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The Waning Hold of Consumer Control

Image credit: http://www.ama.org/

Image credit: http://www.ama.org/

The Waning Hold of Consumer Control
J Walker Smith

Marketing News | AMA

Digital marketing is not all of a piece. The first digital wave that took off in the mid-1990s with the commercialization of the Internet has long required active consumer engagement with screens. This was the way that technology connected with people, and thus marketers with consumers. A screen demands active engagement. Consumers must touch it, key information into it and be involved with it in many ways.

But two decades in, we are beginning to pivot away from active consumer engagement to passive digital, a future in which sensors, not screens, will be the primary interface. This shift is as big as the rise of the Internet, itself. Sensors perform passive monitoring, and detect, report and trigger, and consumers do little—often nothing.

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