From the moment we are born, a process of change and continuous learning begins. We never stop learning and changing our thoughts. This factor has been exponentially enhanced in full digital age. And one of its consequences has been the birth of a new generation consumer called Crossumer.
What is a crossumer?
Crossumers are the new generation of consumers, people who are fully aware of their position in the economic and social system around consumption, and who have revived their active role.
This class of consumers is one that is used to face advertising in a calm and thoughtful way. Something that allows you to realize the makeup data by advertising companies, being an active subject in their decisions. The opinion of this type of consumer has become so relevant that many brands and companies have been forced to back down ideas or projects because of the social pressure they have been subjected to.
The existence of Crossumer, implies that marketing and advertising professionals need to adapt to this new generation consumer. Therefore, it is necessary to develop a new type of research in which concepts developed with internet proliferation with more classic methodologies of market research. Something essential, if we take into account that the Crossumer is exposed to technology in its day to day and knows how to use it for its own benefit.
The term Crossumer indicates with its prefix “cross” (cross in English), that a consumer “has crossed” the line between the roles of producer and consumer. For what has resulted in a new situation, in which the spaces between one concept and the other are increasingly smaller.
Something that has an impact on him is that he is aware of his position as the center of an economic and social system that revolves around consumption.
What is a Crossumer in summary? A consumer who pays attention to the smallest details and who knows what he wants with certainty.
This is how he is able to differentiate information from persuasion. For example, a Crossumer who watches television advertising does not ask “what does that ad tell me?”, But jumps directly to the question “what does that ad want to sell me?”
It is also part of crossumer behavior to want to verify the information, using alternative sources. And he also does not hesitate to resort to legal aspects.
And although, the evolution towards this type of consumers is more than evident, and its presence is undeniable, the truth is that it is still not possible to affirm that all consumers are Crossumer. The reason? There are still first-generation consumers, those who meet conventional consumption standards.
The influence of the digital economy In the day-to-day life of people, it has been largely responsible for the transformation of this class of consumers. The way to get and process the information has marked the profile of the Crossumers. Therefore, the Crossumers have some common features:
- They have a committed character: Crossumer are not apathetic or elusive consumers who do not mind expressing their opinion. On the contrary, they present themselves as active consumers, interested in making their voice heard. So if you are against something, you will not hesitate to express it.
- Master the language of marketing and advertising: Crossumer do not face an unknown language when talking about marketing and advertising, since they are familiar with the terms used. In addition, they are able to recognize what are the techniques and advertising strategies that are being used. This may reach the point of knowing the phases prior to commercial research.
- They anticipate persuasion: A crossumer’s attitude towards publicity will be to remain alert and defensive, believing that the strategy used “will not convince him with deception.” This is because he thinks he determines with some ease the intentions of the companies and therefore feels that he can avoid falling into his “traps.” No wonder he adopts a derogatory or cynical tone when this happens.
- Decode the message from the intention: The new generation of consumers decodes the information in a broad sense, and in a different way to the consumer profiles of previous generations. This new type of consumer has gone from thinking “what do they want to tell me?” To a “what do they want to sell me?” That is, it is based more on intentionality, much more than on meaning.
- Knows how to differentiate information from persuasion: It is not complicated for them to identify the information of persuasion, and that is why they are able to locate the persuasive messages behind many who pretend to be informative.
- It gives confidence to the information given by other consumers: The crossumers give great importance to the opinion that other similar ones have about a service or product. Based on this to define whether it is an accurate or misleading offer. This is because they attribute greater credibility and less intentionality. An example of this, you will find in the success of blogs as accredited sources of information.
- Use legal weapons: A crossumer is fully aware of how to defend himself and make himself heard. So if you think you are being subjected to some kind of abuse, you will not hesitate to use legal weapons to enforce your rights as a consumer. And if he has no basis for it, he will use legal weapons such as the boycott.
- Use sources of alternative information: With strong internet support, the crossumer is willing to contrast the messages it receives with alternative sources. Something that is done for the purpose of validating or discarding the message.
The Cluetrain Manifesto
The Cluetrain Manifesto It consists of 95 conclusions in the form of a call to action for all companies operating within the online market. In other words, the ideas that you can read in this manifesto examine the impact of the internet on markets and organizations.
As an example, according to the Cluetrain Manifesto, consumers and organizations are able to use the internet and other networks to establish a level of communication that previously did not exist between the two groups.
That is why the manifesto suggests changes necessary for organizations to be able to respond correctly to this new market.
The Cluetrain Manifesto was created by Fredrick Levine, Christopher Locke, Doc Searls and David Weinberger in 1999. All its authors agreed that the internet is a means of communication other than the conventional media used in the mass market. This new paradigm will allow to transform traditional business practices with an amazing radicalism.
Difference between Crossumer and Prosumer
The terms crossumer and prosumer are widely used today, among others in the world of online marketing. But what are the differences between these two?
The word Crossumer is a mix between “Cross” and “Consumer” As already mentioned, and it means that the interaction between the consumer and the advertising company is much greater than in the past, even reaching barriers that were previously unthinkable. This has happened because the Business models Today they are subjected to a more transparent and immediate market after the arrival of the internet.
Today, the consumer can easily access other customer’s opinions about a particular brand, its reputation, price – quality comparisons with other products, among other important data. This kind of consumer has knowledge in addition to the sales strategies and marketing tactics that companies use.
This phenomenon has caused companies to have the obligation to adapt to market law, creating websites, blogs and social networks. To manage the online reputation of the company, they will rely on figures such as the community manager, the SEO experts,content creation, among others. Either one startup or a larger business, your online presence will be a part of your business to consider strategically.
The term Prosumer is a mix between “Producer” and “Consumer”, and arises with the development of new technologies, which has led to greater dialogue between the consumer and the brand. Therefore, the consumer has an active role in the market.
In the past it was the advertising company that was responsible for obtaining maximum information about the profile of its target audience. However, at present, it is the consumers themselves who promote data about their habits and the interests they possess.
The interaction between the customer and the merchant originates using social networks, communities or digital forums as an intermediary. The consumer requires these means to be able to get involved at a higher level in their way of consuming. Likewise, it actively participates in the improvement of products and services, as well as in the community created around them.
As an example, we can cite the viral campaigns of many companies or organizations, which rely on the identification of individuals with certain topics in order to develop their online reputation.
The Crossumer in the digital marketing strategy
The Crossumer is a consumer who is aware of his position in the economic system And social. It is therefore aware that it is subject to a large number of strategies and messages by brands. However, their level of learning is high, so their experience and knowledge about them is increasing.
The technologies of the information and communication, TIC, are one of the fundamental factors within the Crossumer concept, because they allow you to squeeze the maximum connectivity with the world around you. That is why the Crossumer, through its continuous experience, is able to explain the intentionality of the messages.
This ability makes it a type of consumer worthy of analyzing in all types of markets, especially if we talk about collaborative economy. Because the Crossumer although they do not represent all existing consumers today, without a doubt, they do represent an important sector.
From the point of view of a brand it is essential to know this type of profile and integrate it into the marketing strategy. This is how the use of the so-called Web 2.0, is a support that can not be missing in a successful digital marketing strategy today.
That is why, it is necessary a responsible marketing where the client has a privileged position, but at the same time, if complaints were filed, there would also be an efficient space to listen and take into account their notes. In other words:
Brands must listen to their users actively and act proactively, to create a link that goes beyond the advertising message and promotes the identification of the brand with them.