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Where should I spend my advertising budget for prosumer marketing?

Where should I spend my advertising budget for prosumer marketing?
Deborah Goodall
Marketing, Digital marketing
Find out more about Deborah Goodall

In this article you’ll learn

  • What is a prosumer?
  • How can I use prosumer marketing in business
  • Where to invest your marketing budget for the most rewards

Time and money are hugely important concerns to business owners; and prioritizing how to spend your advertising budget within a marketing context can be critical to business success. 

The marketing mix used to be made up of the 7P’s of marketing and it was believed that these all had to be aligned to achieve success. These days we, as consumers, have evolved, and we no longer expect to be served information about businesses and passively accept this as "truth". Consumers have transformed into "prosumers" – proactively seeking out solutions to their problems. Additionally, they have become producers: producers of products (more and more bespoke products or options are available); producers of content and opinion. All facilitated by the growth and adoption of technology and the sharing of information. This is when prosumer marketing comes in. 

Where does this leave traditional marketing? Right back at the start: market research. By identifying exactly who is your target market and understanding their motivation for using your product or services; understanding how they use them and how they talk about the challenges that you solve for them. By engaging at an early stage with your target audience – and "walking in their shoes" you can understand how best to reach them. 

Prosumer marketing puts your customer at the heart of your business with the other elements of the marketing mix being influenced by their attitudes and behaviours.

Prosumer venn diagram 

The prosumer is likely to get involved or have influence more at each stage or element of the marketing mix. For example the recent McDonalds TV campaign invites people to vote for the next stage of the advertisement. Thereby engaging their consumer whilst researching and capturing information about their preferences. 

Vehicle manufacturers have played to the prosumer for many years – offering increasing selections of options to create a vehicle tailored to the individual. Involving the consumer in the design of the product whilst again collecting information about their preferences. 

The rise of the salad bar – choose your own salad, create your personal salad; bespoke veg boxes with recipe cards – all examples of empowering the prosumer whilst simultaneously collecting profiling and behavioural information.

Foucus group looking at paperwork being shown to them by business owner 

How does this help you, the small business owner? By understanding that customers want to be engaged can provide helpful information regarding how to best spend your time. Recruiting brand ambassadors to recommend your business can be valuable especially if they have extensive social influence. 

Undertaking market research, either in-house, with help of a marketing consultant, or by using a specialist market research agency will provide valuable information on where your customers are and how they engage with the various media channels that you should be using to reach them. 

Remember not to miss opportunities to engage with your prosumer throughout their buying process as this not only provides you with valuable information but also makes for a more engaged customer which can only aid brand loyalty in the future.

Summary

Time and money should initially be spent on market research – understanding your target audience and knowing what they want from you and your products; what media they consume and how they want to engage with you. Once your audience has answered these questions then it is simply up to you and your business to deliver the solution to their problem in a way that they want to hear about it, using language that they use. Without market research and understanding your audience you will merely be using a scatter-gun approach and not understand enough from the results to be able to construct a strong and results-orientated marketing strategy and tactical plan.