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Is the customer really in charge?

So in the past couple of years there has been a lot of talk about the democratization of media, citizen marketing, the amateur hour, and other themes & memes pointing to the fact that the customer is now in charge. He owns the message; she decides what happens to the brand, etc.

Fact is – the vendors are no longer is charge. Nobody would argue against that point anymore.

But does that automatically equate with saying that the customer is now in charge?

Academic research about democratic sites like DIGG shows that a majority of what makes it to the front page comes from a very small number of people – in fact, researchers talk about the “tyranny of the minority.” Other research, such as the one done by Jackie Huba and Ben McConnell and reported in their Citizen Marketers book, finds that the percentage of people who actually create and broadcast content is 1%.

So is the customer really in charge? Or is it a small group of non-democratically elected loudmouths who now controls the message?

This is just one of the topics that we will talk about this afternoon during the interview with Jackie Huba.

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