How Much Power Do Consumers Have

The question was posted on Linked In: Do Consumers Wield Too Much Power?

Responses so far have varied from: “consumers have way too much power” to “no they have little power and should demand more.”

Here’s my thinking: Consumers have more power now than they have ever had and that is a GOOD thing for us!

Never before have we been able to view consumer motivations, intentions and actions the way we can today. This is because consumers have never before had so much control in their choices. We all know consumers research purchases before buying, right?
Well, that’s great news for PR and marketing professionals because we are the ones putting the information out there!

We can not only guide their choices by knowing where they look for information and what they are looking for – but we can also see what compels them. Are they more interested in reviews and testimonials? Are they more compelled by availability, price, ease-of-use?

Just the fact that we can see exactly when we lose them informs our communications. We know the moment they exit a web site — and can then examine, what made them leave here instead of purchasing? Was the checkout process too tedious? Why did they leave at this moment in completing our form? Was it too long? Why did they stop viewing our demo at the :45 mark? Was it boring? Was the information irrelevant? We can fine tune our communications based on their specific action.
I believe we had less power when consumers were more driven by impulse and catchy jingles than today where information guides the dollar.
We need to embrace the information consumers give us and revel in the fact that they are seeking information from us. The power here is a two-way street.

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