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The age of passive consumerism is dead

Mar 12, 2022

The age of passive consumerism is dead. Welcome to the age of active participants, of creators, of people that want to be heard, seen, and rewarded for having a perspective.

Over the past twenty years, the culture has shifted to where people no longer passively consume but actively participate in connecting with your brand. Your customers now have tools at their fingertips which allow them to amplify their criticisms, feelings, and thoughts about your company. Customers have always had the chance to give feedback, but now these customers have their own audiences, their own followings, and this directly affects you!

Customers are no longer just the purchasers of your product, but people that can serve as an extension of your sales team. They “sell” for you when they advocate for you, follow you, connect with you, and are interested in what you have to say as a brand. Just think about what is more impactful: When you tell everyone how great you are? Or when your most loyal brand advocates rave about how wonderful you are to their friends, family, and followers?

There are countless ways to connect with these customers, and it is no longer as simple and straightforward as being one of the only brands to sell a product. Companies that have been around for hundreds of years can disappear in an instant if an upstart competitor co-opts their market share by earning more brand loyalty through deeper customer connections.

One of the most common—and historically effective—ways to communicate directly with large swaths of a customer base is through marketing. But even that is changing.

Today, the average customer sees five thousand ads a day. People are tired of it! Customers’ attention is spread thinner than ever, and attention is a precious resource.

So as companies, it is imperative that we change the way we are thinking about our relationship to both our internal and external customers. Whether it’s an employee—an internal customer—leaving a review on Glassdoor, your most devoted fan making their usual purchase and then telling their friends and family about it, or a customer boasting about you on Instagram, as a brand, you have a responsibility to engage with your customers in a way that’s respectful of their time and limited attention.

How can we engage and meaningfully connect with our customers when there are so many tools at our disposal, and so many definitions of what engagement even means?

We want our employees and customers to be our brand advocates, carrying our flag proudly and waving it in the air; we want them to care because we’ve inspired them, not because we told them they should.

Understanding and harnessing engagement allows you to build connection with human beings that drive belief and action - whether you are in marketing, sales or human resources. 

If you find yourself constantly working to connect with people but don’t really know where to begin. Or you reinvent the wheel every time or depend on outside marketers to tell you exactly what to do rather than equipping yourself to do it. CatalystU can help.

Learn more about our certification course here and develop new skills and strategies to stay ahead of the curve.


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