Earlier this month, the Truman Old Brewery in East London was host to Millennial 20/20, a two day summit that looks at how companies of all scales are adapting to ensure ongoing engagement with the ever-changing consumer. JAG Shaw Baker Associates, Charlotte Courtney and Imran Bhatia, joined delegates from a of variety of sectors from fashion and beauty to finance, travel and food, each bringing a different perspective on how millennials are disrupting their businesses.
The Power of the Crowd
Day one included a session on the power of the crowd to shape the finance sector. Crowdfunding is demanding increasing levels of attention from companies looking to raise funds and adapt their business direction and values accordingly. At the same time, the demands of the crowd are also having a big influence in the personal banking market such as mobile technology platforms that enable the consumer to transfer money without the need to visit a bank or even have a bank account.
This area is still developing as financial regulation tries to keep up and the misconception that sending money by mobile may be less secure or trustworthy. However, WorldRemit, one of the companies attending the event, cited that there are two billion people in the world who are “unbanked” and one billion of those has a mobile phone. This illustrates the tangible impact that mobile banking technology can have.
Day two saw one of the youngest and one of the oldest CTOs in the UK take the stage. The panel delved into the advances in technology in the last several decades and what’s in store in the future. The panelists, Dominic Cameron (ex PhotoBox) and Mohammed Ali, agreed that user demand will lead to greater integration between platforms and increased use of artificial intelligence, which will require increasing amounts of data being constantly gathered from users.
Ali stated that he would rather have data in the bank than money, and yet despite the value of data today, the panelists recognized that users are sensitive about how that data is used. They all agreed that consumers will push for more protection from governments and data-handlers, such as the General Data Protection Regulation, which will come into effect in all EU member states in May 2018.
The crowd power focus was also seen in the types of exhibitors at the event, with services geared towards influencer or peer marketing. This draws on the theory that millennial consumers are more likely to engage with a product, service or experience through a review or photo from someone like them rather than by looking at professional marketing materials.
In keeping with the power of the crowd theme, as part of the end of summit awards ceremony, indaHash, an app that allows digital influences to earn money by participating in brand campaigns on their social media profiles, won the consumer award at the event.
This post was written by Charlotte Courtney and Imran Bhatia.