Wednesday, April 13, 2011
User Generated Content Requires a Focus on the User
I just read another great post by Joe Pulizzi, which you can find here on his blog
. Joe talks about the biggest mistake marketers make with User Generated Content, which is this: they assume that, by simply getting their customers to talk about them online, the program will take care of itself.
I agree with much of Joe's post, but I'm concerned that people will misread the reason for the success of LEGO brand (the star of his post). Joe attributes LEGO's success to their ability to tap into a passionate customer base. He then goes on to describe other ways to draw on your target customer's passion if your product isn't a cult icon. What gets lost is why LEGO's customers are passionate about the brand in the first place. Joe describes a savvy move by LEGO as they opened a new store near him in Cleveland:
"Here is the genius of LEGO: Each block of LEGOs that were to be part of R2D2 were built by LEGO fans (including my two sons, their friend, and yours truly). Each fan turned in their LEGO super blocks to receive a certificate of completion, noting that we were a part of building R2D2."
LEGO certainly has passionate fans because they make a great product, but that's not what makes the promotion work for them. LEGO's content marketing works because it ties into what their customers are really passionate about, which isn't the product but rather what the product lets them do: create.
The promotion at the Cleveland area grand opening worked because it tied into what customers buy from LEGO... the ability to create. If they didn't tie into what really mattered to their customers, it would have been a dud. This is the primary problem with not just User Generated Content efforts but, generally, most marketing efforts: there's an inability to understand what others really want from you. If you figure out what others really want from you, you can figure out the types of stories your customers will want to share.
What do you think?
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