The Power of Listening

While reading the chapter this week on “listening to the groundswell,” there was one quote in the chapter that really stuck out to me and carried its message through the whole chapter. This quote I’m talking about is, “Your brand is what your customer says it is”; which as we all know, is essential knowledge for any marketer in today’s world. With the amount of technology and social media outlets, people are always talking. Whether it be good or bad about your service or product; we as marketers are then able to track its trends and popular opinions and thoughts from the consumers point of view. Listening to consumers is what will sell or sink a product/service. If we don’t listen to what our customers want and desire, it can take a wrong turn quick for what we are trying to provide. For example, the case study given in this chapter was about cancer patients and how they felt about the facility they were receiving treatment in. Many felt that they were waiting too long, and seeing as time is precious to those, the medical facility took this into consideration after learning these facts through an online community that was put into place for cancer patients. This is a great way to not only get your customers to talk amongst themselves, but receive answers and insight on what they really need and want from the service you are providing. Listening is not always enough although; companies need to act upon what their customers are saying in order to constantly improve. Listening is a major part of the groundswell but more importantly is is what companies do with the information they gain from listening to their customers.

It’s been a slice again this week y’all, more to come!

Thanks,

Beverley Small

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“Get them charged up so they tell everyone they know”

word-of-mouth-marketing.png

“Did you hear about the new Swiffer? It saves every housewives lives!” “Please tell me you’ve seen the new Ipad..Its LIFE-CHANGING” Every marketers dream. We want you to tell your mother, your brother, your husband, your friends, your co-workers..heck, even tell your dog! This is word of mouth and we LOVE it. We get you all charged up with an exciting service and product so we not only keep you a satisfied consumer but we boost our business. Genius, right? We call this WOM (Word of Mouth).

Word of Mouth is “the most honest form of marketing, building upon people’s natural desire to share their experiences with family, friends, and colleagues” (Li & Bernoff, 2008). Here’s a YouTube video I found explains Word of Mouth so perfectly.

So, here’s why it works…

  • It’s believable. When you go to look at a product, typically, the first thing you’ll do is check reviews of customers who have previously used the product or service, right? You find out before even buying it if its worth the money spent and how it operates. Below is an example of a testimonial to the service Client Heartbeat. testimonial
  • It’s self-spreading. Like above, we look to others for the reviews we want to see before going forward with a service or product and once one voice is speaking out about it, there’s another ten within minutes. You tell your classmate and within a minute, your class of 30 will know all about it. It’s like wildfire for your business.
  • It’s self-reinforcing. Once the word’s out, it’s only going to continue to grow because someone is always going to have something to say.

So if it works so well, what’s next? In Groundswell, they interviewed numerous companies who have succeeded with this endeavor and the three basic techniques for connecting with your brand’s enthusiasts:

  1. Tap into customers’ enthusiasm with ratings and reviews
  2. Create a community to energize your customers
  3. Participate in and energize online communities of your brands enthusiasts.

Energizing is both powerful and riskier than techniques such as Talking and Listening from my previous blogs, but why is it riskier? Because now you’re dealing with people who ARE going to talk so you must prepare yourself for a new way of thinking. Once you’ve gotten these techniques down and you’ve got people talking about your product, you have to remember and be able to retaliate from customers who are not going to like your product or service. Try and convert them back into customers, let them know you’re there to help and support. With the comments they say about your product, whether it was too expensive for what its worth or the color wasn’t shown correctly on the website etc. Here are five steps taken from the chapter for applying the techniques of energizing to your own business…

  1. Figure out if you want to energize the Groundswell. Word of mouth works for companies that are just or more than enthusiastic about their products as the customer is. Its not for everyone.
  2. Check the social technographics profile of your customers. You need to research to determine how actively your customers are going to be involved in the Groundswell. If you’re selling Iphones, your customers are already involved in the groundswell; however, if you’re selling a product like mattresses, the likeliness of your customers being in the groundswell is slim to none.
  3. Ask yourself, “What is my customer’s problem?” Take Lego for example. Most customers aren’t going to talk about just Lego, but “building” with Lego and that’s something completely different. Figure out what they want by listening.
  4. Pick a strategy that fits your customers’ social technographics profile and problems. For those retailers and other direct sellers, it makes sense for their retailers to improve based upon rates and reviews given. And for other businesses, communities make sense.
  5. Don’t start unless you can stick around for the long haul. “A community is like a marriage; it requires constant adjustment to grow and become more rewarding. And if you’re not into it for the long haul, well, maybe you should think about the ugly endings you’ve seen to marriages that lacked that long-term effect” (Li & Bernoff, 2008).

