As long as there have been consumers (forever), sellers have been trying to influence their behavior. In the twentieth century advertising firms made influencing consumer behavior an art form and developed an array of psychological theories to explain it.
Fast forward to the twenty first century and the playing field has changed completely again. Thanks to modern information technology consumers approach their purchases in an entirely new way.
When modern consumers want information on a product they don’t go to the producer, they go to each other. Online forums have become the site of intense debate over the relative benefits and flaws of different products. Consumers trust each other because they know they have nothing to gain from the exchange but relevant information.
So where are these conversations taking place? Well one interesting development of the twenty first century has been the emergence of Social Media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. Increasingly marketers are going to these places and influencing consumer behavior directly. Read the rest of this entry >>