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.