Following the success of the Future of Ireland last November, we launched the second phase this week in the offices of our sponsor, Ulster Bank. The theme of Phase 2 is Community and Belonging, two themes that stood out in our initial research.
In an age of technology, opening up more diverse and geographically spread social communities, what better time to start the conversation around what many have always seen as the fabric of Irish society – our own communities. To delve into this theme we conducted an online survey amongst 1000 people living in Ireland, to try and get under the skin of what Community means to them. We also talked to a dozen community leaders – in areas ranging from grass roots sports to mental health, from active ageing to volunteer cardiac first responders. These included Matt English from Special Olympics, Justin McDermott from Jigsaw Galway and Aidan Murray, the Chairman of Caltra GAA club.
Through this research we uncovered connecting themes including Friends and Family, Volunteering, and whether Communities are flourishing or not (they are!) As we found in our original survey, the theme of control and people taking control of their own destinies comes through strongly. Communities start with a connection, be it through friends, family or neighbours. 56% of us know our neighbours well while 36% of us have left keys with neighbours – a strong indication of community bonding. Our research also showed that 48% of people are optimistic about the future of their community; that 1 in 4 are involved in their communities and that 36% feel they have skills they could use more in a local community.
We launched the Future of Ireland: Phase 2 to a small invited audience and held a panel discussion with our community leaders to kick-start the conversation.So far we have had six articles in the national press, three radio interviews and numerous online articles. We’re incredibly proud to have a history of action in the area of communities around Ireland and we are now seen as very credible thought leaders.
To view the full report, or to find out more about the Future of Ireland, please visit http://www.futureofireland.ie/
In 2013, OMD UK launched the Future of Britain. In the wake of the recession, they found that British lives were fundamentally changing. There was a need to delve deeply into this to better understand the implications the recession had on the way British people consume brands and technology, as well as how they relate to each other.
In this research OMD UK didn’t simply confirm that Britain was changing, they also uncovered detailed insights demonstrating the extent to which attitudes, values and behaviours of the nation were shifting. After this wave of research there was a great appetite from OMD UK’s clients and colleagues to dig deeper into the trends.
Therefore, OMD UK launched their second phase – Living with Future Britain, an innovative mobile ethnography study which enabled them to virtually live with British households, and gain a richer understanding of what makes British people tick. Over 200 Brits from across the nation shared images and videos detailing all aspects of their lives, from the food in their fridges to the products they have in their bathroom cabinets!
Since these two revolutionary projects, numerous waves of the Future of Britain have been launched, using a plethora of research techniques to provide insights into different areas. These include exploring changing family relationships and household dynamics in ‘The Future of Families’, looking into how connected Britain helps people become more empowered in ‘Now and Next’, and most recently the myths of Christmas shopping behaviour and attitudes in ‘The Future of Christmas’.
So what is next for The Future of Britain? The plan for 2016 is to launch smaller and more thematic modules across the year to continue delivering the company promise of being culturally connected. In particular, OMD UK are looking at four themes – audience, how we spend time together, media and different sectors and categories.
Right now the team are working on their Generations piece. This addresses the changes in attitude towards youth, middle-aged and the elderly, accompanied by a blurring of traditionally perceived boundaries of age-appropriate behaviour and lifestyles.
The objective of the Generations research piece is to challenge some of these assumptions, and stereotypes as well as understand intergenerational relationships, shared values and uncover intergenerational differences on attitudes towards categories and brands. For this, OMD UK have commissioned House 51, specialists in Behavioural Economics, to support with the analysis. Part of the research included IRT (Implicit Response Testing), which uses time constraints to give a less rationalised view of perceptions of different age groups in Britain today.
This project is also a platform to provide a point of view on Purpose-Led Marketing; evaluating the potential impact it could have on brand image and purchase intent.
Whilst OMD UK are knee deep in the analysis stage the launch is set for the next few months so keep your eyes peeled for an update soon.
For more information please visit the Future of Britain blog or contact the team at [email protected]
In a country that is evolving rapidly, change is the only constant. The ‘plates’ of the UAE’s consumer landscape are continuously shifting, with new waves of expatriates arriving each day and technology continuing to transform our lives. As a result, the consumer’s psyche, attitude and behaviours are evolving, making business a challenging task. To document and explore this evolution, OMD UAE launched the ‘Future of the UAE’ in December 2015. 2000 face-to-face interviews were conducted to better understand how the UAE population live today and how they expect to live tomorrow. The survey delved into Emiratis and expatriates’ views on happiness, lifestyles, technology, the environment, values, national identity, financial priorities, health, work-life balance, entrepreneurship and purchasing decision influencers.
