The evolution of digital consumer experiences


People all over the world are living digitally – at work, at home and everywhere in between. The division between the digital and physical worlds is also becoming increasingly blurry. Technology fuels this duality by smartly using more and more signals as consumers fill their lives with new devices and services.


Microsoft’s study, Digital Trends 2015, curates our perspective on consumers’ expectations for digital, and illuminates the current and future implications for brands. Each trend tells a compelling story of the changing relationships toward devices, platforms, and brands. We’ve brought these insights together in a compelling way that helps advertisers understand the new rules for consumer experiences.


Watch Natasha Hritzuk, Head of Global Consumer Insights at Microsoft Advertising, discuss the dynamic relationship between consumers and data, a core theme of this study.

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The game changers

Value Me, IntelligentlyON and Real: Redefined fulfill needs around discovery, order and achievement.  These higher order trends highlight the potential for digital to change how consumers fundamentally do things. If brands can fulfill the promise of digital through these trends, there is potential for disruption and innovation.

Value Me

Quid pro quo

Consumers are increasingly aware that their digital information has inherent value. They want to get value back in exchange for brands tracking or using their data.





My cure for "always on"

There’s a growing demand for digital experiences that help consumers to be more productive, do more of the things they want to do, and make better decisions. They expect technology to anticipate needs, and be more mindful, responsive and empathetic


Real: Redefined

Digital is physical

“Real” is no longer synonymous with “offline” as technology offers more complete, more engaging and more sensory digital experiences. Consumers seek enhanced experiences that offer less friction when moving between digital and physical worlds.

Value Me     IntelligentlyON     The Right to Anonymity    
of consumers are aware companies benefit from data, but don’t know how to trade            are interested in future technology that automatically filters content and messages  are much more likely to engage with digital experiences that seamlessly integrate within their physical worlds


 The performers


Trends anchored in performance through achievement and status reflect the growing need of the digital consumer to “show up” well. As more about you is known, Right to My Identity, Life Analytics and Creative Me speak to the need to shape the me I want to be.

Right to My Identity

Curating my digital self

As digital profiles have become key to consumers’ lives, they not only seek better control over privacy, but want to shape how their “digital self” is projected and how they can easily control their personal online narrative.



Life Analytics

Give me insights, not just data

Consumers realize that connected data can not only be fun, but it can be useful – especially when it gives them ideas and information that enhances their lives. They want to track habits and activities, measure performance, and use insights from personal data to drive self-improvement.


Creative Me

Uniquely me

Experimentalism, creativity, and desire for expression lie at the heart of this trend. Using digital, consumers look to shape and design products and services based on their needs and interests. This desire goes beyond coding, to “hack” generic experiences and build more bespoke ones.

Right to My Identity     Life Analytics     Creative Me    
of consumers want to be able to choose how long information they share stays online of consumers say they are much more likely to use products/services that bring in varied data to help improve their life of consumers say they are much more likely to buy from companies who allow them to shape their products or services 


 The explorers


Trends anchored in exploration, the New Age of Discovery and Now Networks, highlight how consumers look to digital to spark ideas and expand their horizons.

New Age of Discovery

Purposeful serendipity

Digital serendipity has matured with consumers increasingly open to chance encounters. They look for recommendations, not just based on things they like or activities they’ve done, but experiences that give them the option to move outside their comfort zone.



Now Networks

Who am I now?

Consumers are looking for more personal, genuine connections with smaller digital groups that offer rich, quality experiences. In addition to “niche” groups based on fixed activities and interests, consumers also seek more flexible, temporal networks that allow them to flow in and out with changing interests and life stages.

The New Age of Discovery     Now Networks    

of consumers expect brands to know them and help them discover new products or services that fit their needs

of consumers say they are more likely to interact with a brand when using more specialist digital services



Dive in to Digital Trends 2015, and get the insights you need to make stronger, more meaningful online and offline connections with your audience.


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*See the research methodology