Using Users to Edit Users

Fascinated by User Generated Content and companies trying to shape the conversation into a more usable format.

Here’s what I reported for the IHT about one company, .

By Thomas Crampton

PARIS: Consumer engagement may be the marketing mantra of our time, but Laurent Florès sees a fundamental problem: Good ideas can be drowned out by a flood of bad ones.

Consumer panels, both online and live, have become popular ways for companies to float and road-test new ideas. Online panels are often run like beauty pageants, where consumers vote for ideas that a company is considering. This shows the relative popularity among a limited set of ideas; but what if none of the ideas put forward by the marketing department are very good?

One solution is to physically gather a group of consumers in one room to prod, poke and test their feelings about the ideas. This can provide in- depth understanding, but group dynamics can also rule the room, limiting individual contributions, and the quality of the results depends on the sensitivity of the interviewer’s report.

Florès, who lives in France and has a background in market research and an obsession with the Internet, thinks he has a worthy new solution, which his company calls brand Delphi.

Here’s the full article that I wrote

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