Greater consumer empowerment means that companies can no longer rely on marketing by intrusion. Instead, they must practise marketing by attraction—creating market offerings and messages that engage consumers rather than interrupt them. Hence, most marketers now augment their mass-media marketing efforts with a rich mix of online, mobile, and social media marketing that promotes brand–consumer engagement and conversation. For example, companies post their latest ads and videos on social media sites, hoping they’ll go viral. They maintain an extensive presence on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, and other
social media to create brand buzz. They launch their own blogs, mobile apps, online microsites, and consumer-generated review systems, all with the aim of engaging customers on a more personal, interactive level. Consumer-Generated Marketing A growing form of customer-engagement marketing is consumer- generated marketing, by which consumers themselves are playing a bigger role in shaping their own brand experiences and those of others. This might happen through uninvited consumer-to-consumer exchanges in blogs, video-sharing sites, social media, and other digital forums. But companies themselves are increasingly inviting consumers to play a more active role in shaping products and brand content. Some companies ask consumers for new product and service ideas. For example, at its My Starbucks Idea site, Starbucks collects ideas from customers on new products, store changes, and just about anything else that might make their Starbucks experience better. “You know better than anyone else what you want from Starbucks,” says the company website. “So tell us. What’s your Starbucks idea? Revolutionary or simple—we want to hear it.” The site invites customers to share their ideas, vote on and discuss the ideas of others, and see which ideas Starbucks has implemented.19 Other companies are inviting customers to play an active role in shaping ads. For example, for the past seven years, PepsiCo’s Doritos brand has held a “Crash the Super Bowl” contest in which it invites 30- second ads from consumers and runs the best ones during the game. The consumer-generated ads have been a huge success. Last year, from more than 3500 entries, Doritos aired two fan-produced ads during the Super Bowl. Past campaigns have produced numerous top- place finishers in the USA Today Ad Meter rankings, earning their creators $1 million in cash prizes from PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay division. Both of last year’s ads finished in the top six, and the contest was again deemed a huge success. Despite the successes, however, harnessing consumer-generated content can be a time-consuming and costly process, and companies may find it difficult to glean even a little gold from all the garbage. For example, when Heinz invited consumers to submit homemade ads for its ketchup on its YouTube page, it ended up sifting through more than 8000 entries, of which it posted nearly 4000. Some of the amateur ads were very good—entertaining and potentially effective. Most, however,
were so-so at best, and others were downright dreadful. In one ad, a
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- Marketing, Customer relationship management