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Technology: how do audiences use technology and its impact on their lives?

Updated: Oct 7, 2020

How audiences use technology and its impact on their lives

Technology: how do audiences use technology and its impact on their lives?

Through study into the Evolution of Digital Marketing, researching facts and reflections on my experience of setting up my own online proofreading business, I present my findings. My information is presented to provoke discussion and for you to reflect on your own use of technology.

My research has shown that we are gradually moving everything online, and technology is developing to support our online needs and trends.

Introduction to how audiences use technology

Technology is developing at a fast rate, and everyone is keen to access more and more content. This makes today’s consumers more informed. Times have changed from having to go into a travel agent to book a holiday. Using the internet, you can book flights, train tickets across other countries and hotels all from the comfort of your own home. The internet has given me the freedom to explore the world. This also has an impact on the marketer. They now can sell to anyone around the world. Companies have to plan their marketing to appeal to their target audience. They must keep it relevant to that audience and stand out from the crowd to be noticed.

Technology helps people stay connected. Companies need to stay connected with consumers in order to build relationships and retain loyal customers. They need to use all the latest developments to connect with their target audience.

Access to the internet

The bar chart shows the number of daily internet users in Great Britain from 2006 to 2019. The numbers have increased from 16.2 million users in 2006 to a staggering 45.1 million users in 2019. There are 4.5 billion users worldwide, and it is safe to say that figure will continue to rise each year.

When I started my career, I worked as a teacher in a school, a very much brick and mortar employment. Now through advancements in technology and the use of the internet, I am working completely online. I retrained as a proofreader through an online course and created my own business. Now I am proofreading projects in countries all over the world from China to Saudi Arabia. The internet has definitely changed the way I work and live.

Through advancements in technology, marketers can connect and work with people all over the world. There are better broadband connections and 4G, allowing consumers to access the internet faster and from mobile phones. There is a definite growth in online businesses and online marketing.

Digital devices used by audiences

What devices do you use most to go on the internet? I did some research by posting on LinkedIn. I had 52 votes, and the result was 56% of people use a mobile phone. Which device do you use?

I was not surprised as it is the device I use most too. The majority of people own mobile phones, and it is the first thing they check when they get up in the morning. Computers are not used as much because of the advancements in mobile technology and how you can use it everywhere you go.

Statista predicts that by the end of 2012, 73% of e-commerce sales will take place on a mobile phone. Using a mobile phone for business has revolutionised the industry. For example, businesses can tailor its marketing to suit the lifestyle of mobile phones.

How do digital devices impact on our lives?

But how do digital devices impact on our lives? There are lots of positives, such as greater communication across a larger scale, instant access to information, lots of entertainment from apps and videos, sell and purchase products and allowing businesses to provide services online.

But there are also negatives, have a look at this photo of people on a night out and all interacting separately through their mobile phones instead of living in the moment communicating with each other. Mobile phones are addictive, and they give an adrenalin boost when you hear a ping of a notification.

Everywhere I look, eyes are fixed on screens, parents outside the school gate, in the supermarket and even on a dog walk. So the advancements in technology have been huge, but just remember they should not take over our lives. They should be improving our lives. So my question is, could you have a technology-free day?

How customers search for information

The world has fallen in love with social media and now automatically turns to online platforms to research and buy products and services. This gives fantastic opportunities for marketers to engage audiences and encourage content sharing but also gives huge challenges of keeping up-to-date.

The image from Smart Insights visualizes what happens in just ‘60 seconds’ on the internet from 2017 to 2019. I found the results fascinating. I couldn't believe there were 4.4 million google searches in one minute. There were 294 billion emails sent in one minute. WhatsApp records 54 million messages sent in one minute. Social media plays a large part in what happens online. Figures show posts per day, 0.83 posts on Facebook, 0.62 posts on Instagram and 350 million tweets on Twitter.

On the chart, the biggest increase over the three years is in WhatsApp with a 50% increase. Development in technology is allowing content to be more visual. Therefore, being able to send free messages and photographs to your friends on WhatsApp is the most popular. Emails have a 30% increase as more businesses are dealing with customers across the world and need to be able to communicate quickly and efficiently. The importance of videos to deliver content is reflected in the 25% rise in YouTube video uploads. As more businesses are going online, the need for videos to showcase their products and give consumers the best shopping experience and informed decision making has become more important.

The development in technology has allowed searching on the internet to be more visual using a mobile phone’s camera. For example, the development of Google Lens, if you see something you like and don’t know how to describe it in a search, you can take a photograph of it and do a visual search.

When consumers are considering buying a product, research has shown that they prefer to search the internet, use comparison sites and social media to find reviews and richer information to inform their decision. This has changed from businesses being in control of information to show customers, and now customers are in charge of finding the information they want on the internet. More than six out of ten shopping journeys begin online, whether they buy online or in a brick-and-mortar shop, most of the purchases begin with an online search. So it is essential for businesses to have an online presence and invest in digital marketing.

