Groundswell Thinking: How Are You Thinking Part 2

With any new product, a company has objectives. However, Groundswell objectives are different than any other objective I’ve come across. The “Groundswell” objectives are:

  • Listening- have a better understanding of your customers
  • Talking- spread messages about your company
  • Energizing- find your most enthusiastic customers
  • Supporting- set up groundswell tools to help your customers support each other
  • Embracing- integrate your customers into the way your business works such as using their help to design your product

In order to understand what your customers’ think about your company, brand, or product, you have to listen carefully. In other words, use “Groundswell” thinking to listen to your customers’ conversations and from that, learn how they think.  Customer response is more powerful than ever today due to the power of social media. Therefore, customers decide what your brand is not you (the company) deciding what it is.  How do you learn to listen to your customers? Well, here’s how (according to Groundswell).

First, two strategies to think about is to begin a small private community where a company can listen in and then monitor that by using brand monitoring. Brand monitoring is where a company can hire another company to listen through the Internet. Once these strategies are implemented, it is your (the company’s job) to find out what your brand stands for. The company knows the message its delivering using the brand, but is that different from what the customers think it is?  Thus, this can be done by hiring a senior to monitor the “talking” strategy, be sure to monitor on a daily basis, and check the Social Technographics profile of your customers.

The “other side of the conversation is talking,” according to Groundswell.  As a result, social technologies have increased the word-of-mouth dynamics. People are talking to each other, which affects all aspects of how a company operates its branding strategies. So, if people are talking and you as a company is listening to your customers’ feedbacks, how do you talk in the conversation?

  • Post Viral videos: Viral videos however have to allow interaction and direct people to other various social networks so that customers are able to form other relationships with each other or the specific company.
  • Engage in social networks & user-generated content sites
  • Join the Blogosphere, meaning that responding to other blogs and responding to comments that are posted on blogs.
  • Create a community, which is a powerful way to engage with your customers

Energizing in “Groundswell” means to spread the message via word-of-mouth through social technology. According to Word-of-Mouth Marketing Association, word-of-mouth is defined as the most honest form of marketing, building upon people’s natural desire to share their experiences with family, friends and colleagues.  Word-of-Mouth is so powerful because it is believable, self-spreading, and true. For example, if you are considering to buy an Apple Ipod, but don’t know which one to buy, more than likely you will ask your peers (whoever that may be).  Whatever your peers tell you they think which Ipod you should buy influences your purchase decision.  You will believe your peers more than any other advertisement, which an example of how word-of-mouth marketing works.  In other words, tapping into energizing in Groundswell means to  “tap into the power of word of mouth by connecting with and turning to your most committed customers,” Groundswell (p.131). 

 Tips on Energizing the Groundswell:

  • Ask yourself if you want to energize the groundswell
  • Check the social technographics profile of your customers
  • Ask yourself what is my customers problem?
  • Pick a strategy that fits your customers social technographics profile and problems
  • Don’t start unless you can stick around for the long haul
  • Energizing leads to embracing

Now that I have discussed listening, talking, and energizing the “Groundswell” objectives leads me to discuss what it means to embrace Groundswell. “Embracing Groundswell” is when companies allow customers to be a part of the company to enhance company and product improvements.  This is how embracing groundswell works: if a company converses with customers using social media technology tools to listen and respond to their customers, then this relationship gives insight to the company which leads to a further deeper connection between the company and its customers.

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