The buzz around 5G has been building for a while.

With promises of internet speeds a hundred times faster than 4G and the role it’ll play in powering the machines of the future (immersive gaming, autonomous cars and precision agriculture to name a few), the anticipation seems justified. 

But a twist in the story since our last 5G report means consumers in some parts of the world will have to wait longer than expected.

Recently it was reported that major 5G markets, including the UK and U.S., have cancelled plans to install the equipment because of issues around the misuse of data and the threat this could pose to national security.

But the question remains, has 5G lost its momentum, or is there still room for a faster, smarter, more capable cellular network?

The answer awaits those willing to invest in understanding their markets. 

Here, we demonstrate how businesses in the 5G space can use consumer data to spot the opportunities, and interrogate their true value.

The challenge: a lack of visibility over key 5G markets

Huawei is a major supplier of 5G equipment, and when questions arose around its use of data, sanctions were enforced by some nations limiting its ability to operate in those regions.

With Huawei banned from operating in the U.S., American tech companies like Google have also been barred from engaging with them. Google has a host of tracking software marketers rely on – and should any brand lose access to these, gaining sight of user behavior becomes limited.

And with the tech industry evolving, there’s an increasing need to get to grips with: 

  • Changes happening (and in which markets).
  • Consumer attitudes, especially around network security.
  • Expectations surrounding 5G across different audiences.
  • Device ownership across mobile, gaming and smart technology.
  • The competitive landscape.

Ultimately, gaining a clear understanding of the overall 5G market, its size and consensus (especially in regions now delaying their 5G setup) is now a real challenge.

What we know about today’s 5G consumer

Our latest research reaffirms the idea that the world of consumer electronics is changing, fast. 

But one thing that’s remained steady is demand for 5G.

chart showing interest in 5G is high and many want it in the future

Here’s another stat for you:

46% of U.S. and UK iPhone owners plan to upgrade in the next year, and 53% want 5G.

And for those who’ve bought into 5G networks already, they’re happy with the results.

Overall, feelings towards the 5G product are positive, which means  scope is certainly there for brands hoping to capitalize on new,  5G-related opportunities.

chart showing the speed of 5G is already impressing consumers

But of course, the landscape changes at an alarming rate, and with the consumer mindset in flux coupled with the continuing political developments in this space, keeping track of sentiments like these is important. 

Identifying the opportunities with data

While we’ve shared  a few examples of the kinds of insights you can retrieve, knowing how to collect data and size the opportunity in your markets is key.

1. Behavioral patterns.

The ways in which we use our devices, stream media and buy tech products has changed in the wake of the pandemic. 

Knowing where these shifts have occurred and what it means for your business will allow you to pivot towards the most lucrative channels.

2. Geographic data.

With a growing number of regions now postponing 5G, getting a regional view of consensus is paramount.

A global data set will give you insight into out-of-sight 5G markets, so you can direct your attention where it’s most wanted.

3. Attitudes, motivations and perceptions.

The 5G topic is a controversial one, not least because of public fears around data protection (and even radiation), but because of the political tensions that accompany it. 

Now, more than ever, there’s a need to listen to people on the ground to get a feel of the rationale behind their opinions and perceptions around 5G – especially in areas where concerns have arisen. 

Psychographics allow you to understand exactly why people may choose (or choose not to) engage with certain brands and products, as well as what drives them to take certain actions. 

4. Demographic data.

More and more users, especially older generations, are buying into smart technology. 

With greater fluency across wider age groups it’s important to know exactly who may be interested in buying your products and services, and exactly what value they seek to gain from them.

5G market sizing

Deep consumer data can reveal exactly which individuals make up your market, and accurately estimate its size. 

With extreme changes in consumer attitudes and behaviors muddying previously predictable patterns, now’s the time to listen to your audience so you can forecast your potential ROI. 

With GWI, you get a strong understanding of the size and scale of the market you’re targeting.

It means you’ll be well positioned to monitor trends and fluctuations in the 5G market, and maximize your impact in a cost effective way.

Here’s how it’s done in three simple steps: 

  1. Combine and analyze tens of thousands of data points and develop a clear picture of who’ll engage with your brand, and who’s most likely to buy your products in a specific region or sector.
  2. Scrutinize this audience in detail to ensure your brand has visibility over how to align with consumer demand. This can be achieved by segmenting and profiling your audience according to their demographics, geographics, behaviors, lifestyles and motivations.
  3. Once your audience is perfected, GWI gives you an exact figure of how many potential customers you have. You can see this on a global or regional view.

Psychographic spotlight: attitudes to data security among U.S. tech adopters

There’s no doubt data security is a concern in the U.S., – both at a government level and on a consumer level. 

Today, more than ever, U.S. consumers are more in-tune with how their data is used and stored. In fact, fear over data privacy is in the top five most cited concerns nationwide, with personal health, healthcare, gun crime, terrorism and climate change also high on the list.

To make this more applicable for brands in the 5G space, the chart below shows how tech owners express greater concern over data security than the average consumer.

chart showing the security of data peaks among tech buyers

As the primary adopters of tomorrow’s even smarter technology, it’s important for brands in the 5G space to be aware that a poor track record could mean consumers turn away from specific products and services. 

This highlights the need for brands to get under the surface and find out what really matters to their audience – especially in the sea of change we’re experiencing today.

Key takeaways for brands in the 5G space

The 5G story is far from finished, but when grappling to stay relevant and build trust in your core markets, investing in understanding the needs, wants and fears of the people who’ll be using your products is worth it.

With a global data source offering a fresh perspective on regional behaviors, attitudes and motivation around 5G, you can spot the opportunities in areas where visibility is limited. 

In the midst of 5G noise, and confusion, brands that look closely into the mindsets of their target markets will have the best chance. 

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