Economics and marketing
The consumer is the one who pays something to consume goods and services produced. As such, consumers play a vital role in the economic system of a nation. Without consumer demand, producers would lack one of the key motivations to produce: to sell to consumers. The consumer also forms part of the chain of distribution.
Recently in marketing instead of marketers generating broad demographic profiles and Fisio-graphic profiles of market segments, marketers have started to engage in personalized marketing, permission marketing, and mass customization.
Largely due to the rise of the Internet, consumers are shifting more and more towards becoming "prosumers", consumers who are also producers (often of information and media on the social web), influence the products created (e.g. by customization, crowdfunding or publishing their preferences), actively participate in the production process, or use interactive products.