Groundswell: What’s the Engagement Strategy?

GROUNDSWELL: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies (Harvard Business School Press; 2008) is a must-read for everyone in publishing grappling with the challenge of building a marketing strategy in the digital age, especially for those developing a direct-to-consumer platform.

Basically, the “groundswell” is Water Cooler 2.0 — people using technology to share their thoughts and opinions about products and services they love and loathe — and GROUNDSWELL makes a smart, practical case for listening, tapping, embracing and empowering that groundswell for the best competitive advantage of all: a passionate customer.

Co-authors Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff, both analysts with Forrester Research, take pains to keep things simple, presenting a step-by-step strategic approach to understanding and leveraging their “groundswell” premise which wisely focuses on PEOPLE and OBJECTIVES before technology.

What’s the Engagement Strategy?

  • Listening – using social media as “real time” research and gaining insights from listening to customers.
  • Talking – using conversations with customers to promote products or services, authentically.
  • Energizing – building brand stewardship; identifying enthusiastic customers and using them to persuade others.
  • Supporting – making it possible for customers to help each other.
  • Embracing – turning customers into a resource for innovation.

Tomorrow, we’ll address the five steps to beginning a social media strategy.

3 thoughts on “Groundswell: What’s the Engagement Strategy?

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  3. Stas Antons

    This is a great post! We at SmartSymbols have been working in this space for almost 2 years now, and we found that it is so critical to bring all the information available through social networking together and use it just like the authors suggest: “Listening, Talking” (among other things.)

    I would only add that “Energizing, Supporting and Embracing” points are corollary to the first two fundamental points.

    The key, in my view, is to make it easy for your customers to use or participate in all 5 suggestions, i.e. – bring technology and design to simplify all interaction.

    Thank you,

    -Stas Antons
    SmartSymbols Interactive Technology
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