The "Empowered Consumer” takes control.
Mobile: The Empowered consumer lives on their smart phone. It is their calendar their map, their library, their credit card. It’s their digital companion - and it drives everything from what they buy to who they are. It’s a critical assistant in all facets of their lives.
Hands-on: Not willing to be driven by ads, or even entirely by friends recommendations - the Empowered Consumer is driven by their own ability to try before you buy, return at will, and click their way to new options and choices. Changes in how they shop, what they shop for, and how they expect to be treated run through the trend - with power and control at the driver of change.
Smart: With access to multiple points of information - the Empowered Consumer is going to check sources before making a decision. With Amazon’s consumer comments, there’s a crowd intelligence that often beats the ‘experts.’ But it goes further - using their social network of friends and co-workers to give them feedback on potential purchases, trips, or vendors before they even try the service.
Committed: An Empowered Consumer can be loyal, but only if it goes both ways. Value comes from both price, and quality and honesty from a brand they patronize. It’s expected that a brand will understand their needs, their history, and everything from the way they engage to what they’ve done in the past. Service and quality beat privacy here.
A Global Citizen: No longer loyal to their home turf, the Empowered Consumer is able to shop across boarders, and patronize brands and services that meet their needs. No single flat is flying the “Empowered Consumer” colors - it’s a world market now.
So, if the consumer has this new power and independence, how do brands and marketers use the new environment to connect with them? It’s a complicated space, but there are a few core principles worth outlining:
Community Consumer Empowerment
Social empowerment is understood as the process of developing a sense of autonomy and self-confidence, and acting individually and collectively to change social relationships and the institutions and discourses that exclude co and keep them in poverty.
Poor people’s empowerment, and their ability to hold others to account, is strongly influenced by their individual assets (such as land, housing, livestock, savings) and capabilities of all types: human (such as good health and education), social (such as social belonging, a sense of identity, leadership relations) and psychological (self-esteem, self-confidence, the ability to imagine and aspire to a better future). Also important are people’s collective assets and capabilities, such as voice, organisation, representation and identity.
Empowering Healthcare Consumers
1. Help consumers to become more healthcare literate.
There’s a plethora of applications, websites, blogs, wikis, etc. that exist to help consumers become better informed about their own health. Unfortunately, a lot of the learnings those resources provide aren’t effectively (or correctly) applied.
2. Help patients to retain what they learn in the doctor’s office, in the clinic, or on the ward.
3. Help consumers to conceive and frame questions.
We know that asking yes-or-no questions begets yes-or-no responses. People are often embarrassed or reluctant to admit they don’t know an answer, or that they don’t understand something, so they’ll give the doctor a cursory yes or no answer in the office and avoid embarrassment.
4. Design solutions with the healthcare consumer in mind.psychographic analysis could help you to find out the answers to those questions. And once you have those answers, you can apply them to design better patient engagement and consumer empowerment solutions.
Empowerment marketing subverts traditional marketing tactics by recasting the consumer as the hero who has the power to effect change and use the product or service being sold to achieve success. One of the best examples of this type of marketing campaign is Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign. Rather than promising that its shoes will improve athletic performance, Nike’s ads generally send the message that anyone can be an athlete if they’re willing to work hard.
In addition to this type of empowerment message, consumers in the age of Internet communication and social media are finding themselves empowered by the fact that their voices and opinions are being heard by companies like never before. Savvy marketers are taking advantage of this fact to make consumers feel that they have a certain amount of control over brand direction.