At the crux of the user-generated nation is this challenge: How to do business when the consumer is in control.
Historically, the consumer’s greatest influence — or only influence, some would contend — has come at the end of the value chain. That is, when a purchase is actually made.
Power at all other stages of the value chain resided with the marketer and advertiser. The challenge for marketers was understanding consumers, then persuading them to buy.
Today, consumers — or usersumers, as I like to call them — have turned the tables on marketers. More specifically, consumers have seized the microphone that marketers traditionally have controlled.
Consumers post blogs and submit ratings and reviews on every product and service imagineable, make their preferences known via social networking, and even produce usertising (user-generated advertisments, as seen at this year’s Super Bowl).
Hence, this blog, and the forthcoming book, User-Generated Nation: How to Do Business When the Consumer Is in Control.