I was reading a post in Ad Age today and it got me thinking... As we push further into the digital sphere... Are the companies actually becoming the consumers?
Think about it. As advertisements push the limits and our patience, Company X needs to find some way to get our attention. That is the consumer's product. We offer brand loyalty. It's no surprise that this has always been the highly coveted goal for all companies and brands... but they used to not have to try so hard.
Now, they are among us. Having their own pages on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn... interacting as though they were your friend or "part of your professional network". They want, so badly, for us to like them. But, can you blame them? The consumer has what the brand wants... Time, attention, loyalty, and of course money.
As I said before, this is no new development, but it is an interesting concept to point out as companies explore new frontiers in advertising. The consumer has all the control - the choice as to whether to click on that ad, go to that site, or to type that company name they heard on TV into their preferred search engine.
So, how can companies counteract this choice? They need to be where we are, doing what we are doing, interacting with us to develop relevance to our daily lives. They can no longer expect a stand alone ad or TV commercial to get the job done. It has to be interactive. It needs a call to action. It needs to sync up with multiple outlets in order to 1. Get noticed and 2. Be seen as relevant. Companies can no longer stand by and expect the customer to come to them... They now need to be the active consumer, embarking on the world, living amongst their desired product - in order to understand it and work with it.
The more inundated people are with information and stimulation, the less likely they are to go looking for it. We talk a lot about consumer driven advertising, and this concept follows suit. Think about the consumer as being the driver of a bus... Not only do they get to choose what ad is placed on the side of their bus, but they get to choose where they stop and who gets on. So, Company X is at the mercy of Brand Y, with Brand Y being YOU.