The waning hold of consumer control and the shift from screens to sensors

The pivot to passive is the future of consumer digital technology, and with it will come a consumer marketplace more like the one that existed before the internet than after. This is not because of any attenuation of technology, but because the inexorable advance of digital technology is returning the balance of power, influence and control to marketers. J Walker Smith explains

NEW TECHNOLOGIES are set to make the emerging consumer marketplace more like the one that existed before the internet. This may suggest that consumers will have less say, but that is not at all what will happen. Rather, consumers will get even more of what they want by using the ‘pivot to passive’ to participate in a less hands-on way. The important point is that the bottom-line for marketers is a new business model. The screens of active engagement are giving way to sensors tracking consumers, which, in turn, will make needs subordinate to situation and will anchor value in algorithms – all of it with marketers back in the driver’s seat.
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Reproduced with permission from Market Leader magazine, June 2014, (c) Warc and The Marketing Society.  For more about Market Leader, please see

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