Have we gotten you intrigued yet? When you start to charge up and energize your company and your customers, be prepared to then go into the stage of embracing them; that is, turning those customers into an integral part of the company’s products and processes. Energizing leads to embracing.

See y’all next week,

Beverley Small

 

References:

Li, C., & Bernoff, J. (2008). Groundswell, Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies. Boston, Massuchusetts: Harvard Business School Publishing.

WOMMA | 5 Principles of Word of Mouth Marketing. (2011, November 15). Retrieved December 5, 2015, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ix2eDR4Mn7Q

 

 

 

 

“Posting an update is a piece of cake”

social-media-marketing-twitter.jpg

Twitter. What can you really say in 140 characters? A lot, surprisingly. And it’s a huge network for anybody from Kim K to CBC News. We get our points across in simple tweets, we post photos with the tweets, we put up polls alongside the tweets…talk about coverage, right? Not only that, but we can see which accounts follow who and choose to retweet important posts or posts of interest onto their profiles and then they are shared for anyone to see. When you look at it this way, you’re probably thinking, “Well heck, why don’t I have a Twitter account for my business?” ..So what are you waiting for? Start tweeting today!

BUT FIRST, some background before you jump into the trend…There’s a lot more to Twitter than meets the eye. You’d think Twitter is just as simple as typing a statement out and tweeting it to the world, right? Well, wrong. Not only are you speaking your piece or sharing information about your company, there’s a whole environment you must first learn about before becoming a Twitter fanatic. Here are a few elements mentioned in the chapter this week that make up the Twitter world:

  • Followers: Followers of yours (no, not any stalkers), are people who can follow your account and see your tweets and retweets on their timeline. From there, they can favourite or retweet your tweets adding it to their profile for their followers to see and spread. Your followers are the most important thing about your Twitter because they are going to be the ones to essentially spread your word to the network!
  • Hashtags and searches: Hashtag this, hashtag that…Anything you want to know about on Twitter, put a # in front and you’ve got millions of tweets coming up in front of your screen. Serious, watch. Let’s say you went to #TheWeeknd concert and wanted to see what other people were saying about it. Boom. You saw a bunch of tweets pop up, didn’t you? How about #Imlovinit, because you’re a fan of McDonalds..millions of tweets. This is what we want to achieve by hashtagging things within our tweets, so it creates buzz and attention from the right people.
  • Mentions and retweets: Like other social networks, Twitter gives you that opportunity to reply back to other users, whether it be you asking a question to Nike on when they’ll be making a new line of clothes or when Kim Kardashian is having her baby. In return, these users can reply back or mention you in a tweet in which it’ll be linked directly to your profile as well. Here is an example of a company assisting a customer through replying to them over Twitter. rs-jetblue-tweet
  • Links: Another way businesses tweet is to tweet out links to their official website or other websites they’ve found their followers would relate to or find useful. An example of this given in the chapter was McDonalds and how they tweet out coupons and links to its contests. Here is a tweet they posted about the Superbowl contest they’re holding. Screen Shot 2015-11-30 at 7.41.38 PM.png

Sound like something that peaked your interest? Get on that Twitter train then! Compared to other social networks out there, Twitter is very versatile. So you need to find out what Twitter is good for within your company by listening, talking, energizing, supporting and embracing with Twitter. Check out this link I found that will help you out with starting your Twitter and how to follow these objectives..

Start your Twitter today!

