At the dawn of the Internet, scholars began predicting a shift in power from the marketer to the consumer, suggesting a new form of consumer–firm relationship. With the introduction of the World Wide Web, ordinary consumers gained access to vast amounts of information and developed opportunities to influence their own lives, in the marketplace and beyond. The social media landscape of ubiquitous connectivity, enabled through mobile devices, in turn has not only enhanced access to information but also allowed consumers to create content and amplify their voices, across the globe, to anyone willing to listen (Labrecque, vor dem Esche, Mathwick, Novak, Hofacker 2013).
This presentation is a snapshot of one of our current reseach projects – together with Lauren Labrecque, Charla Mathwick, Tom Novak, and Charles Hofacker – and a result of the discussions we had during the Social Media Think:Lab Thought Leaders’ Summit 2012. It explores the intersection of consumer behavior and social media and shows five distinct channels through which consumer power is created in the Internet and social media. The presentation has been prepared for the 42nd European Marketing Association Conference in Istanbul, June 2013.