Congregate online; the homogeneous mass consumer population is fragmenting into ever smaller niche groups, with increasingly individual requirements.
Micropublishing of personal content is blossoming
Digital media’s interactive and interconnected nature allows consumers to express themselves online. Publishing your own content costs little more than a bit of time and imagination, whether through discussion forums, message boards, feedback forms, voting platforms, personal photo galleries, or blogs. Users are posting their opinions online for all to see, and are consulting the opinion of their online peers before making purchasing decisions. How often do you check an online review before booking a table at an unknown restaurant, a weekend break at a hotel, or even buying a new car?
Rise of the ‘prosumer
Online consumers are getting increasingly involved in the creation of the products and services they purchase, shifting the balance of power from producer to consumer. They are letting producers know what they want in no uncertain terms: the level of interaction between producer and consumer is unprecedented. Individuals are more involved in specifying, creating and customizing products to suit their requirements, and are able to shape and mould the experiences and communications they receive from producers. Traditional mass-production and mass-marketing concepts are rapidly becoming a thing of the past.
On-demand; any time, any place, anywhere
As digital technology becomes more ubiquitous in people’s lives, the corresponding acceleration of business processes means that consumers can satisfy their needs more quickly, more easily and with fewer barriers. In the digital economy, trifling concerns such as time, geography, location and physical storage space are becoming irrelevant. It is a world of almost instant gratification – and the more consumers get of it, the more they want it… now, now, now!