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Inicio Global Economics and Management Review The Empowered Customer: User-Generated Content and the Future of Marketing
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Vol. 18. Issue 1.
Pages 22-30 (January - April 2013)
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Vol. 18. Issue 1.
Pages 22-30 (January - April 2013)
DOI: 10.1016/S2340-1540(13)70004-5
The Empowered Customer: User-Generated Content and the Future of Marketing
Matthew S. O’Herna,
Corresponding author

Corresponding author.
, Lynn R. Kahleb
a Assistant Professor of Marketing, Lundquist College of Business, University of Oregon
b Ehrman Giustina Professor of Marketing, Lundquist College of Business, University of Oregon
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The boundaries that traditionally delineated the roles of consumers and firms are being blurred as users take on creative tasks that were previously managed solely by commercial firms. This paper argues that the user-generated content (UGC) created by these consumers represents a profound shift of power from firms to consumers. In order to better understand this changing landscape, as well as to distinguish the various types of UGC in which customers most commonly engage, and highlight the benefits and challenges associated with these types, we present a new UGC typology that takes into account the objectives that consumers pursue as well as the type of knowledge flow that is activated when consumers produce UGC. We draw on existing literature and use illustrative examples to explicate these UGC types and explore the implications of UGC for marketing thought and practice.

User-generated content
Open innovation
3D printing
Social media


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