212° of Change

April 24, 2018   |   Dan Ryan

Water at 211° is just really warm water. Water at 212° can move a freight train.

Team Preston Kelly made our fourth annual trip to SXSW last month where we immersed ourselves in the convergence of art and culture, technology and social causes. After combing through our notes, we’ve pulled out three of the boiling hot trends currently powering the world like a freight train.

1. Oh, if these walls could talk.

Voice technology has been around for a long time. But now that the technology has reached a 95% accuracy rate, it is on the cusp of hitting the mainstream. Between 95 to 99% is where it will make large swings in adoption. The gimmicky voice assistants will soon become a memory of the past. As the technology hits the mainstream, the integration into daily life will significantly change the way we evaluate, develop and engage with content. For instance, Google Assistant is your personal guide while cooking, reading step-by-step instructions while you do the work. This is one of the first examples of voice technology breaking ground in the mass market and engaging to make life simpler.

By 2020, 30% of web sessions will happen without screens. This gives us opportunities to:

  • Utilize step-voice technology to publish content
  • Evaluate content development as voice first (audio web vs. visual web, speakers vs. screens, face-up vs face-screen engagement)
  • Consider location-based, voice ads that are immediately contextually relevant and engaging

2. Mix this new rule with the “golden rule” for successful content.

Content has been a part of the broader discussion for the better part of a decade. But with personalization and multi-device engagement, there is a growing expectation to deliver content that is most interesting and beneficial to each consumer, customized for every device.

The 70/20/10 Rule 

70% of content is consumed on the go.

  • This means it is viewed on a mobile device. Since most videos are designed and produced in a horizontal format, there needs to be a shift to vertical content production and delivery for best viewing.
  • This also means brands need to design content that will be interesting within two seconds. We see this already emerging with video formats from YouTube with six-second ad options.

20% of content is consumed while “leaning in.”

  • This is waiting in line for coffee, for an elevator, or in the waiting room. While waiting, more people are willing to explore your brand.
  • Think of a mix between video, banners or posts that dive one quick click deep and immediately entertain or bring interest to the user.

10% of content is viewed while “leaning back.”

  • These are when the consumer is lying in bed or relaxing at night.During this time consumers are willing to really deeply engage with your brand.
  • Develop long-form, explorable content that is supported by media aligned with your consumers’ daily lean-back moments.

3. Grocery is about to change forever.

With technology and AI advancements, 1:1 personalization is becoming the expected norm rather than the exception.

Meal kits to order

The meal kit market (such as Plated or Blue Apron) is growing at a staggering rate, with adoption and testing reaching even traditional brick and mortar big box stores in the US. The appeal of meal kits is driven by the desire for fresh, tasty meals without the need to plan (healthy, convenient and personal). With the utilization of technology (such as Chef’d), retailers will soon be able to kit nearly any meal for any number of portions. In the near future, customers will enter a grocery store, order their week of meals and finish their shopping while the store assembles their personal meal kits. Why is this game changing?

  • Turns the grocery store into a mini fulfillment center for fresh items. Based on bulk centralization, this should keep produce fresher and keep the overall cost down for the end consumer.
  • Allows custom meals based on preferences and desired portions
  • Cuts down on packaging and delivery eco-footprint

Currently meal kits are a $2.2 billion industry and expected to be $10 billion by 2020. Look for more extensions of “kits” and centralized personalization across retail this coming year.

Modular recipes

Recipes have traditionally lived in books and online as a complete unit. Advances in tagging have allowed us to explore recipes we like based on a main ingredient or cooking genre. Until now, it’s been difficult to swap ingredients based on preferences/availability. Creating a more modular approach allows the user to swap out ingredients and have the recipe adapt to new ingredients available/desired.

  • Consumers utilize items they already have in their home — buying less, using available ingredients and reducing food waste.
  • Refrigerators will know what’s inside them and be able to recommend meals based on their content and consumer preferences.

Approaching products in a modular way can:

  • Promote personalization while maintaining control of inventory and pricing
  • Increase speed to market
  • Reduce costs

As voice technology, content personalization and modular design grow, consider ways to integrate these trends to drive change in your work.

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