Ever since the 19th century, the prevailing trend in marketing has been an increasing focus on the consumer. Today, the value-first moniker allows potential buyers to actually sample the product before buying, an evolution from the liberal return policies of the 90s.
We’ve all been in Costco and enjoyed little morsels of food before buying anything. And on the internet, this is even more common. Website users are given more free information and resources than ever before, all in the name of building trust and demonstrating expertise, increasing the ODDS of a future sale.
Going forward, the consumer focus will evolve even more. Successful marketers will be those who actually HELP potential buyers become successful themselves. Marketing messages will all target the achievement of the buyers own objectives. Giving your buyers a platform to stand on will be the next wave of marketing methodology.
Of course, the many forums on the internet were among the first iterations of this approach, giving all of us a way to promote ourselves and demonstrate our own expertise. And all the user-driven platforms like MarketWatch and others are another manifestation. Social Bookmarking is yet one more.
These platforms all present the ultimate objectivity because the content is being contributed and validated by the audience, not the host. The applications are fairly novice so far but the integration and aggregation of regular life activities will soon incorporate all areas of our lives.
Decisions we make will be recorded, aggregated and made available to others considering similar decisions. And wherever possible, the results of these decisions will be aggregated as well, giving future decision-makers additional insight when planning their own activities.
There will be three effects of this. First, we will become increasingly aware of the “average person” around us. We will have direct visual access to a true cross-section of the population … and it will remind us all how uneducated most people are. Sad but true. Most people know little or nothing about the major events shaping our time in history.
Secondly, it will widen the division between the “leaders” and the “followers”. The majority of the population will seek approval and validation by following the crowd. And, of course, we will know EXACTLY what the crowd is doing. But there will be a smaller subset of the population that will purposefully go in the other direction and that will feed creativity and innovation.
Third, the acceptance and critical mass stages of a successful new product will accelerate even more as new success stories will be apparent to a wider audience in real time. This will widen the gap between product providers and product consumers and allow the providers of successful products to achieve incredible success quicker. In other words, business owners will have more leverage than ever and the division between the rich and the poor will magnify further.
Tactical Execution provides implementation solutions for businesses that are ready to take action. There is a ton of great information available on the website and I hope you take advantage of those resources.