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The rise of the ‘Me economy’: What can brands do to stay relevant and profitable?

71% of consumers expect companies to deliver personalised interactions
71% of consumers expect companies to deliver personalised interactions Copyright Canva
Copyright Canva
By Damon Embling
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Consumers are increasingly looking out for themselves, as they navigate cost-of-living crises and other personal challenges, according to global media agency Havas.


There’s been a lot of talk about personalisation and hyper-personalisation at this year’s Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity. 

As well as the drive by advertisers to strike up much more focused and targeted relationships with potential customers, with digital growth raising the game. 

Looking through a ‘personal lens’

“Over the last 15 years, we've commissioned research into what makes a brand really meaningful. 

“What we've seen in the data is that actually there's a big shift back towards a personal lens on everything,” Joanna Lawrence, Global Chief Strategy Officer at Havas Media Network, told Euronews Business in Cannes. 

Lawrence cites the rise of the ‘Me economy’, with challenges like cost-of-living crises focusing individual minds on what a brand can do for them, for their own circumstance. 

“What I've really been seeing this year is brands that listen. And I think that's a really exciting space for us to all be in because we've spent a lot of time thinking about how to get consumers to be bought into the work that we do,” explained Lawrence. 

“Now it's really about listening and taking our cues from the people that we're trying to relate to and get engaged in our brand.”

Big data drives deeper relationships

71% of consumers expect companies to deliver personalised interactions, according to a 2021 report from McKinsey & Company. It also highlights that 76 % get frustrated when this doesn’t happen. 

“We have so many more data signals than ever before. We've got shopping behaviour, we've got social behaviour, we've also got everything that the brands themselves are starting to collect on understanding their customers in a much deeper way,” said Lawrence. 

“At Havas we're trying to think about how we converge all of that data together to get to those really exciting, breakthrough insights and more innovative solutions.”

Havas' Joanna Lawrence spoke to Euronews Business at Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity 2024
Havas' Joanna Lawrence spoke to Euronews Business at Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity 2024Euronews

Making way for AI

More data means more processing and analysis. Havas says that’s where new technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI) are proving their worth. 

“The data and the technology that we now have allows us to do that at scale much more quickly. And that's why we're really investing in AI partnerships with many different partners globally to bring all of that together and be able to really speed up the process of getting to those breakthrough insights,” explained Lawrence.

Watch the video above to see more from the interview with Havas.

You can see more content from Cannes Lions here.

Additional sources • Filmed and edited by Lionel Laval

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