The online encyclopedia, produced collaboratively by volunteers, is rewriting the marketing script.
One of the six brand credibility drivers I describe in my upcoming book is affirmation. This refers to the consensus of positive or negative truths about a business or brand.
For example, I'm affirmed by what you see in the results when you search on my name. I might also be affirmed by the consensus of commentary that wraps around something I've posted on a blog or message board or via video.
But Wikipedia is rewriting the marketing script, because it's far and away one of the Web's most potent and powerful affirmation drivers. Once the primary domain of A-list bloggers and Web 2.0 elite, it's now unmistakably penetrated the online masses. Even those who don't use it are impacted by the conversation it shapes, online or off-.
All marketers should think hard about why Wikipedia matters, starting with affirmation. Below, my top 10 list.
That's my top 10. But I'm sure I'll think of others as soon as I tap out this last sentence.
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Pete Blackshaw, whose professional background encompasses public policy, interactive marketing, and brand management, is executive vice president of strategic services for Nielsen Online, a combination of Nielsen BuzzMetrics, a firm Pete helped cofound, and Nielsen//NetRatings. One of Pete's key focuses is helping brands interpret, manage, and act on consumer-generated media (CGM). A former interactive marketing leader at P&G and founder of consumer feedback portal PlanetFeedback.com, Pete cofounded the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA). He authors several blogs, including ConsumerGeneratedMedia.com, and is the author of an upcoming book from Random House, "Satisfied Customers Tell Three Friends, Angry Customers Tell 3000: Running a Business in Today's Consumer-Driven World."
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