inch screen. And that has impacted our behaviors in five key ways:

We make rapid judgements

It is now second nature to scrutinize based on impulse and act on our feelings of love, hate, distaste immediately. Our thoughts seem to happen in parallel with an emoji, swipe, comment or like. Digital has enabled us to easily share our opinions, often without a single word—solicited or not.

We have high expectations

Beyond the ability to make decisions at the blink of an eye, the sheer breadth of options available to us at all times has dramatically elevated our expectations. This is true of online shopping, searching for the perfect job, and, most notably, dating. Take Bumble or Tinder for example. The access to an abundance of dating prospects is leading to never “settling,” and always aiming for the next best. The fact that there could always be something “better” available has the potential to paralyze internet users.

We’re always available

Gone are the days of an “I’m away from my phone right now” voicemail. Our devices are glued to our pockets and hands, making us reachable at all times. Bosses email on the weekend, friends facetime from festivals across the globe and a lack of response to a text after a couple hours causes panic and frustration. We are expected to not only be available but to also be actionable.

We absorb less

We’ve all been guilty of receiving a text, reading that text and moments later having no idea what it actually said. Messages—from brands, friends and family—come at us at lightning speed and with shortened attention spans and competing influences, we often consume without really comprehending.

We never have “nothing to do”

“I’m bored” is now replaced with mindless story views on Instagram, watching dog videos on Facebook or rewatching a series on Netflix. Free time is filled with liking, sharing and viewing. With access to unlimited entertainment sources, the feeling of boredom is becoming obsolete. And instead of using this time to engage with others, technology is often the go-to. 

Skim, Skip, Swipe

The deeper we can understand cultural shifts in thoughts, behaviors and meanings, the more we can empathize with customers and develop meaningful relationships. Providing information and experiences based on behavior and finding authentic ways to become part of the new normal is crucial to success.

For more on cultural shifts that are taking place due to technology visit bostondigital.com/impulse-generation



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