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Help you out? I know after I read the article, I found myself understanding how businesses create Twitter and use it to their advantage with their consumers. Don’t feel too rushed though, you have to get it right in order for it to all work! So before you go tweeting like crazy, set out your objectives and create a strategy to make progress towards your objectives. Here are a few ideas to get your account rolling with followers and retweets galore…

  • Lock up your handle – Make sure you’re not allowing somebody to get your handle and tweet on your companies behalf. It not only makes you look bad, but you can lose a lot of your reputation in allowing this major mistake to occur.
  • Listen first – “Know what people are tweeting about before you start posting”(Li & Bernoff, 2008). Don’t be afraid to look at the feeds, search up hashtags, see the trending topics. You want to get in on those trending topics, make sure you’re aware of what IS trending first.
  • Be ready to support people – Customers expect you, being the company, to answer to their whim and call, so be prepared. You’ll need some sort of procedure to hand them to your customer service or technical support teams. Here is a great example of when, Seamless, an online food ordering service that serves customers in several time zones across the United States and in London. There’s always someone ordering food and eating, right?In addition to engaging customers through trivia questions with prizes of free food, they also provide customer service around the clock. Here is an example of this: Screen Shot 2015-11-30 at 8.45.05 PM
  • Follow others – Following other users costs you nothing, so get on a following spree and it creates a customer-company relationship. How many users would be excited to say that Michael Kors or Kylie Jenner follows them, right? It gives your consumers a feeling of recognition and that you care and thats HUGE for consumers.
  • Be ready for a crisis – When a crisis hits, it usually hits hard. You need to be prepared for the backlash you’ll experience and how to deal with it. People are going to look to your Twitter accounts to respond.
  • Respond, retweet, and link – Its easy to see what you’re tweeting and favouriting so keep in mind what you are posting to your followers. But remember to add in a little personality, nobody wants to see an account with just retweets and no little pieces of you in there too. It’s what makes a Twitter account interesting. For example, McDonalds always involves their customers with their Twitter, making their account more appealing to their followers. This allows McDonalds to give off the communal vibe, they’re always supporting their employees and customers and promoting it on their Twitter for everyone of their followers to see. Screen Shot 2015-11-30 at 8.57.25 PM.png
  • Check with legal and regulatory staff – Because Twitter is public speech, you need to be careful what you’re publishing to your followers whether it be inappropriate or corporate information that the public shouldn’t know about (financial results, customer data etc).
  • Having gathered a following, don’t waste it! – A lot of marketers like to use Twitter in ads because its such a huge network worldwide and a little promotion never hurt anyone. For example, National Geographic needed to promote its television show, Air Force 1 so it created its own Twitter account.

So now that you’ve learnt more about Twitter, are you going to consider making your business an account? Twitter can be one of the most simplest ways to get your business on a social network and can be the most powerful as well. Happy Tweeting!

And while you’re at it…Check out my Twitter! I tweet more about how to improve your blog and social media networking! Cheers!

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See y’all next week!!

Beverley Small

 

References:

(n.d.). Retrieved December 1, 2015, from https://twitter.com/McDonalds?ref_src=twsrc^google|twcamp^serp|twgr^author
#TheWeeknd. (n.d.). Retrieved December 1, 2015, from https://twitter.com/search?q=theweeknd&src=typd&lang=en
#imlovinit. (n.d.). Retrieved December 1, 2015, from https://twitter.com/search?q=imlovinit&src=typd&lang=en
4 Examples of Excellent Twitter Customer Service. (2013, July 31). Retrieved December 1, 2015, from http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/exceptional-customer-service-on-twitter/
How to Use Twitter for Business and Marketing. (2013, April 9). Retrieved December 1, 2015, from http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/how-to-use-twitter-for-business-and-marketing/

Li, C., & Bernoff, J. (2008). Groundswell, Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies. Boston, Massuchusetts: Harvard Business School Publishing.

Twitter social media marketing – Google Search. (n.d.). Retrieved December 1, 2015, from https://www.google.ca/search?q=twitter social media marketing&espv=2&biw=1366&bih=629&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj__e2W47nJAhXCl4gKHe8sBkIQ_AUIBygC#imgrc=b0RKB384nObHnM:

 

“Amazingly, people are willing to spend lots of time helping each other, if you just get out of the way”

Without even realizing, your customers actually save you a lot of money. Crazy, right? Just by simply reaching out and helping one another solve problems instead of spending hours on hours trying to either get through to a call center or receive a call back from the Joe you were speaking to about your issue with the product and somehow your issue gets lost in translation and you’ve got to start alllll over again..Sounds like a headache, doesn’t it? Well luckily, your customers are able to help the groundswell support itself. Because oddly enough, people are willing to help complete strangers. And with that power, you’re not only bringing your customer base together, but essentially saving your company a lot of time and money.

