Marketing used to follow the standard process. The company asked the customers what they wanted and to greater or lesser extent gave it to them. The change now is that customers are not just consulted, they create the ‘product’. If you think for a moment about the ability to take a product and change it. Customise, tailor, you chose which term you prefer. From here the consumer creates what ever they want. They ‘mash’ the old and new, create their own ringtones, trainers, slideshows, videos. Where would U Tube be without consumers uploading their own videos?
o2 are working with consumers to develop content. The key word is with not for Here the company becomes truly consumer led and that gives ownership to that consumer. Cynics would suggest that is a cheaper way of developing the product. This maybe true but it also decreases risk and if the consumer is involved the chances of success are greater.
In his book Wikinomics this idea was developed by Tapscott. He coined the term ‘Prosumers’. Here the production, where the pro comes from is generated by the consumers. For me that is the best chapter in the book and well worth the money. The theme of mass collaboration where companies such as Procter and Gamble have hundreds of patents and spend billions on research. They then allow other businesses to use this expertise for a licence fee. A general win win situation.
If you are interested in looking at marketing in a new way and really pushing the approach forward try the book