Marketing in the Age of the Empowered Consumer
Advertising agencies used to create impactful messaging, then plan and buy advertising to reach desirable audiences. Most still do. But agencies have had an increasingly difficult time proving value to their clients even while executing smart, targeted advertising, and communications or promotional programs — simply because the targeted audiences are no longer available or receptive.
Consumers in the last few years have executed brilliantly on a disruptive strategy to elbow their way into the advertising ecosystem as an equal player alongside marketers, agencies, tech companies, publishers and others.
The same ordinary consumers of shampoo and cars, healthcare and software or As Seen on TV gadgets have rebelled against their historical role as passive consumers of (often) untargeted, irrelevant and disruptive ads online and off. With an increasingly robust set of tools that allow consumers to time shift ad viewing, remove ad viewing, selectively accept ad viewing or make other trade-offs for ad viewing, the consumer has accumulated enough power to call the shots. They have emphatically declared that the old days of advertising are gone.
This power shift impacts publishers most directly as they have long relied on the ad supported model that trades free content for ad viewing. This value exchange worked pretty well for centuries, probably starting with the first hand-delivered news flyers, but certainly continued through newspapers, radio, magazines, TV and the early days of digital. This exchange no longer works because more consumers are spending more of their media time in digital mediums and digital tools have handed them the ability to avoid ads. As online and offline publishers fight for the consumers’ attention in an increasingly crowded content landscape, they are also scrambling to readjust their business models to address shrinking ad revenues.
With over 20 years of online experience Robin Neifield serves as the CEO of Netplus, a top interactive agency, and as the trusted digital guide for CMOs. She has been widely published and quoted on digital strategy and has been a frequent speaker and panelist at industry events like Search Engine Strategies, OMMA, Ad:Tech and others where her insights are sought on varied marketing topics such as digital strategy, behavioral targeting, social media marketing, search engine and conversion optimization, localization strategies and proximity marketing, mobile gaming and email marketing. You can find her on LinkedIn, or reach her by email or phone, (610) 304-9990.