The Internet, far more than any other medium, has given consumers a voice, a publishing platform and a forum where their collective voices can be heard, shared and researched.

"Consumer-Generated Media" (CGM) encompasses the millions of consumer-generated comments, opinions and personal experiences posted in
   publicly available online sources on a wide range of issues, topics, products and brands. CGM is also referred to as Online Consumer Word-of-Mouth or Online Consumer Buzz. CGM originates from:

  • Blogs
  • Message boards and forums
  • Public discussions (Usenet newsgroups)
  • Discussions and forums on large email portals (Yahoo!,AOL, MSN)
  • Online opinion/review sites and services
  • Online feedback/complaint sites

Why is CGM Important?

First, consumers place far more trust in their fellow consumers than
   they do in traditional marketers and advertisers, according to research. For any marketer, advertiser or business professional trying to be heard or break through the clutter, understanding and managing this high-impact CGM is critical for marketplace understanding and success.


Secondly, CGM is prolific and increasingly easy and inexpensive
   to create. Online discussion forms, membership groups, boards and
   Usenet newsgroups represented the first CGM wave. Blogs and online
   videos represent the latest wave of CGM that's easy and inexpensive
   to distribute…and influential in its impact.


* Numbers provided are projected based on Nielsen BuzzMetrics estimates for
English language CGM sources and postings, and are average estimates for
  the year.

Likewise, CGM influences traditional marketing in wholly new ways. Because CGM data is easy to find on search engines, marketers and advertisers no longer "control" the message or the medium. When a consumer types
   a company name, brand or product into a search engine, it's almost certain that some of the first results—good or bad—will be posted and created by other consumers. In addition, the media, analysts, regulators, competitors and other stakeholders encounter this readily available CGM “reference material” when they’re researching issues, topics and trends online.

CGM is dramatically altering the marketing landscape, there are many services like Nielsen Buzz Metrics, comScore and eMarketer that give marketers and intelligence professionals an advantage by locating,measuring and analyzing CGM in wholly new ways so that it's understandable,real-time and actionable.

Does CGM come in different formats?
Catalyzed by the explosive growth of the Internet, CGM includes opinions, advice, consumer-to-consumer discussions, reviews, shared personal experiences, photos, images, videos, even podcasts and webcasts. And who knows what’s next?

The ClickZ Library

A series of easy-to-understand articles on CGM can beound in the links below.

  • The Pocket Guide to Consumer-Generated Media
    Quick CGM basics, from message boards to forums to blogs to consumer-generated
       multi-media (CGM2)

  • How to Act on Consumer Generated Media
    This piece covers 12 areas of CGM actionalability for marketers and business leaders, from search engine advertising to message optimization.  A must-read!

  • Consumer "Surveillance" and Consumer-Generated Multi-Media (CGM2)
    This article discusses how the explosion of new gadgetry is allowing consumers to push expression to deeper, more penetrating, and more persuasive levels of impact.  Their activity is creating a consumer-controlled “surveillance culture” that promises to rewrite the rules of brand management.

  • CGM and the Rebirth of Television: This article, entitled "TV is Dead, Long Live TV," argues
       that TV is finding a new voice, new outlets and a new context, thanks to
       the explosion of consumer-generated media.  "Make no mistake…TV is reinventing itself." Learn why here.

  • Is CGM a Long-Term Strategy? This essay argues that companies and brands need a long-term focus
       to reap the ultimate rewards of CGM.  It also challenges the notion
       that brands can simply "push a button" and generate or acquire positive buzz.

  • Understanding the Relationship Between "Emotion" and Consumer-Generated Media: Emotion and consumer-generated media go hand in hand. Moreover, brands can better forecast and predict virality and word-of-mouth levels by simply getting a handle on the depth of emotion consumers feel after a product, brand, or service "experience."

Consumer-Generated Media: A Vocabulary Guide: If you’re confused by the terminology that surrounds consumer-generated media, never fear. Nielsen BuzzMetrics has compiled a guide to the jargon that you’ll encounter. Check out our Get Smart Guide: Quick Vocabulary at your Fingertips.







ON: Consumer-Generated Media via @jpenabickley