Tapping the 'Marketer's Dream' at GoPro, Where Consumers Make the Ads

CMO Paul Crandall Talks Strategy for the Fast-Growing Camera Company

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Paul Crandall might seem to have a pretty cushy job. As VP of marketing for GoPro, he can watch hundreds of consumers take his product and make ads for it on their own. And the camera company's social following is the envy of plenty of marketers: It has more than one million followers on Twitter and twice as many on Instagram. If you watched all the videos users uploaded last year with GoPro hardware strapped on, it would take nearly three years.

Mr. Crandall is not letting that potential go to waste, furiously tapping that user-generated content to spread awareness of the company and inspire others to shoot great things with GoPros too.

But, Mr. Crandall stressed at Ad Age's CMO Strategy Summit in San Francisco on Wednesday, "It doesn't just happen." A team under Mr. Crandall mines the internet for GoPro content. "We're constantly looking for nuggets, little gold chunks from our users," he said. He also oversees an original production unit that will find user videos and polish or refurbish them for use.

At the CMO Summit, Mr. Crandall was asked if the company would turn its sizable content operation into some kind of GoPro network. He said that's not on the horizon. "We will continue to bite off content distribution platforms and ways to potentially monetize this, as we see fit," he said. "We'll see what comes next."

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