IE Focus March 2009 | By Manuel Alonso, Professor at IE Business School
Let’s face it, the customer is always right, and this long-standing truth is growing truer by the day thanks to new technologies. Traditional marketing doesn’t work anymore.
The main effect of the exponential technological development of marketing in recent years has been the increase in consumer power in commercial relations. We have to accept the situation: the consumer is in command. He is no longer an isolated person bombarded by commercial strategies that lead him to take purchasing decisions. He has his own opinion, which he can say very easily through digital channels, directing it not only at advertisers, but also at other consumers, over whom he has huge influence. It is very easy to gather from this statement that usual advertising has abandoned the traditional unidirectional format to become not bidirectional between brand and customer, but rather multidirectional, where customers exchange information with each other.
Bearing in mind this situation, it comes as no surprise that the 2007 New Year cover Time magazine always dedicates to the person it considers as being most important in the previous three-hundred-and-sixty-five days was dedicated to you, and me, and each and every one of us, since we are at the helm of the new information era in which the consumer has become the prosumer: he has unlimited options for choosing products, for comparing them, for hearing other buyers´ opinions, for influencing manufacturers and advertisers… And all that power is making him more difficult to reach using the staler advertising formats, especially in the cold, corporate tone.