While much of the power has been virtually handed to consumers overnight, Forbes contributor Daniel Kehrer believes there are a few analytical trends coming up that are helping to give brands back some of the power.
Since the Internet’s infancy, customers have been gaining power and control over the purchasing process.
Armed with unprecedented amounts of information and enabled with new digital technologies, they’ve experienced a giddy generation of greater control. For marketers, this changed everything. Instead of calling the shots, they found themselves dodging bullets.
But there’s a major shift underway. Even as customers continue to exert unprecedented control of purchasing decisions, power is swinging back toward marketers, with a nudge from technology and analytics that play a new and larger role in the middle.
Here’s why. As customers face an ever-more dizzying array of choices, they are turning increasingly to technology to help make decisions. That’s enabled by four converging trends:
- An expanding Internet of things which embeds sensors almost anywhere to generate smart data on customer preferences and trigger actions and offers by marketers.
- A shift from active engagement to “automated engagement” where technology takes over tasks that buyers once performed themselves, from information gathering to actual buying.