As our world has continued to shift on its axis, the current marketplace changes have not only been visible, they have been undeniable. As brands and consumers, we were already on the path to move more and more virtual with both our personal and professional relationships. As marketers, we have seen channels fragment even further. Consistent, impactful communications become a struggle.
The top-down idea of broadcasting and controlling a brand’s marketing efforts are a thing of the past. The power has shifted to the hands of the audience. With the fall of controlled messages, we are experiencing the rise of consumer expectations. And the backlash that can be met when those expectations aren’t met.
Whether business-to-business or direct-to-consumer, the audience has become the channel, not just the target. The rise of social media and the 24/7 news cycle has increased the influence of the consumer as a participant, not just a consumer of content, products and services. They have the power and they are using it. This shift in power will drive higher standards, transparency and innovation from brands. The idea of accountability is not an option, it is a requirement of doing business.
In this issue of Thinking, we explore the dynamics of this power shift and how we as marketers can drive meaningful engagement with consumers and businesses alike.
We check our egos at the door and find new ways to build business and create a culture of community development and innovation. We are the facilitators of this change and we can guide our clients and communities to a more meaningful and sustainable marketplace, collaborating to harness the power of the people through earned and shared media.