To keep in touch with family or friend, to be aware of what is happening these last 24 hours, to learn, to discover, to understand, to share… All of us have a reason to use Internet nowadays. We are always looking for something, and we do not have any restrictions: at home, at work, at school, in the bus, metro, or subway; Internet is everywhere. At anytime, we are able to look for something in few minutes, in few seconds. We are sharing knowledge, experiences, life…
This is the point: everyday we are liking, posting, sharing, writing, tweeting about something, about someone. But in Internet, anything is our property. We are giving something that we will not able to take back.
The User-Generated Content is a marketing method, used by companies and based on our Internet user’s behaviour. By the way, companies are able to know exactly what is the tendency according to where you are coming from, where do you live, where do you go during your free time, what are doing, what are your tastes, … Based on these informations, companies know more about their targeting segment, what they need and what will be the impulsion of purchasing.
But this method is not just about taking in account your preferences. It is also based on the fact that you are a part of a company, you are one element of the “magic cople”: customer is the basis of the company, so they should be able to make everything real for you. Brands are more open-minded about what is going on within societies, according to different countries or regions. So they use their knowledge to demonstrate that you are a part of their life, but it is also the case in the opposite way.
The easiest example is from TripAdvisor. People does not care about brand’s pictures of a wonderful hostel in Milan. Customer will look for comments from others customers to choose finally what they would like or not. The society is going to do not trust brands anymore, and they will prefer to see what others are thinking about a product. For TripAdvisor, lots of people are checking photos of unknown, comments, grades, feelings… For them it is a way of making decision, even if it is important to contrast this: if you want to go somewhere that looks amazing for you, even if there are 2 or 3 bad comments, in general you just go.
But what about the French market?
First of all, understand how Internet is influencing the French market is important: according to where you come from, you could have more or less a strong need of Internet in your making-decision process. In 2013, the organization IPSOS did a worldwide survey asking to people several questions about how they are using online platforms. Two of them are relevant for this topic within France.
“Social Network help me to keep informed about brands’ or products’ activities.” Here, we can see that France is the last country that is using online platforms to have more informations about a brand or a product. That could be not relevant but if you add to this one, the following one, it is a lack of the studying method.
“I already post opinions, questions, ideas or photos in a social network.” Here, France is also the latest rate of all countries taking part to this survey.
The “lack” of information taking by french customers is a problem for businesses: companies have to find others alternatives of the User-Generated Content because is not enough relevant for the moment to be able to adapt an efficient and profitable strategy. But brands could add to this way of attracting people the gamification. In France, it is more like a game, a contest. Everybody is able to participate, and in general they always have an online platform to promot it. For example, Nikon is doing really well this concept: in 2015, the Nikon festival “Je suis …” is celebrating its 5th year. The concept is really easy: tell a short story – 140 seconds – with the topic “I am…”. You are free to be a movie-lover, an expert, young or older. Nikon is promoting this event for each of us, the aim is sharing an experience as Nikon does for its customers everyday.
How this method is going to be developed by the future? It is going to be relevant in France for businesses? Or consumers will find another way of getting informations?
One thing is sure: a project of law from the french government is looking for the possibility of taxing the user-generated content. The main argument is that companies are getting more money and market share because of informations they had from customers (that often, they are not aware about this point). So they are thinking to tax these informations for brands because they do not agree the fact that there are free, everybody is able to get them to have an extra value.
Finally, in my opinion, I think that it is more about a tendency of society to share their lifes without taking in account that not only their friends or family will be able to know more about them. It is more about consciousness…