A dozen actionable tactics to unleash CGM's power.
How on earth do you act on consumer-generated media (CGM)? Is it inherently actionable?
Suppose thousands of motivated consumers are angrily screaming your brand's name (or praising it) across a mix of message boards, forums, and blogs -- most within a few clicks of other consumers or scoop-starved reporters.
Do you just sit and listen, or do you do something about it?
The entire word-of-mouth/CGM space is a nascent category. There's little precedent around its use or application, and there are no clear lines of ownership in organizations. Invariably, this creates an almost-defensive posture around proving its value, often at higher levels of scrutiny than other forms of media and advertising get. Fuzzy ownership lines can also lead to action paralysis.
Why Are Audits Important?
The CGM trail provides both ammunition and guidance for executives, general managers, and CMOs seeking new measures and metrics to assess and audit the real outcome of customer loyalty or disloyalty.
Not every audit leads to action, but few would argue audits don't serve a critical business function. There are certain things we need to know and certain things we can't afford not to know, even if the next step isn't always obvious. In particular, audits also help find irregularities and inconsistencies that force deeper, more meaningful exploration.
A growing number of brands recognize auditing their brands through CGM isn't only central to a well-informed business health diagnosis, but the key to real competitive advantage. You can't manage what you can't measure. And you can't lead with your eyes closed.
How Do You Use It?
I'm working on a small book entitled "101 Ways to Act on Consumer-Generated Media." Here's a short list of achievable, actionable tactics and strategies to unleash CGM's power:
No more excuses. CGM is everywhere, and growing. Carpe diem!
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Pete Blackshaw, whose professional background encompasses public policy, interactive marketing, and brand management, is executive vice president of strategic services for Nielsen Online, a combination of Nielsen BuzzMetrics, a firm Pete helped cofound, and Nielsen//NetRatings. One of Pete's key focuses is helping brands interpret, manage, and act on consumer-generated media (CGM). A former interactive marketing leader at P&G and founder of consumer feedback portal PlanetFeedback.com, Pete cofounded the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA). He authors several blogs, including ConsumerGeneratedMedia.com, and is the author of an upcoming book from Random House, "Satisfied Customers Tell Three Friends, Angry Customers Tell 3000: Running a Business in Today's Consumer-Driven World."
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Wednesday, July 23, 2014