The Consumer Is Boss: A 10-Year Perspective

©IDG Communications, Inc. Photo contributed by Matthew Mikaelian.


On October 15, 2000, A.G. Lafley, president and CEO of Procter & Gamble Co., delivered a prophetic speech entitled “The Consumer is Boss!” to the Association of National Advertisers. In his presentation he emphasized three main points:

“We’re moving away from the current mass marketing model, away from push and toward pull.
Consumers will only become more demanding.
They want to have a conversation, to dialogue, to participate, to be more in control.”

These points may seem obvious to marketers and other business people today, but they still confound us. We only now begin to realize the implications. Recently, Rich Green, CTO at Nokia, said companies should stop trying to think of using social media for their own ends: “The big ‘a-ha’ moment is when enterprises finally realize that their digital existences are being defined by the consumer world, not the reverse. It is hubris to think that an enterprise can ‘use’ social media for its advantage.” Read more

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