Traditional marketing techniques such as radio & television advertising does not have the same impact on consumers as they once did.  Traditional marketing theory can be explained as the marketing funnel. According to the theory that is presented in the funnel, customers are driven to each stages through marketing activities such as advertising.  Traditional marketing involves “shouting” at a potential customer whereas talking with groundswell develops relationships;therefore, resulting in loyal customers.



Li and Bernoff (2011) gave four most common and effective ways to talk with the groundswell:

  1. Post a viral video – Post a video online and make sure to allow people to share it.
  2. Engage in social networks and user-generated content – Creating a positive personality online is one of the simplest ways to extend a company’s brand reach.
  3. Join the blogosphere – Have executive to blog, and connect with consumers. This is very crucial because it allows your company to listen and talk to the consumers. When blogging, I believe it is very important to remember the People and Objectives from the POST Strategy. Here are another 10 tips for successful blogging:
  • Start by listening
  • Determine the goal for the blog
  • Estimate ROI (Return on Investments)
  • Develop a plan
  • Rehearse
  • Develop an editorial process
  • Design the blog and its connection to your site
  • Develop a marketing plan so people can find the blog
  • Remember, blogging is more that just writing
  • Final advice: be honest.

      4. Create a community – Communities are a powerful way to connect and add value to consumers. They are also very effective in sending marketing messages as long as you listen, and not just “shout”.  A community is a space where individuals who share the same interests are able to interact online. Identifying a community allow companies to tailor a marketing message based on the community. A company can figure out a the demographics o f the community using a Social Technographic Profile

Now, you ask which is better for you? It really depends on what your company’s communication problem is. For example, do you have an awareness problem? post a viral video. Do you have a word-of-mouth problem? use social networks. Do you have an accessibility problem? create a community.

Conversation with consumers will continuously evolve. “Even as the technologies change, the basic conversational nature of those technology will remain central” (p. 126). Marketers must learn to talk, listen and respond to adapt to these changes.



Li, C., Bernoff, J. (2011). Groundswell: Winning in a world transformed by social technologies. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Publishing



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