Now, the consumer is king…long live social equity; more interesting and exciting times, where only those organisations who embrace consumer engagement will prosper!
Ever since digital communications made an appearance and started to be exploited by the masses, the old-style (traditional) method of communication has taken a bit of a beating; indeed, one-way communication channels have definitely met their match in terms of evolution. Now two-way communication channels have secured, and many would rightly say, earned their place in modern society as the only true democratic communications method.
Unlike traditional methods where the seller would state a message for it to be consumed by the target audience, now, the consumer can and do respond on so many levels to voice their opinion to the seller, as well as to other consumers – either in a positive voice or a negative one!
This doesn’t mean traditional communication channels are dead, far from it! Did the radio die when TV became the norm? Or did snail mail disappear when email made an impact? No! I’m not saying traditional communication channels will be around forever – ecological demands and technology developments will ultimately decide their fate.
But digital communication channels, including social media platforms have now opened up a whole range of opportunities for the consumer and for those organisations wishing to engage with their publics. It has also opened up an exciting opportunity for creative communicators to excel in a way which takes advantages of current and future opportunities that the digital media platform has and will continue to offer.
Digital communication channels have also changed the way in which the consumer interacts with brands. The time when brands dictated to the consumer are over – sales messages and announcements have been replaced by conversations through creative dialogue.
Now, the consumer can dictate the terms of sale and how brands operate, and ultimately how they should and can interact.
Public relations, in its truest sense has evolved so much that it has already created a clear divide between those who understand and embrace the digital democracy, and those who refuse to dissolve their dictatorial way of communicating their corporate proposition – aka: brand malfunction!