People have always looked for ways to gain insight into products and services they are thinking of purchasing. Hank Barnes discusses how the Internet has been the game-changer in empowering customers by helping them find information not controlled or influenced by the vendor.

Transcript

When you think about buying this shift to customers and empowered consumers has been happening for many years. But if we go back before the web, typically the providers of products and services had more power. They were the controllers of information. If I wanted to learn about your products, I needed to talk to you. That was largely my only source.

But it really wasn’t our only source, because if you think about it the whole world of public relations and analyst relations and technology has been around for a long time. Gartner, as a firm has been in business for over 35 years. So people have always been going to others looking for insights, but often times the technology vendors were the primary source.

What we are really seeing with consumers today and because of the Internet, is the provider is not their primary source of information, and in fact because of trust issues, most customers look to others for information because they fundamentally don’t trust what we hear from vendors.

So they don’t just go to folks like Gartner, they go to independent consultants. They go to academics. They go to small analyst firms. They go everywhere they can looking for information that they trust, and then they come back to the providers to really gauge that and say, well here’s what others say about you. I want to see what you say about yourself.

And so this shift in power again points back to what we talked about in terms of how digital marketing technology has changed. Because the customer has the power to access information that they want to need, we need to adapt to that versus the thinking that we can control the conversation.

When you think about buying this shift to customers and empowered consumers has been happening for many years. But if we go back before the web, typically the providers of products and services had more power. They were the controllers of information. If I wanted to learn about your products, I needed to talk to you. That was largely my only source.

But it really wasn’t our only source, because if you think about it the whole world of public relations and analyst relations and technology has been around for a long time. Gartner, as a firm has been in business for over 35 years. So people have always been going to others looking for insights, but often times the technology vendors were the primary source.

What we are really seeing with consumers today and because of the Internet, is the provider is not their primary source of information, and in fact because of trust issues, most customers look to others for information because they fundamentally don’t trust what we hear from vendors.

So they don’t just go to folks like Gartner, they go to independent consultants. They go to academics. They go to small analyst firms. They go everywhere they can looking for information that they trust, and then they come back to the providers to really gauge that and say, well here’s what others say about you. I want to see what you say about yourself.

And so this shift in power again points back to what we talked about in terms of how digital marketing technology has changed. Because the customer has the power to access information that they want to need, we need to adapt to that versus the thinking that we can control the conversation.