The Speed of Now

Not too long ago, the Internet introduced the world to the idea of life at warp speed. Today we've accelerated from overdrive to hyperdrive, along the way learning how to get what we want when we want it. Consumer expectations about how much time things should take have been recalibrated ever-lower, both online and offline. We can share photos with scores of friends instantly, get our credit approved in the blink of an eye and take our temperatures with a thermometer in a mere second. Even our vocabulary today reflects our impatience with the notion of waiting, as phrases such as “on demand,” “instant message,” “real-time access,” “speed dating” and “live blogging” have entered our lexicon. This week's MONITOR Minute focuses on consumers' growing expectation of immediacy and marketers' subsequent need to deliver expediency.

DUAL PROCESSORS

Consumers have not just learned to cope with overstimulation; they have become quite facile at processing tremendous amounts of information. Seventy-three percent of individuals say they are skilled at “being able to process new information quickly.” A similar percent feel they are skilled at multitasking, and 28% of consumers say they multitask “all the time.”