As stated in the chapter this week, “supporting customers is a burden” (Li & Bernoff, 2008). So before you look into outsourcing your company to call centers, think again. Do these calls really help your customers? When you think of call centers, do you dread doing it before dialing that number? Of course you do. It isn’t about whether the person on the other end is from Ireland or India; its whether he or she can actually help you. So after the hit and miss calls, you as the customer starts to question the company, right? Have you instead looked at what other customers have said about potentially the same issue? Of course. And why? Because you trust what they’re saying considering they’ve had the same issue as you. This creates a support system in the groundswell and you’ll be able to see that people are willing to spend time to help one another, whether it be for gratitude, validation, or belonging to a community. “Caterina Fake, co-funder of the photo-sharing site Flickr, called it “the culture of generosity.” We call it the search for physic-income” (Li & Bernoff, 2008). Psychic income is free – paid in love, not money.

For example, take TripAdvisor; it is literally a online forum website dedicated to customers writing reviews on places of travel, vacation packages, etc. Anyone has access to it and can help another customer choose where and when and who to book with. Boom. An online forum that works in favor for all. Not only do the hotels, trip advisers and more get feedback, but the consumer is able to be helped by other consumers. And although I’m making it seem like a walk in the park, online forums take a lot of effort on your part before they can get rolling. There are three main questions that need to be asked and further examined before you can implement a forum in your business. So, should you tap into the search for psychic income? Ask these questions beforehand…

  1. What problem is your support activity trying to solve? Why will people participate? -“Psychic income is a lot more powerful when you tap into the problems people like to talk about most. So if you sell electric guitars, maybe you’d be better off with a support forum about the challenges of making it as a musician, not about whammy bars and wah-wah pedals” (Li & Bernoff, 2008).
  2. Groundswell support needs your participation – Support communities need activity – few will go to a forum that’s not buzzing with activity. Activity creates content, which creates traffic and links, which boosts  search engine placement, which drives more traffic, and so on. A great example would be Apple. They have an official forum where users of the Apple brand are able to solve one another’s problems, and if you own any Apple product, you know there is always activity on this site because of the popularity of the products.
  3. Why build it if you can join it? – You should check whether there is an existing community for your customers or create one. Customers are wanting to hear from the company. Posts by your company will attract a lot of attention, so you must consider joining your online community, sponsoring it, or forming a relationship with it so you can help your customers support themselves.

Here is an image about the benefits behind an online forum. It shows how factors such as marketing, competition, sales and development all come into play into why online communities matter to your business. online-community-impact-640x9481432916736

So, if your business decides to go forward with building a community for support, here are some great suggestions that will benefit you in the long-run:

  • Start small, but plan for a larger presence. Looking at past blogs about the groundswell, it is best to start off small in any situation. If you have multiple products, start by building up around one of them to test the waters and see if the online community will flourish.
  • Reach out to your most active customers. Your most active customers are essentially going to be your most important tools in the building process. Find out how they’d like to participate, because keeping them satisfied is whats going to keep your online community alive. Don’t be afraid to reach out.
  • Plan to drive traffic to your community. When you first open your doors to the community, the likeliness of people flooding in to get their opinions and answers, is zero to none. And that’s just because no one really knows you exist yet, and that’s okay. So advertise on places your customers shop, drive a little attention and with the more activity there is, the higher your community is going to show up in search engines.
  • Build in a reputation system. Looking back at psychic income, some of your users and there to give themselves a little ego boost with their knowledge, so let them. Allowing them to build up a reputation is beneficial to the both of you. “Users will spend hours a day building their reputations in a community. A well-built reputation system encourages users to participate and behave in the right manner” (Li & Bernoff, 2008).
  • Let your customers lead you. Communities are going to be made up of very different customers, and with that, comes a lot of different opinions on EVERYTHING. Not only will they tell you what features need to be added, changed, or removed but they’re going to tell you what’s right and wrong about even the forum itself. So be sure to include a thread for “improving the community,” and pay close attention.

So take the plunge into the online forum world and let your customers support each other. But also, be prepared for how your business is going to change. Your forum is going to be a laboratory where your customers are going to talk about everything. From sales tactics, to competition, to even your logo and advertisements. This can be the ultimate opportunity to advance your business, so embrace it. You’ll be able to collaborate with your customers to create even better services and products. So, what are you waiting for??

