The formula for a successful business is deceptively simple: Find out what the customers want and give it to them. Doing that, however, is not so easy!

By providing an invaluable and detailed look at today’s consumers, the Accenture’s 2012 Global Consumer Pulse research can help. Accenture’s Insurance practice has subsequently done some work relating the general results of the survey to the insurance industry, and the results are interesting.

In this first blog, then, let me paint the general picture as shown by the research as a whole. The most important conclusion is that the linear “funnel” model no longer adequately describes how today’s consumers act. The old model saw consumers as using a single channel through which to progress through the stages of the consumer life cycle. By contrast, today’s connected consumers may best be understood via a new model: the Nonstop Customer.

In terms of this model, the consumer life cycle has changed fundamentally in three dimensions. It is now:

  • Dynamic. Technology gives customers control of the process, and they expect to vary the channels they use.
  • More open to influences. Technology also gives customers access to powerful information—thus opening them up to multiple sources of influence.
  • Continuous. Particularly since the advent of the smart phone and tablet, customers are always connected, evaluation (rather than purchase) has become the focal point of the whole process.

In my next blog, we’ll explore what the insurance Nonstop Customer looks like. 

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