The new audience

Mark Earls

Marketers need to reconsider 'the audience', which is no longer passive, ready to absorb brand messages, and is no longer theirs

Since its earliest days, marketing has prided itself on putting the people who buy the products being marketed (or the 'consumers', as we've got used to calling them) at the heart of its thinking and processes. You could argue that the fundamental point of marketing (as well as its primary contribution to contemporary culture) is the idea of organising business around the needs, wants and desires of the people who buy its goods and services.

Along the way, we've come to rely on certain ideas about these people – how they do what they do, how they make the decisions we seek to influence, the nature of the relationship between us and them, and the importance of the role we play in their lives.