AR, VR, AI… technology is rapidly changing, and our reliance on it for work and play is only increasing.

The following graph shows the trend in Google over the last five years for the search term ‘Artificial Intelligence’. We love knowing about and using the latest tech.

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But while our desire for and use of technology is only growing, our need to protect our data and be mindful of our technology usage is growing too.

Data is currency. Our personal data is no longer a key we use to unlock the secrets of the internet, it is now a closely guarded treasure that we only reveal when we can see the value in doing so.

We’ve seen the damage that access to our data can do with scandals like Cambridge Analytica, and fake news accounts specifically targeted at us based on our profiles and behaviour. We’re outraged if our data is misused, and if you need any more evidence that we’re getting serious about data security, GDPR has drawn a regulatory line in the sand, with big fines for companies who use and abuse our personal details.

We now demand something in return for our data. Our personal information and time is important, so we want our technology and browsing experiences to be personalised to us; ‘I’ve given you my data so you can make the experience personal to me.’ From programmatic advertising serving us specially catered ads, to websites that remember who you are and what you’ve looked at before, we’re demanding more of our online experiences and want to use our time wisely.

Users are becoming more mindful of how much time they spend on technology – particularly young people who are becoming less tolerant of time wasting. They no longer want to spend time sifting through all the information out there, but rather want to quickly get to the information they actually want and need.

This includes becoming more selective about the social media we take part in – like opting out of apps like Facebook that prioritise advertising over social connection, and focusing more on apps that are peer-centric, or apps that cover niche topics and are genuinely helpful in our daily lives.

This might be one of the reasons why we’ve seen a boom in self-care apps. Wellness apps that deal with topics like mindfulness and meditation were pegged as one of Apple’s top four breakout trends in 2017. In Q1 of 2018, the top 10 wellness apps made about 170 percent more revenue worldwide than the top 10 wellness apps did in Q1 2017 across both the App Store and Google Play.

People now want wellbeing from their technology, and this could potentially be so we can feel less guilty about using it all the time. It rubs up against mega technology trends like VR, AR and AI – we want these cool things, and yet we fear what it might do to us. We’re worrying about robots taking our jobs at the same time as we all lap up virtual assistants and wearable tech, and work towards building and preparing ourselves for an automated world.  

There is a desire for technology to make us better, to be a force for good. We want it to make us more efficient, more mindful, to give us back time or to help us do what we want and need to do, and we’re happy to hand over our personal data if this is the case.

So, how does this impact us over here in recruitment marketing?

Our candidates are going to become more and more expectant when it comes to personalisation, and have higher standards for how their data is being used. They’ll be far less tolerant of time wasting, so if your site structure and navigation is unclear, or your audience journeys are not thought through, then you’re likely to see some high bounce rates. The goal is to get the user to where they want to go as quickly as possible, and show that you understand what they’re looking for.

When it comes to your social and media, spray and pray methods are becoming even more redundant, and content that is personal and adds value to your audience is having it’s time in the sun. Remember that it’s about quality over quantity, and employ targeted advertising to make sure only relevant people are seeing your posts.

Ultimately our audiences are changing, and we need to be prepared to change with them.


Digital Strategist

Meagan is a bookworm and word lover from way back, and enjoys nothing more than a good story. Her role as Digital Strategist at AIA allows her to help clients find their own passion for words – in the form of content strategies and social media. Whether telling a story through social content or metrics and data, Meagan’s hunger for figuring out the who, what, when, where and why is almost as insatiable as her enthusiasm for brunch.

Chat books, breakfast and social strategies with Meagan on Twitter.