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Friday, July 01, 2005

Advertising and Marketing as Conversation 

Consumers, Long the Targets, Become the Shapers of Campaigns

Interesting piece in today's NY Times on companies involving their customers in a conversation on new product choices.

Key grab (with two insights): When consumers vote overwhelmingly for a product or participate in its development, it is more likely the new item will sell well, said Michael D'Esopo, a senior partner at Lippincott Mercer, a design and brand identity firm that is a division of Mercer Inc.

A study at the Yale Center for Customer Insights found that people who are told that a product is popular will buy it over a competing product, said Ravi Dhar, a professor of marketing at the Yale School of Management and a director of the center.

"Customers say, 'Hey, if everyone liked it, it must be good,' " Mr. Dhar said. "It shifts people's preferences."

Something for b2b media execs to consider: can we provide marketers with a feedback loop that's more powerful than mere lead generation? Can we create a forum for market conversations in and around our products? It would be interesting to adapt a few of these consumer products tactics for the b2b arena.


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