What consumers buy online

There are 2.05 billion online shoppers at the moment, which means more opportunities for online businesses. Online shopping has grown from nothing to being a multi-billion pound industry with buying online becoming everyday practice all over the world. Shopping online is developing and is becoming more like shopping in person with new technologies allowing visual experiences.

1. Fashion. Before consumers were unsure of buying something without trying it on. But the improvements in the returns options and companies offering free returns makes it an easy way to shop.

2. Trips and Tourism. Having the freedom to research and plan your own holiday has revolutionized buying holidays. We now have the freedom to travel and explore, booking whatever we like at the touch of a button.

3. Tech products. Consumers still like to have a shop to take the product to in case of repairs, so it is not higher up the list.

4. Second-hand sales. Allows businesses to sell any product at a lower price to compete with other shops, using sites such as eBay and Shpock.

5. Books and music. By reducing the outgoing costs in the marketing mix, such as physical stores, books and music can be sold for as a little as £1 using platforms such as iTunes, Amazon and Kindle.

6. Educational courses. The demand for online training is on the rise with developing platforms such as Video2Brain and Udemy.

Consumers are leading how companies sell online. Businesses need to keep up-to-date with current trends and technology to have a share in the market.

Consumers are drawn to visual experiences, and with new technology developing, companies are incorporating technology into their online process. Businesses need to focus on what really engages potential customers, whether it be more visual or immersive experiences using videos or AR technology.

There is a rise in prosumers which influence consumers and businesses. There is an increase in user-generated content to give feedback on products, which impacts on business’ success. It builds trust and relationships between consumers and businesses.

Online video consumption

I created this video to share the main facts I found about online video consumption. 63% of social media is made up of images as the brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text. Video is a very effective marketing tool, as people find videos more engaging and memorable.

62% of consumers watch videos of product reviews before they buy a product. So businesses need to develop videos into their website to showcase their products at its best. YouTube has seen a massive increase in videos uploaded and is a great way to advertise a business. More businesses are developing a video marketing strategy to stay ahead of competitors.

Consumer trends

1. Beyond Human. This trend is the development of technology to support businesses using AI and robotics. Consumers are becoming more comfortable with smart home appliances, voice activation and virtual assistants.

2. Catch Me In Seconds. This trend is the need to catch audiences with multisensory content that is personal, emotional and engaging.

3. Frictionless Mobility. This trend is about consumers wanting more eco-friendly transportation methods, such as bicycles, scooters and car-share.

4. Inclusive For All. This is the trend for products and services to be inclusive and accessible to all.

5. Minding Myself. This is the trend towards outcome-based products to support mental wellbeing needs.

6. Private Personalisation. This is the trend of wanting to develop relationships on a personal level, but to not have consumers’ personal information compromised.

7. Multifunctional Homes. This sees the trend of homes developing as the hub of life activities, such as work, play, exercise and shop.

8. Proudly Local, Going Global. This is the trend supporting local communities and shaping businesses to suit local tastes and preferences.

9. Reuse Revolutionaries. The trend for a waste-free future, reducing carbon footprint and extending the life use of products.

10. We Want Clean Air Everywhere. This is the trend towards businesses developing solutions to protect the environment and fight against climate change.

So for 2020, businesses need to follow the trends to connect with consumers and work together to deliver products and services which are considerate to the environment.

Lockdown trends

Due to the recent developments, I included lockdown trends in my presentation to show what an impact it is having on our lives in terms of technology.

Peoples emotional wellbeing may be low, so apps to support health and happiness are popular along with dating apps. Consumers have more free time as they are staying at home, offering more opportunity to go online and consume content. People are missing seeing their friends and family, so trending is apps that allow people to be connected and share experiences with others. For example, “With me” on YouTube allows people to share solo experiences, such as “Cook with Me” or “Workout with Me”, the ever-popular Joe Wickes springs to mind. Consumers are looking for escapism, and virtual experiences are trending, such as virtual zoo visits. What apps and content have you been using during the lockdown?

Looking to the future

Looking to the future. There will be developments in:

· Voice searching.

· AI and robotics. AI offering 24/7 customer support.

· Sustainability, biodegradable packaging and going paperless.

· Personal payments.

My research has found that there has been a growth in online businesses and in the use of mobile phones to access the internet. To compete businesses need to invest in digital marketing to create an online presence over a variety of different platforms, such as social media and websites using a visual experience and videos to capture its audience, allowing the business to connect with consumers, develop relationships, build trust and engage them with its products and services. Businesses need to keep up-to-date with current trends to stay personal, inclusive, incorporate new technology and being mindful of the environment and the future.

So join us online. What will your digital life be like in the future?

Reference list

Here is the link to my SlideShare used to create this blog:

Here is the link to my YouTube video of the presentation:

I am a freelance educational and mathematical proofreader with a love of learning, feel free to contact me if you need support with your writing.

Thank you for reading 'Technology: how do audiences use technology and its impact on their lives?' Want to find more out about how to engage with your target audience?

Check out my blog "Challenge: how do you engage with your audience?" on my website, or say hello on Twitter at @alisonproofread, or Instagram at @alisonproofreader, or connect via Facebook and LinkedIn.

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