See y’all next week,

Beverley Small 🙂

 

References:

6 Benefits of Branded Forums and Online Communities. (2015, June 5). Retrieved November 21, 2015, from http://blog.proofhq.com/6-benefits-of-branded-forums-and-online-communities-007555/
Apple Support Communities. (n.d.). Retrieved November 21, 2015, from https://discussions.apple.com/welcome

Li, C., & Bernoff, J. (2008). Goundswell, Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies. Boston, Massuchusetts: Harvard Business School Publishing.

TripAdvisor: Read Reviews, Compare Prices & Book. (n.d.). Retrieved November 21, 2015, from http://www.tripadvisor.ca/

 

“With so many products trying to get people’s attention, shouting at them isn’t nearly as effective as it used to be”

Marketing Funnel

So you want your business to stand out but you have no idea how to get your consumers attention huh? Well have no fear, I’m here to tell you exactly how you can! If we think of marketing as a funnel, it’s much easier to picture how consumers “march down the path from awareness to purchase and loyalty. Shouting – advertising – herds them in the big end. Activities in the middle try to pull them down to that purchase, and if you’re lucky, they come out the other end as consumers”(Li & Bernoff, 2008). In this blog, I’ll be teaching you various methods of how to get your voice out there and when you should be using social networks to promote your brand!

So you’ve been lost out in the blogosphere for a while now and you’re confused as to what your next move might be. There are a number of options that are effective in the social media world today. The four I will be focusing on is to…

  1. Make a viral video! Remember the videos you spent hours watching of cats or that new Justin Bieber video? Bam, viral. People have an interest in it and within hours or even down to seconds, the video becomes viral. It’ll be the number one video posted on your Facebook feed, you’ll see it on TV shows, you may even see clips of it within another ad..but it gets your attention, doesn’t it? For example, Lexus has always been a company of luxury and higher end products and when they released a teaser of their new product, the Hoverboard, people went nuts. Literally. There was discussion about it over any social network you could name, and with over 12 million views on YouTube, its name in the market became that much bigger.
  2. Engage in social networks and user-generated content sites. What we mean by this is to create a personality through networks such as Facebook or Twitter, etc. A great example of this would be Starbucks, who took it into their fans hands and created a Facebook page where consumers were able to post on the wall. On this network, they were then able to post ideas for drinks which ended up trending and Starbucks made their own “fan-based” secret menu. Genius. So next time you’re drinking your “red-velvet cheesecake” frappuccino, you know who to thank.
  3. Join the blogosphere. Get your co-workers to start writing blogs! Get them to bring customers into the life of someone who’s working for your company. This doesn’t even have to be done through a blog, it can be done through Twitter or an even more popular one, Instagram. For example, Lexus makes its employees feel like a second-family. We goof off and have a good time when we can and we like to promote that through our Instagram page and through our own personal Instagram accounts. Not only are we promoting where we work but showing that we love working there which is a huge contributing factor when people are looking for brands to be loyal to.
  4. Create a community. As spoken in the text, “communities are a powerful way to engage with your customers and deliver value to them”(Li & Bernoff, 2008). They’re also effective as long as you’re not shouting out to your customers trying to gain their attention. Subtly branding is how you want to get your customers attention; by delivering a big dose of emotion with a little dose on information and an even smaller amount of branding message. Lexus had an idea to use television as a way to reach their consumers of differing interests. They had released a comedy series from SNL writers’ for subtle branding. Here is a trailer of the comedy series, Hudson Valley Ballers, which is to feature auto related humor and showing off Lexus’ goofy side to the company.

Whichever you choose, you need to know the knowledge of blogging or else you’re just going to be posting and nobodies going to be picking up what you’re putting down! When you start a blog or a community, you want to engage your consumers enough that they’ll want to talk back and amongst one another! With this in mind, we look at the POST method which I blogged about last week! Take a peak and it’ll explain all you need to know 🙂 But for now, here’s a few tips to keep in mind while writing up your blog…

  • First thing’s first, you need to develop a marketing plan so people can ACTUALLY find the blog! A good way of doing so would be to get your consumers attention with a viral video or post. They’re all over the Internet today and people continuously share them day in and day out. Included in this blog post is a YouTube video that demonstrates how to create a viral video for all y’all newbies 😉

  • Blogging is MORE than writing. Biggest tip I’ve ever taken from this course…I kept writing and writing and it felt as though I was writing my textbook over. Don’t be afraid to put a little personality in there..add some photos, put some links in, spice it up so it doesn’t feel like you’re being another boring blog about some technical marketing stuff. Let people learn from you and see what you can learn from them!
  • BE HONEST. You need to respond to those listening and responding like a real person. Nobody wants to hear the typical robot computer answers. Be real with your customers, tell them the negative in with the positive; consumers want the truth. This is how they stay loyal to you and keep invested in your business.

