Me, my life, my wallet

How well do you know you customers? We uncovered the “Five My’s”: five areas that companies need to examine to gain a richer understanding of their customers’ changing attitudes, needs, and behaviors.

How well do you know you customers?

Do you know what values motivate them? Who influences them? How they budget the money in their wallets?

If you don’t, you need to. But finding the answers isn’t easy.

It’s no secret that customer behavior has become much more complex as a result of the digital revolution. Traditional methods of gauging customer behavior—like market research and demographic profiles—can no longer fully explain the increasingly intricate picture behind what consumers do and why.

KPMG’s white paper Me, My Life, My Wallet shines new light on recent customer behavior, drawing on our firm’s worldwide client experience, as well as an in-depth body of research, including analysis of social, technological, economic, and geopolitical trends.

Looking at all of this data and analysis, we uncovered the “Five My’s”: five areas that companies need to examine to gain a richer understanding of their customers’ changing attitudes, needs, and behaviors.

My motivation—characteristics that drive behaviors and expectations

Today, consumers expect all companies to provide what they feel is the best customer experience. They want convenience and more intuitive, personalized service. For companies, that means:

  • Make it easy. It should be easy for the customer to engage with you. Know their preferences and help them choose what they need. Make their interactions with you pain-free.
  • Know me: Show the customer that you know them as well as the data you have about them, the preferences they’ve already revealed, and how they engage with you.
  • Value me. Make the customer feel like you care about keeping them as a customer.

When thinking about customer motivation, ask yourself:

  • How do I obtain insights to better understand the key drivers of behavior for my most profitable customers?
  • How can the customer data I already have be used to create and/or enhance a better experience?
  • How do we get behavioral data to understand the customer’s why?

My attention—ways we direct out attention and focus.

Consumers are exposed to vast volumes of information, communications, and media, all clamoring for their attention. Yet, people still make time for those things that matter to them as an individual. Understanding how individual consumers prioritize and marshal their time and attention is essential to break through the noise and chaos to build deeper, more meaningful relationships.

When thinking about customer attention, ask yourself:

  • How do I get my customer’s attention in a way that won’t add to their information overload?
  • What are the moments that matter most to customers, and how do I build value around these?
  • How do I maintain value once I have captured my customers’ attention?
  • How will advancements in machine learning and artificial intelligence become “personal assistants” for customers?

My connection—how we connect to devices, information, and each other.

Thanks to the web, smart phones and tablets, people are having more digitally connected interactions. Understanding the shape and patterns of these wide-ranging interactions and networks is central to understanding how decisions are influenced, when, and by whom. The companies that cultivate such an understanding and consider how it could evolve as technology further permeates our lives will be the ones best equipped to engage with customers on their terms.

When thinking about customer connections, ask yourself:

  • How do I help customers get smarter about the way they engage with my brand?
  • How do I get smarter about my customers through their connections?
  • What experiences could be created to connect customers to each other?

My watch—how we balance the constraints of time and how that changes across life events

Many consumers lead harried lives and are increasingly using technology to save time, like setting up recurring grocery and household orders or allowing services to help guide them on what to purchase, watch, or listen to next.

By understanding the impact of life events and the trade-offs of time and money, companies can engage with consumers at the time of greatest impact, identifying and addressing unmet needs.

When thinking about your customers’ time, ask yourself:

  • How do I reduce the time and effort it takes for my customers to purchase or engage with me?
  • For the customer who places a premium on time, what are the opportunities to deliver a differentiated experience?
  • What are the ways to demonstrate value with my customers early in their experience with me and throughout their journey?
  • How do I apply the same thinking across my organization and make it easier for my teams to connect with my customers?

My wallet—How we adjust our share of wallet across life events

How much money we have in our wallets, how we spend it, and our attitude toward it is affected by many factors and life events. Understanding the relationship between income, consumption and spending, and how this relationship changes for different generations, as viewed through the lens of life events, provides a level of intelligence beyond that offered by traditional demographic models.

When thinking about your customers’ spending habits, ask yourself:

  • How can I help customers manage their wallets and budgets?
  • How do I identify how my customers are spending and sharing their wallet?
  • How do I reach people who will likely increase their earning potential in the years ahead?
  • For the customer who places a premium on quality, what are the opportunities to deliver a differentiated experience?

In Me, My Life, My Wallet, you’ll find a more in depth exploration of the Five Mys, as well as additional KPMG insights into new ways of understanding the thinking and behaviors of today’s consumer. The section on the “Customer Wallet” explores how old ideas of customer segmentation can no longer predict when consumers will open and close their wallets, as demographic and economic shifts challenge the accuracy of legacy earning and spending trends. And “Generational Surfing” shows how age is no longer a reliable gauge for a customer’s spending power, needs, and overall attractiveness, as life stages—single young adult, young married, parenthood, empty nest, and retirement—are shifting and extending.

We believe that by paying attention to the Five My’s, customer wallet, and generational surfing, companies can become closer to their multi-dimensional customers, meeting them where they are and on their terms and helping them navigate the change and disruption of both today and tomorrow.

You can find out more and download the entire white paper here.