As advanced by Alvin Toffler in his futuristic book called “The third wave” (1979), consumers have transformed themselves into active agents that produce their own content and products; they are now known as prosumers.
Prosumers represent a change in the traditional ways of consumption. These individuals have left behind their passive role as consumers in order to become content producers. They’ve managed to establish new buying habits based on information, comparisons, and their further opinion.
One of their basic characteristics is their constant comparative method applied to different products and services; before making any acquisition, the purchasers compare the objects they are willing to buy in order to assure that their decision as buyers is the right one. Once the purchase is made, prosumers tend to share their opinion, whether positive or negative and for this, they count with multiple communication channels at their disposal. In this way, these buying experiences are used to endorse or not the decision of buying a product. It’s a circuit that finds it’s feedback between those who are searching for a product and those who already tried it. Other user’s experience can cause a direct impact on the buying decision.
Some prosumers have gone beyond expressing their opinion and have made of their purchasing experience their new working source. Millions of these individuals have capitalized their users experience by creating comparison and content sites on the Internet. Inside these virtual spaces, prosumers promote diverse products, share their positive and negative experiences, give buying advices to their followers, and offer them different products and services. Prosumers manage to capitalize their experiences through the affiliate marketing method. Besides introducing different options to their followers, in these sites, prosumers offer them the possibility to acquire those products from their web, and from that transaction, they obtain a certain commission. This affiliate marketing method universalizes access to advertising campaigns. This implies that affiliates, even though if they're small, will be able to promote big and important campaigns inside their sites. Affiliate networks have multiplied advertising options and have presented small users the possibility of running big campaigns.
In this way, prosumers have helped to increase selling diversity. Communication has become more personal and the same happens when it comes to sales. Nowadays, client’s don't longer look for mass-produced products. They now choose personalized products that adapt to their needs and this is what prosumer have started to offer. This commercialization strategy has grown rapidly and brands need to focus on them; prosumers are now selling allies that with proximity as a strategy, manage to bring products closer to an increasingly demanding public.
The virtual world is crossed by opinions that find in every medium of communication a way to manifest itself. And so, these have acquired a highly relevant role in online marketing, enabling the creation of the figure of the prosumers. These new digital agents have revolutionized the ways of buying and selling and so, have forced the big brands to put the focus on them because with their flow of opinions and experiences they can influence a mass in their buying process. Those who generate and share experiences, those who compare and give information about products, are users who use affiliate marketing to monetize their sites and thus, obtain commissions through the sales that their own content generates.