This refers to online information that could be published anywhere, from blogs to forums and even on social media. Consumer generated media is highly valued among individuals looking for information about which brands or companies are trustworthy. It therefore plays a significant role in building and destroying online reputations. The increasing amount of consumer generated media available and the impact that it has on the opinions of other consumers has created a need for Online Reputation Monitoring and Management tools.
The practice of consumer-generated marketing has been in use for several years with the emergence of communal forms of information sharing including weblogs, online message boards, podcasts, interactive broadband TV, and other new media that has been adopted by consumers at the grass roots level to establish community forums for discussing their customer experiences.
Consumer-generated marketing is not the same as viral marketing or word of mouth advertising, however, the result of it achieves a high level of publicity within high relevance communities. These communities are extremely critical to the success of a brand, and normally follow the 80/20 rule, where 20% of the brand’s customers account for 80% of its sales. The very act of reaching out to consumers to invite them in as co-collaborators and co-creatives, is a fundamental component of the marketing campaign. The construct naturally lends itself to other consumer-marketing activities, like “communal branding” and “communal research.”