Sarah Morning has written an insightful paper about The Digital Consumer.
It's an insightful look at the current digital marketing landscape. Thankfully, she doesn't focus on the technology side, rather on the consumer POV.
She describes the curent media situation as "standing on the edge of a gigantic unchartered landscape, an unmpapped digital space."
And she recommends splitting the inhabitants of this space into two groups: A) Digitourists
Digitourists essentially look for embassies in the virtual world. They look for sites or brands that act as guides. Digitourists, like any tourists, know exactly what they want to see and what they want to find - whether it be a product or a piece of information.
And there are the Digitravellers:
Digitravellers are different to Digitourists - no less or no more technologically able in many cases, they want however to explore things for themselves. They want to navigate their own way around the wilderness of information and stories of the internet, roughing it unguided through the digital landscape. Their interest lies not so much in arriving at a piece of information or a particular site, as the Digitourist’s does, but instead on the journey itself. For the Digitraveller it is all about the people they meet and the unexpected, undiscovered places they stumble across along the way.
“A good traveller has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.”
She desribes further how marketers have to approach both type of explorers differently: Utilizing the old media model of disruption only makes sense for passive tourist, active travellers need to be engaged and they are the real, strategic challenge of the digital landscape.