Why consumers are like cats: Lenovo’s view of the future of marketing

Low Lai Chow

Marketing has rapidly evolved into a different beast due to the rise of digital media. And while speaking at the Festival of Asian Marketing Effectiveness 2013 in Shanghai, Ajay Kaul, Lenovo’s executive director, global brand communications and marketing analytics, argued the consumer has become a new kind of animal, too.

“Consumers and customers have changed. They used to be like dogs. Dogs are very friendly, they do what you tell them, they do exactly what you ask them to do. They are very passive and responsive. Consumers have come to be like cats: active and finicky. They have an opinion of their own. They will come to you only if they want to come to you,” he said.

One telling instance of this is in the United States, where the National Do Not Call Registry now has 157 million telephone numbers in its database from consumers who have actively opted out of being contacted by telemarketers.