This essay argues that consumers are dominating the balance of power in
today’s digitally driven marketplace. It will discuss how the increase of
technology has improved consumer access to information, the development of
market research, and how different internal and external factors influences
consumers, thus greater power. The term ‘marketing’ refers to the “management
process responsible for identifying, anticipating, and satisfying customer
requirements profitably” (CIM, 2001). The digital marketing world is becoming
one of the vital aspects of the business industry. Numerous people are becoming
consumers of the digital world through the use of digital platforms and in
turn, the marketplace is adapting fast.


From a global perspective, the digital marketplace has empowered the
consumer enabling two-way communication with the organization. This has
significantly increased the power of the consumer, potential for influence and
even improved consumer access to information (Zureik and Mowshowitz, 2005).
Today, the Digital marketplace has shifted the balance of power to consumers as
it enables greater, faster, reliable and transparent access of information to
consumers (Kotler et al, 2001). Furthermore, access to information has led to
more knowledgeable and informed consumers as they have been increasingly active



Arguably, the force that has shifted the change of power in today’s
digital market, is the extent to which the consumer has more information.  There has been an increase in the quantity
and quality of information available which has helped to improve market
transparency, reduce information asymmetries, as well as help to make better
and efficient decisions (Larsson & Lundberg, 1998). Consumers in the
digital world have access to transparent information when deciding to purchase
a product. Before the emergence of digital marketing, the consumer depended on
biased and incomplete information along with high transaction costs when
comparing prices and products. This shows how asymmetric information negatively
affected consumers and the competitive market as they had to make decisions
based on partial information (Labrecque et al., 2013). An efficient market
depends on consumers and sellers having full and equal access to the
information. This is key to be able to make rational decisions.


Consumers can now rely heavily on digital interactions in order to make
a decision. Consumers use this towards their advantage as they can retrieve
comparative information on prices, products, and services. Virtual advisors,
for example, offer support to consumers when needing to
make important decisions. Other sources of information online can be used to
shop for the best price of a product or option such as or (Solomon, Marshall, and Stuart, 2015). Advertisements in
newspapers, on TV, recommendations on Facebook, or a video on YouTube often
provides valuable guidance. Company reputations can rise or fall, based on the
communication between consumers online. Companies need to accept that consumers
are less tolerant now, and they need to act accordingly to keep their customer
base. Additionally, (Labrecque et al., 2013) states that Consumers can
determine whether or not they want to engage with companies online. Consumers
can set up firewalls to block some advertising material (banner ads, pop-ups)
and set high privacy alerts. Consumers have widespread access to information
which makes them much better informed in today’s market. By putting the
unprecedented choice in the hands of the consumer, the availability of
information to consumers has caused an unfavourable power loss for producers.


Price is a significant aspect of companies marketing strategy as it
affects almost all types of consumers. The consumers reveal their preferences
to producers based on what they buy. The consumer has to, therefore, choose
from the vast variety of goods offered to him by producers (Saren, 2006). The
urgency of desire for certain goods implies that the consumer is prepared to
pay a large sum of money which means an increase in profits for producers.
Furthermore, if the consumer desires goods less urgently, it demonstrates his
reluctance to spend more money on them and he offers lower prices resulting in
an expecting shrinkage in profits. Consumers want value for money and will no
longer accept cheap or overpriced products and poor customer service (Palmer,
2012). Consumers demand superiority and are happy to pay for something that
they value. Thus the consumer is dominant. He/she sets the price and producers
manufacture those products which he or she wants more.




Consumer behaviour is anything but straightforward and is increasingly
influenced by internal and external factors (Kotler et al, 2001). Today’s
consumers are faced with a range of product selection, and competition is so
fierce among companies globally, that for producers not to have an
understanding of consumer behaviour could prove detrimental to the business
(Kotler et al, 2001). Internal influences are also known as personal influences
and it includes attitude, motivation, perceptions, lifestyle, roles and


The most substantial internal influence that affects consumers purchase
decision is his/her motivation. It is an internal state that drives consumers
to satisfy needs. Once we activate a need, a state of tension exists that
drives the consumer towards some goal. For example, a person’s motivation
activated the need for a new car, which in turn motivated that person to test
and search for different models, thus eliminating this need by purchasing the
car. Maslow’s theory of motivation states that people are driven by particular
needs at particular times and that human needs are arranged in a hierarchy of
importance from physiological to safety, too social, to esteem to
self-actualisation (Kotler et al, 2001). Every consumer has different needs so
it is essential to identify the needs of different segments of the target market.
Consumers decide what they want and if they ask for something and you do not
give it to them, then they will usually search for another supplier who can
give them what they want. Consumers demands and needs are always increasing as
they want the best products for the value they are paying (Brassington and
Pettitt, 2007). Consumers control the companies because they demand services
and products, therefore they have no choice but to meet their needs and provide
what they want.


