Consumer empowerment enabled through technology is going to have a dramatic impact on the way firms operate online over the next five years, it is predicted.

Habeas, an email reputation management agency, undertook research alongside the Economist Intelligence Unit and notes that firms consider technological interaction with consumers, suppliers and investors will be a "key driver" for development.

The research highlights growing consumer control over mediums such as email.

As people are less willing to receive marketing messages which do not target their interests, firms must create high-performing email marketing campaigns, Habeas warns.

Des Cahill, chief executive officer of the organization states: "Companies serving today’s more empowered customers need to apply email reputation management strategies to create higher performing, online relationships."

Furthermore, businesses which serve their target audiences will develop better online brand reputations, he adds.

Earlier this month, industry reporter Kristina Knight told online news source BizReport that to keep email recipients happy, firms must send them targeted, relevant content which interests them.

She argued it is important for consumers to feel they are benefitting from receiving such messages.