In case you havent realised the global financial crisis has changed things. Crises reshape the mindset of consumers and this one has also accelerated the online trend. Consumers now communicate, make decisions and spend their dollars differently – and they expect to be heard. This is more than just a passing fad. Things are never going to return to the way they were. This is the new normal.

Before the new normal stability is what everybody wanted and that suited marketers just fine. When you have stability you know what people are going to do. Markets are predictable and pliable. You dont need to have a conversation to sell a widget. Just tell your market that it is great and it will make them feel safe and part of a group, they will buy it.

This has changed, forever. Your market now hates stability. They want new. They want fast. They dont care how long your company has been around. If you dont listen to them they will drop you and move on. Markets want to be targeted. They are busy splitting themselves into millions of special interest groups. If you cant market to those groups you will lose them.

Companies and, more importantly, the marketers who work for them need to accept this change. Stop thinking things will return to normal soon and start preparing for a new normal that is more profitable. Move now. Your competition will be. Use the new tools that are available to gather information, learn and get ready. Social networks can be used to gather huge amounts of very rich information about what your market is doing right now – not a week ago, right now. With that information you can start to see patterns and prepare for the future better.

Those who see the fundamental change that has happened in our world and learn to embrace it will win.

This is the way it is. Its the new normal.