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Review 2007- Marketing trends : User is the content creator

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One of the biggest trends of the year gone by was the voluminous rise in user-generated content which emerged as a mantra for marketers to make contextual communication and slot it in the best space. And this trend has got a fillip from the social networking websites. User-generated content is growing by leaps and bounds in the country and the domestic marketers are getting ready to keep pace with it too. This trend helps marketers, who are always on a look out for newer and effective ways to indulge consumers into a dialogue, to tap into the fast emerging participatory culture of the day and transform consumers into active partners of their business.

The phenomenon is taking a large form in the shape of contributions, recommendations, conversations, video sharing online. And these forums show that people actually want to have a voice in the community discussions. This is also important for marketers as it helps them better understand the aspirations of their consumers. It also works as a guide to give a peek into the consumer mindsets. Increasingly we see that marketers have started taking notice of this trend that now seems to be deeply rooted into the consumer culture.

User-generated content is currently growing in the form of contributions, comments, conversation threads, blogging, image and video sharing worldwide. Online traffic will definitely increase due to user generated content as users post content online and share with friends, communities and interact with other users online.

Sites like Mouthshut.com, a discussion and review forum, and Slideshare.com come across as classic examples of how consumers of today are ready to share his experience and listen to others who are outside their peer group, but share a commonality with them. And the medium is not just limited to voicing opinions but is lately becoming a part of content in different forms.

From advertising creatives to some news clippings, we see that the ambit, reach and acceptance of user generated content is on the up. They reveal a part of the new consumer that till now was hidden from marketers. As Motorola India chief marketing officer Lloyd Mathias says, “in 2007 marketers discovered virtual communities and the benefits of targeting them. Virtual communities are the new emerging religious groups. This trend is currently in its teething phase and will see dramatic evolution over the next few years.” Reliance Entertainment president Rajesh Sawhney also sees adoption of social networks by the youth as a major trend of the year gone by.

Another important reason that this medium has found acceptance with marketers is the fact it helps them do a mindset targeting of their target consumers. This assumes significance at a time when demographic targeting is more or less disregarded this has emerged as a way to consumers’ mind as they are interacting in a free environment.

The fact that marketers have started tapping into this trend can be gauged from the success of Wikipedia, Face book, which has received a great success in the domestic marketplace.

About the author / 

Neeta Nair

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