The world is a much more difficult place for digital marketers than it once was. In the golden age of marketing, TV spots told consumers what they wanted to own and what to believe, and the public just ate it up. Now, people are skeptical of everything. They want to decide for themselves what their desires are, and no one even wants to have an ad interrupt them during TV time, whether it is on the big screen or a mobile one. Now the question is: How do you brand in a world that doesn’t want to hear about what your company does or how they do it?

The change is a small but significant one. In the past, marketers would interrupt consumers to let them know about a great new product that they absolutely had to have. Today, we need to make consumers feel empowered. We need to give them a choice about what ads to view. We need to spoon feed them what they want (which means knowing what your audience wants). And we need to do it all without pulling them out of the immersion of their experience.

The fact is that by showing your consumers the benefits of your product without making them feel interrupted, you create “free” advertising. Bring consumers in with engaging content and let them tell all of their “friends” across social media. Yes, word-of-mouth (or maybe word-of-retweet/repost/like/favorite) has turned consumers into spokespersons.

Instead of working hard at developing ways to share your product with as many people as possible, focus on a select group who will appreciate the product and be moved to encourage others to use it. Your content will be what attracts people to your brand and drives them to share it with others on a grander scale than was ever possible. Maybe this is the golden age of digital marketing after all.