Message to Big Tech: Here’s What Your Customers Care About

June 29, 2021
Author: Nancy Arter
Big Tech Under Pressure: How to Navigate Disruption and Come Out on Top

Big tech brands are under the microscope these days and the push for more regulation and accountability continues to grow. What will actually be done to check big tech is to be determined, but one thing is clear: regulation is likely coming. The question is, what should big tech fight for and how should it prepare for pending change? Is there a way to get in front of the need for regulation?

The Secret Lies Within Your Customers

Knowing your customers and what motivates them—and then acting on that—is the Holy Grail of corporate success. Here at Escalent, we repeatedly see companies that operate with a consumer-focused lens become the most beloved brands. When evaluating your options, take into account what consumers really want from your product or service.

When it comes to tech companies, we conducted a study and narrowed down the top areas of importance for consumers:

  • Value: Products that make consumers’ lives easier
  • Security: Tech companies that keep consumer information secure
  • Business ethics: The company treats employees fairly
  • Community: The ability to connect with family, friends and loved ones

These four elements provide a crucial understanding to the push and pull of how consumers perceive tech companies and the power they hold. Big tech makes our lives easier. Society has built communities on tech, and our business models have completely changed because of these companies. We can’t live without them. While big tech has done a very good job of establishing the value and community it provides, there is work to be done around security and business ethics.

It Is All About the Data

Data are a significant piece of the security puzzle: Who owns the data, who should use the data, how should they use the data, what happens when the data are misused, and above all, who is accountable?

Many companies are starting to recognize the importance of how they manage data, and some are trying to give individuals more power and privacy. For example, Apple recently released an update that gives users the ability to control and monitor apps’ use of their data. Additionally, more regulation over third-party data is expected within the next year. But these changes only scratch the surface of privacy issues and are not without a significant downside for many companies. Tightening privacy and restricting access to data are already causing major conflict among some of the tech giants, as these actions are set to have a big impact on many companies—inside and outside of the tech sector.

The challenge is for tech companies to figure out other ways to use these data while protecting user data.

The Way Forward: Empower Your Customers

When it comes to protecting data, more accountability is needed. Using what your customers want, need and value as a North Star can help tech companies come up with innovative ideas to protect data without sacrificing the business. Big tech has been pushing the rest of the world to innovate for years and now it needs to turn that innovation and focus on its own internal processes.

Our advice? Approach innovation as a journey that places empathy for your customers and consumers at the center of everything you do. This will allow you to answer any business challenge—from market exploration, brand creation and brand management to product development and customer experience—by focusing on how you can innovate and adjust to market change to best meet the needs and desires of your customers and target audiences.

Download Big Tech Under Pressure: How to Navigate Disruption and Come Out on Top to dig deeper into these topics. The white paper explores how big tech companies can navigate what to do next and honor the opinions, wants and needs of consumers while continuing to stay authentic to their business values—as well as the value that big tech companies both promote and provide to consumers globally.

Download Big Tech Under Pressure: How to Navigate Disruption and Come Out on Top

Nancy Arter
Senior Vice President

Nancy Arter is a senior vice president in the Technology & Telecommunications divisions at Escalent. She has more than 25 years of experience, most recently serving as SVP at HarrisX (acquired from Nielsen). Nancy has built a reputation for forging close client relationships by uncovering specific research challenges and developing innovative and effective solutions to solve them. At Escalent, she uses her leadership skills to nurture a number of the firm's most important client relationships. Outside of Escalent, Arter is the newly elected chairperson of the Board at Pediatric Therapy Network, a sensory integration clinic focused on children of all abilities. Nancy is a native Californian, an avid fitness nut, and loves spending time with her loved ones, including her pug, Woody.