How can companies enable consumer interaction to their benefit?
  • Companies can enable consumer interaction for their benefit by creating a product and service that gives good internet word of mouth. That is, they have to create a service or product that has many different consumers going onto blogs and forums to discuss what they know about the product. Also another way that they can enable consumer interaction is to use a face book or web page for consumers to come to and interact with the company and each other over there services and products.
  • Here is an example of a company that: 1) advertises on Facebook and Twitter and encourages sharing; 2) encourages product reviews that are open to the public to view; 3) has high customer interaction with their "Be the Buyer" program. http://www.modcloth.com/storefront/products/be_the_buyer
Modern era of marketing and how it has transitioned till date
  • The engineering orientation ran from the 1920’s till now. This era is where the product is the main focus and not the market. A product is made so that it meets its own needs and not that of the markets, the needs of the customers are secondary to that of the products.
  • The sale orientation era ran from 1955 till now. It happened after the engineering orientation era and before the marketing orientation. The sales orientation happened when WWII ended, and the supply started to out pace demand. So, businesses concentrated on the different ways of selling their products.
  • The market orientation era ran from the 1975 till now. In this era, the firms allowed the wants and needs of customers and potential customers to drive all of the firms’ strategic decisions. It allowed the firms commitment to create customer value. If the firms created customer value correctly, the firms will have a competitive advantage.
  • The participation orientation era ran from 2001 till now. This era is where the main focus is on identifying the customers’ influence on the customer’s quality, perception, customer satisfaction, and service value. The customers’ evaluations affect the firm’s quality, customer satisfactions, value, and attributions.

What are some ways the 5th P (Participation) has impacted the market?

What is the purpose of branding and how have the dynamics of brand positioning changed with participation orientation?
  • The purpose of branding is to help the customers identify the firm's product which makes repeat purchasing easier.
  • Brand positioning has become much more dynamic and volatile since participation orientation has become such a popular thing to do. With the speed of the internet, no longer can a company produce a product or position themselves into a market and hope that just good enough will pass. Customers can easily catch if a product isn’t positioned perfect, and tell the rest of the world about it. When this happens it can be detrimental. Because of this businesses have to be very proactive in brand positioning.
  • Another way to say that is the brand is now "co-produced" by the consumer. Since organizations cannot do anything to stop this, they should enable it!

Forester’s Social Techno-graphics Ladder
  • Creators (24%)
    • Publish a blog
    • Upload a new video
    • Publish articles
  • Conversationalists (33%)
    • Update status on Facebook
    • "Tweet"
  • Critics (37%)
    • Post product ratings
    • Comment on others blogs
    • Edit a wiki
  • Collectors (20%)
    • Add "tags" to webpages
    • Use RSS feeds
  • Joiners (59%)
    • Maintain Facebook profile
    • Visit Twitter
  • Spectators (70%)
    • Read blogs
    • Watch videos
    • Read reviews
  • Inactives (17%)

Product is now a customer perceived experience

What is the difference between co-producing and crowdsourcing?
  • Co-producing is the act of cooperation of two or more production firms are working together. The Example of co-producing is Blind Spot Pictures has been co-producing with countries like China, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Holland, UK, Italy, Sweden and Russia.
  • Crowdsourcing is "the act of taking a job traditionally performed by an employee and outsourcing it to an undefined, generally
large group of people in the form of an open call." - Jeff Howe. An example of crowdsourcing is in 2007, Pepsi enlisted Pepsi
drinkers to submit designs for a Pepsi can. The winner would be selected and paid with the design being used.

Shift of Influence
  • Then: Gatekeepers previously "framed" information and controlled the flow of it to consumers.
    • Benefits/Problems for Companies/Organizations
      • Benefits
        • More influential
        • Less worry about negative word of mouth
    • Benefits/Problems for Consumers
      • Problems
        • Only get one side of the story (what the company tells them)
  • Now: Flow is uncontrolled and consumers make their voices heard online.
    • Benefits/Problems for Companies/Organizations
      • Benefits
        • The increased opportunity for customer feedback if harnessed well
        • Good customer word of mouth travels far
      • Problems
        • Negative customer word of mouth travels far
        • Examples from class (YouTube): The Customers' Revenge; Comcast sleeping on couch
    • Benefits/Problems for Consumers
      • Benefits
        • Able to get a clearer picture with input from all sides (not just company/organization)

Questions:
  • Is selling personal information by FACEBOOK ethical?
    • Users on Facebook should be well aware that the information they are posting are public and for all to see. However, there is a fine line between companies obtaining information through research and the selling of personal information. Many users post information under the use of privacy settings and this information should be kept private to all but whom the user specifies may see it.
    • I dont see anything wrong with info being gathered from facebook. I see facebook as a public profile, that if posted to and written on, fair game and a good way for companies to learn about a specific target. The internet has created a new way to market and gather info, and facebook is just an extension of this market, and target market.
    • Laura had a great point about minors and the use of Facebook. Minors are not as aware of the openness of Facebook information for others to see. This includes not just for market researchers, but for personal reputation as well. Should they be expected to understand these facts?
  • What happens when product reviews are posted by employees? (SAUD ©)
    • It prevents the information being presented on the website from being a true reflection of the masses. Employee reviews present false information.
  • Will there be a pendulum swing between transition of power from companies to consumer and back to companies?
    • Although the fifth P (Participation) has provided consumers with a louder voice, companies are already attempting to regain power. Although the Internet seems to be the frontier of the critical consumer, companies have realized that through listening and responding to vocal consumers they can gain customer loyalty. By actively patrolling their online reputations and reaching out to "disgruntled" customers, companies can increase customer satisfaction and simultaneously do reputation damage control. Additional examples of the power of companies on the Internet include the populating of social media with advertisements, company profiles and blogs that allow for interaction with customers, and acquiring consumers as online (and offline) brand ambassadors who do their marketing for them.