Balancing between tradition and modernity, the UAE is forging a path towards the future, one that includes the key notion of happiness, national identity, entrepreneurship and sustainability. These are some of the notions OMD UAE explored and found that, despite the occasional bumps in the road, residents are overwhelmingly optimistic – approximately 90% of UAE residents are optimistic about the future and believe their lives will significantly improve in the next two years. Fadi Maktabi, OMD UAE’s Head of Strategy, highlights that the economic downturn of the past few years has done little to dent the ambitions and aspirations of UAE residents. Whilst some do struggle financially, particularly in terms of debt, more than two-thirds of respondents still anticipate they will spend either as much as, or more, than today in the coming years.
One concern that was raised at ‘The Future of the UAE’ launch event was the risk of reverse brain-drain, where expatriates would leave the UAE to either go to another country or back home. While the debate about the dilution of faith, language and cultural values does exist, since the UAE has the largest proportion of foreign-born residents in the world (88%). Seven in ten Emiratis believe that the influx of foreigners has proved beneficial both to the country and themselves. Considering the recent downgrade, forecasted growth for 2016 still stands above 3% and unless things change dramatically they shouldn’t worry. Additionally, over two-thirds of respondents believe people will continue coming to, and finding work, in the UAE over the next five years.
Overall, this particular type of research provides a marker for the changes that have been witnessed and a guide for those to come, looking at both the societal and marketing implications they carry. ‘The Future of the UAE’ is an ongoing conversation and to find out more, visit the OMD UAE blog or follow @OMDMENA on Twitter for updates.
2016 marks the centenary of the most important year on Ireland’s journey to independence so Autumn 2015 seemed like the right time to look towards the future.
As the 17th OMD market across the globe to launch a Future of project, our ambition was to launch a comprehensive overview of what the Irish consumer believes the future holds for them, personally and indeed for all of us collectively. What it wasn’t was a forecast – no GDP estimates, or technology projections – nor did we set out different scenarios for the future. Instead, our report was an attempt to capture and encourage the Irish conversation about the future: the one in our families, communities, workplaces and with our friends.
We listened to the hopes, dreams, fears and ambitions of over a thousand people in focus groups and a survey, looking for the words, themes and vocabulary that people use when talking about the future – both their own and our nation’s. We haven’t asked the experts or pundits for their opinion. We simply asked people from all over Ireland about the things that matter to them and to their loved ones.
As a small market, we wouldn’t have been able to deliver on this ambition without the support of Ulster Bank who, whilst not being a client, partnered with us to bring our vision to life as it fit perfectly with their ‘Help For What Matters’ strategy. This allowed us, amongst other things to engage a young photographer – David Gerulis – who captured the people, their visions and the place so brilliantly.
If there is one over-arching theme in the Future of Ireland study so far, it is that people want to take control of their future. Whether in terms of finances, skills or health; we seem to be entering an age in which people no longer rely on traditional authorities and leaders for guidance. It’s a theme that recurs repeatedly through many of the sub-themes in our study. These are as follows:
- Hope, relating to the prospects for renewal as recovery gathers momentum
- Belonging, about our sense of identity in a changing world
- Family, on the changing nature but continuing importance of family and friendship in Ireland
- Change, the growing awareness of the new forces shaping our economy and society
- Happiness, looking at the things that matter most, and will matter most in making us happy
- Destiny, a look ahead to new sources of influence, and declining sources, as we plan our own future
Ten years ago no one would have believed that 60% of those interviewed – including those over 60 – would think that marriage will become less relevant in the future or that 10% of the Irish population would think that, due to global warming, Ireland will become a commercial wine producer in the next 10 years!
So what is the future for The Future of Ireland? In April, following both a General Election and the centenary celebrations, we will embark on Phase 2. This will focus largely on the youth sector (16-24 year olds) – after all, they are the future and according to the existing study are likely to become increasingly influential. We also hope to look at food and what the future looks with health and well-being which is becoming increasingly important.
Watch this space, visit Futureofieland.ie or follow @OMDFire on Twitter for updates.