When you’ve come up with a way to communicate, whether it be through a video or building a community you need to figure out where your consumers are within the marketing funnel. At the beginning of this post, I had attached an image of how the marketing funnel works. So you need to look at your business and figure out where your area of work needs to be focused on. Is it that people don’t know about you? Could it be that you have complicated messages to get across?

Viral videos are best for punching through the white noise…if you have a brilliant idea. Without one, your viral video is going to be lost in the YouTube world gaining comments from users who want to “follow for follow” or “like for like.” Social networking is a great way for word of mouth problems. Think of all the people you could get to retweet and repost your business ideas. For example, Shredz Supplements, a fitness group, involves their trainers within their company by reposting their pictures and getting consumers to upload progress pictures to their website and Instagram account. Bravo for Shredz, because it works. With the reposts, customers are then entered into contests or given discounts off their next purchase of supplements. And with the fitness trend going on with the younger crowds, it’s a huge step forward for Shredz. They’ve begun to now produce apparel to brand their products even more. Although these are great innovations, the biggest problem for most companies is complexity. Lexus still struggles with complexity, but they always ensure they’re keeping in contact with their customers before, during, and after the sales. They’ve started to build up a community, which is a long term commitment, but one Lexus is willing to hold up to keep their customers happy and communicating.

Communication is huge within our world for marketing and anything, really. But whether consumers are talking positive or negative, their responses are going to be read by potential customers and that still counts for something. Make yourself aware of the marketing funnel and teach yourself to talk, listen, and respond and you’ll master the funnel.

Until next week,

Beverley Small 🙂

References:

(n.d.). Retrieved November 16, 2015, from http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/blogosphere
Homepage. (n.d.). Retrieved November 16, 2015, from http://www.shredz.com/
Lexus releases SNL writers’ comedy series for subtle branding. (2015, August 13). Retrieved November 16, 2015, from http://www.luxurydaily.com/lexus-releases-snl-writers-comedy-series-for-subtle-branding/
Li, C., & Bernoff, J. (2008). Talking with the groundswell. In Groundswell: Winning in a world transformed by social technologies (pp. 99-127). Boston, Mass.: Harvard Business Press.
Starbucks Red Velvet Frappuccino. (n.d.). Retrieved November 16, 2015, from http://starbuckssecretmenu.net/starbucks-secret-menu-red-tuxedo-frappuccino/
The Lexus Hoverboard: It’s here. (n.d.). Retrieved November 16, 2015, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZwSwZ2Y0Ops
Viral Video Marketing – How To Do It and a Viral Marketing Example! (n.d.). Retrieved November 16, 2015, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OhCk0YLmGFc

“When it comes to the Groundswell, Charlie knows his company has to be there, but he doesn’t know why”

Hello again,

This week in reading about the Groundswell, I looked at things like P.O.S.T. and how to assemble basic elements we need to build a groundswell strategy for our business. In order to put together elements and come up with a strategy to better your business, you have to have a specific goal or you will ultimately fail. BUT not to fear, because that goal can be as simple as just listening to your customers input! And once you get started and achieve that goal, you can accomplish much more than what you intended! (Can you tell I’m not a marketing student yet?) Hahaha.

Before beginning, you need to understand what P.O.S.T. is though! I have attached an image which gives you an outline of what it involves and what each step needs in order to move on to the next. For people, you’re going to assess your customers’ social activities which can outline which objectives you’d like to focus on. These objectives being, listening, talking, energizing, supporting, or embracing. All equally important, and some companies may only need to focus on one where some may need to focus on all. Once objectives have been set, we look for strategies in order to obtain these objectives to which then leads us to what technology are we going to invest in or use in order to achieve the big picture.