In today’s digital market very few firms can justify aiming to meet the
needs of each specific individual. Instead, they target their product at a
clearly defined group known as ‘segments’ and position their product so that it
meets the needs of that group. In a world where consumers all have broadly
similar needs and expectations, a company could get away with developing a
marketing program that meets the needs of each customer. For example, in the
early 20th century, the motoring company Ford was successful in selling the
standard black Model T Fords. (Wilson, 2014). However, In the modern world of
marketing, few companies can have the luxury of producing just one product to
satisfy a large market.



Another significant internal influence that affects consumers buying
behaviour is their own attitude. Attitude is a long lasting evaluation of a
person, object, or company. Consumers have attitudes towards brands, such as
whether McDonald’s or Burger King has the best burgers. Once a person’s
attitude is formed it is very hard to change (Palmer, 2012). If a consumer has
a negative attitude towards a specific product or issue, it will not be easy to
change that belief. Consumers attitudes inform marketers because they believe
attitudes predict behaviour and also they do not stay loyal to products. If
marketers are able to Identify these attitudes, this can increase their
knowledge about their consumers and their perceptions with a seller. So, it is
essential for marketers to design advertisements in an appropriate manner that
does not conflict with consumers’ attitudes. Companies such as Starbucks are
doing very well which is down to their positive image in the minds of its
consumers which is essential to influence their attitudes.


External Influences include cultures, family roles, and values that
affect an individual’s purchase decision (Palmer, 2012). Without the
understanding of external influences, producers would not be able to serve
effectively and positively affect consumers purchasing decisions. The external
factors stated above are all essential, however, culture is an important
phenomenon that must be understood. The emergence of digital technology with
brands worldwide have become cultural. An individuals’ values, attitudes,
beliefs, and opinions are shaped by his culture. This in turn also forms
different attitudes towards purchasing specific products or services. The
culture of an individual also gratifies his/her several emotional needs and due
to this, they try to protect their cultural values and beliefs (Palmer, 2012).
This culture protection is reflected in individuals’ behaviour as consumers and
can be comprehended with a case of how McDonald’s serving consumers from India is
different from serving US consumers due to their vegetarian culture values
(Kotler et al, 2001).



Luxury branding reveals how consumers have an emerging role in
marketing. Consumer tastes are merging and streamlining across the world as it
offers a possible standardization opportunity. According to (Shukla, 2010), the
desire for luxury goods is increasing substantially in emerging markets such as
India and Brazil. China’s luxury consumption accounts for 25% of the global
market and their middle-class consumers are becoming important targets of
luxury brands. Wealthy Chinese consumers are not discouraged by premium prices
because these luxury brands have important social needs, emotional values, and
superior product quality. Due to my research, it was suggested that motives for
luxury consumption from around the world are different, meaning consumers in
individualistic cultures purchase luxury brands mainly for themselves as a
satisfaction, while consumers in collective cultures are driven by social needs
and goals (Wong & Ahuvia, 1998). Thus, it is important when understanding
luxury consumption, to identify the difference between traditional Chinese
values and modern western cultures that guide Chinese middle-class consumers.
In an age of consumer power, it is vital to understand how important
advertising is in building consumer demand and making consumers buy more
expensive premium brands rather than generic label brands. The major challenge
companies are facing in an international marketplace is to identify and satisfy
the common needs of global market segments, which requires a global level in
research. Global marketing strategies include profiling of potentially global
consumer segments such as the consumers who travel frequently or speak more
than one language. Without a good understanding of these motivations, companies
cannot adequately address these consumers’ perceptions of luxury brands, nor
can they effectively meet consumer needs.


Gathering information about the consumer is known as market research.
Primary and Secondary data are the two major types of data available.  Primary data is new research which involves
questionnaires, interviews, and surveys. The main focus of Primary data is to
gather respondents’ opinion with regard to the factors that influences consumer
decision. It is important because as the marketplace develops, so does
technology which causes more demand and companies needs to keep up with the
technology and demand. This shows how Consumers are dominating by providing
competition (Saren,2006). At times, consumers will provide information with
companies. However, consumers can be very protective of their preferences and
information, therefore companies can struggle to gather information. Consumers
want companies to know what is going on in their minds, to understand, remember
and value them. Companies must research consumers if they want the companies to
be able to react to their needs. Secondary data is second-hand data which makes
use of information previously researched and made publicly available. Before
technology, consumers had to find the information they were looking for through
primary data. Now that technology is available, consumers look to secondary




To conclude, consumer behaviour is determined by their internal and
external influences along with the information available to them. Digital
technologies have changed the consumer’s environment and information available
to them thus changing their behaviour. Therefore, it is important that
companies know their consumers and market their products or services through
appropriate technologies. Consumers are now very powerful in their
relationships with brands and have more control and choice, more knowledgeable,
and have higher expectations than ever.


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