2017 ZEITGEIST Emerging trends and what they mean for Welsh Water

The world is shrinking.

It’s never been easier for people to connect, to travel, to experience new things. Technology is transforming society at a faster pace than ever before.

We Facebook long-lost friends, WhatsApp family across the world, share pics over Snap, and witness news as it happens through Twitter and Periscope. We’re all content producers.

We expect immediacy And a new crop of disruptors are challenging traditional business models to give us this – arriving in Ubers within minutes, deliveroo-ing us a meal straight away.we want to feel in control.

Forget next-day delivery, we want it in the next hour. Pin number? FFS… why can’t I go contactless.

We’re impatient.

We expect immediate answers from companies to our queries, on the channel of our choosing. The successful companies are embracing this and providing personalised, hassle free experiences

Technology is opening up the world, yet people seem more distant from each other.

2016 has epitomised this. The world seems more polarised, more scary.

We tweet people when they’re sat just across the table from us.

Social media allows us to trade-in our eclectic physical communities for a more comfortable virtual one.

Headphones on. Smartphone up.

Don’t like a viewpoint? Just click mute.

We’re in our happy little echo-chambers. Our carefully curated worlds.

This disruptive and uncertain time is changing society.

So, we’re increasingly craving purpose and reassurance from familiar things — community and purpose-driven companies and causes. Trusted peer endorsements, rather than global marketing, becomes more important by the day.

Our task is to embrace this Zeitgeist — the spirit of this uncertain time. To deliver the immediate and relevant services, products and content that people crave, but do so in a purpose-driven, reassuring and authentic way. To use marketing for good.


In a disruptive and uncertain world, what do people want?

To be in control. There is a direct correlation between control, levels of trust and happiness. And people are demanding more control every day:

from tracking your fitness…

your parcels …

your Uber…

or your water meter installation

So, allowing customers to access services in the way they want is a major factor to build customer trust and satisfaction.

Every alert or update on our smartphone gives our brain a little dopamine-filled burst of happiness.

The big growth areas for the coming year:

  1. Messaging apps
  2. Chatbots
  3. Live streaming
  4. 360° video and virtual reality
  5. Authenticity / personalised experiences
  6. Branded/editorial content
  7. Purpose-driven companies
  8. Brand partnerships
  9. Opening up companies
  • Huge growth: WhatsApp, Snapchat, Facebook Messenger
  • 60bn daily messages on FB and WhatsApp alone / SMSs just 20bn
  • Richer experience - multi-media content text, images, videos, emojis
  • Free


  • Messaging apps become standard for customer service?
  • Targeting – localised service alerts, in-built tutorial video to individuals


Subscribe to Rhondda Fach Facebook Messenger group

We can send out alerts, info videos on discoloured water, traffic updates, maps, allow customers to ask questions, co-create solutions with the community, and share tips with neighbours or ask questions.

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