When I took this process into account of where I’m currently working, I looked at what Lexus is doing right now to achieve using the groundswell strategy. For People, we assess our customers’ social activities by having a chat room for customers and surveys sent out regularly to let them let us know how we’re doing, whether it be sales, customer service, or just the products itself. When looking at objectives, Lexus can do wonders by talking; meaning to use the groundswell to spread messages about the company. Lexus doesn’t advertise much due to its “luxury” image, but in order to increase consumer activity, i think its crucial for them to do so, to get the name into more customers minds. Even embracing would be great for the company because that way we’d be integrating our customers into our community. This could be anywhere from holding company events and allowing buyers to attend and engage with one another, which can also lead to a higher customer base and allow us to listen in to what they want out of the company. Perhaps this could even mean to help design future products. Last but not least, we look at the technology step in which I believe Lexus could benefit from more of a social networking approach. To really get the name out there and see what others have to say about it so we know what to do in the future to fix or improve.

Essentially what I had learned from this chapter was that we cannot just rely on our product and how it will sell and how our customers will react, but our marketing strategies and the way we communicate with our consumer market is HUGE. Like seriously big! We KNOW we have to reach out to our customers, many of us just don’t know HOW. It all depends on your market as well, some companies will use blogs and some will use private communities to allow a smaller number of customers to engage in conversation. Once we know whats best for us and for our customers to feel like we care, then we come up with a strategy that will further this communication. Once you’ve got this down, there’s no going back.

The Groundswell is a move forward trend and cannot be stopped. As the chapter states and I will leave you with this, “there is no right way to engage with the groundswell.” (Li & Bernoff, 2008).

See ya next week!

Beverly Small

References:

Li, C., & Bernoff, J. (2008). Strategies for tapping the groundswell. In Groundswell: Winning in a world transformed by social technologies. Boston, Mass.: Harvard Business Press.
Groundswell POST Process. (n.d.). Retrieved November 9, 2015.

Transforming your company with the Groundswell

“Keep the customer at the centre of your organization”. In Chapter 11, the Groundswell states that in order to begin transforming your company’s philosophy, mental shifts in thinking must occur. Then would be to set out a plan and vision for your business and make sure all executives who make the initial decisions are all on board with new decisions being made. A statement made within the chapter caught my attention as well which was, “the transformation of a company usually takes an idea that starts with a few employee’s who understand the groundswell and making it an organization-wide movement” (p 217). From my personal experience, working at Lexus has shown me how well our staff and business as a whole succeeds in this idea. When board meetings are scheduled with our marketing team, we look at it from all angles including what our customers and potential buyers are saying about our brand. They’re open to suggestion and are constantly listening to feedback forums on our website. To rise above our competition, its always been about our prestige edge we give off when selling our brand and our products. People like the luxury feel and we constantly promote it in that way.

The Groundswell suggests that blogging is a huge asset to your business and Lexus uses it to its advantage. It gives our members a voice in their experience with our business and products; whether negative or positive. But like all companies, no matter the industry you are in, we constantly look for improvement. Reevaluating areas of your business is part of the process the Groundswell mentions in this chapter, creates an image for your business and how they are constantly looking to satisfy customers and achieve long term success. With using this method, it adds value to your company, which a lot of consumers nowadays are buying into. If something is known to have value, many customers will spend the extra penny to receive its value you’ve promised.

The Groundswell suggest new marketing alternatives throughout the chapters we’ve read and learned to apply to our work lives in a way to help us move forward and innovate. Essentially the biggest alternative would be to use social media to attract consumers, keep them informed, and allow them to have a voice within your company. What your customer says about the product and service you are giving out is essential to success within your company. After researching what social media could do for your business, I found a great article from Forbes website on exactly that. Here, take a look: Benefits of Social Media. I’ve found from reading this article (and so have others in this class i’ve noticed!), I learned a lot of things I never considered before when looking at social media through business.

Thanks again,

Beverley Small

References:

L. Charlene & Bernoff. J (2011). Groundswell, Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies. Harvard Business School Publishing: 60 Harvard Way, Boston Massuchusetts

Forbes. (2014). The Top Ten Benefits of Social Media. Retrieved Oct 25, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/jaysondemers/2014/08/11/the-top-10-benefits-of-social-media-marketing/2/