It’s been heavily talked about in magazines, TV programs and blogs for years, to varying degrees and with varying intentions.
Yes, customers are in control.
In the broadcast era of marketing, customers decided whether or not to pay attention to your message.
Then, the Internet came along, put print and TV on the ropes, and gave customers new avenues to express their opinions, along with a wider selection of free content delivered in many forms.
Online, customers are always in control. From product reviews, to blog posts, to the search terms they enter to find products they’re looking for. Not only can customers determine whether or not your prospects buy your products, but your prospects can pass you by without even knowing you exist, unless you play by their rules and cater to the wants that they communicate.
The key to marketing in the digital era is to research how your target audience describes the products and services they use. Then, create content related to that instead of trying to have your audience begin using the language your company uses to describe itself.
The best thing about online marketing is that the playing field is (relatively) even online. Companies small and big can use the same research tactics and create great content.