It’s been quite a while now that the blogosphere has been rather influential in understanding trends, efficient in creating discussions between users and interesting enough to generate reactions. I am sure we can all think about campaigns or brands’ activities online which have generated such things and created a massive buzz…
However, only recently brands have started to become truly aware that what before was a ‘niche audience’ is now a ‘mainstream voice’ to hardly ignore.
We had so many examples in the past few weeks on how brands have started listening to their consumers online, giving a special attention to us bloggers out there, setting remarkable examples on how brands should really behave towards us consumers.
It is fairly basic knowledge that through listening to the consumer companies learn what product and/or service aspects drive purchasing decisions.
Online marketing gained greater effectiveness thanks to the lack of interactivity that display offline media used to offer, which to certain extent still does today!
We initially started to record click-through-rates and conversions; then we got to measure interaction rates within the elements of a rich media ad; now, we can easily read what our consumers think about us and our products in real time… as simple as that!
Brands nowadays need to understand that users find so much easier leaving short comments on forums and blogs than spending hours of their time to go through customer service or write an angry email which never gets replied.
As mentioned in Jamie’s blog-entry, brands do need to engage their users into a two-way communication. Now I wonder, what is better than monitoring the influential blogosphere for your brand, listen to what people are saying about it and behave with them accordingly?
It doesn’t take much does it?
Today I was reading a brilliant post by Jonathan Hopkins where he’s writing about his experience with Vodafone. The blog post is called “Vodafone is Listening” which is definitely worth checking out. Jonathan had written a very long and angry post about the recent crappy experience he’d had with Vodafone concerning using mobile broadbrand abroad.
The post included 10 fairly-direct accusations to Vodafone from Jonathan who was obviously disappointed by the whole experience after receiving a bill of nearly US $3,000
Astonishingly, after 4 days from the complaint, a certain Gemma from Vodafone replied to his blog entry through the comments’ space (and also emailing him directly) with one of the longest replies I’ve ever seen on a blog … sorting out all the issues for Mr. Hopkins
This is what Jonathan then replied – “I really appreciate the fact that you (Gemma) have responded to my post and as such feel a lot warmer to Vodafone now. You’ve put a human face on things and made me feel like my whinge was just a little bit worthwhile.”
That’s exactly what every brand should be doing and create those ever-lasting relationships with their consumers, retaining their loyalty and constantly let them feel part of the brand
Companies like Vodafone, as in this case, together with EA and Becks mentioned in Jamie’s entry, are definitely some of the ones who get my respect for simply ‘listenting’ the way it should be done…
Who is next?