Way back in the day, the term “consumer” came into marketing parlance because we needed a term to describe the collective group of customers and prospective customer audiences.   Dana Middleton, Global CEO of  performance marketing firm Performics, challenged attendees of SES-Chicago, the ClickZ digital show where I was a speaker this week, to recognize that “consumer” no longer adequately represents the relationship between customers and brands.

Instead, she urged us to think of everyone as a “participant” – and adjust our digital and data-driven marketing strategies around engagement, not broadcast messaging.

That is pretty compelling. What would you change if you started understanding your cusotmers’ role as participant, and not just consumers of your brand experience?


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This is the fifteenth installment of the DMA “See Data Differently” series as part of our newly relaunched National Center for Data-Driven Marketing (NCDM). Join us at our annual “big data” conference, NCDM: Where Marketing Meets Big Data, and SEE DATA DIFFERENTLY. The National Center for Data-Driven Marketing program features new keynotes and exceptional speakers.  Join us at NCDM: Where Marketing Meets Big Data. December 9-11, 2013, Las Vegas, NV.

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