Listening to the Groundswell

Chapter 4 of Groundswell (2011) by Charline Li and Josh Bernoff explain how important it is to listen to others, more importantly listening to your customers. They explain in the chapter that there are people that think that companies do not listen to customer needs but that is definitely untrue because companies pay and go all out of their way to provide to their customers because they use listening as a tactic more so that just surveys. “Listening to groundswell reveals insights” (Li & Bernoff, 2011), explain that also by observing customers of their day-to-day interactions and competition you will be able to get a sense of what the target is. Also consumers in the groundswell leave opinions and comments on a regular basis. This includes blogging or social networking about an experience at a retail store or any service such as car services, restaurants, tailors etc.

Two listening strategies, setting up your own private community and begin brand monitoring. Setting up your on private community includes setting up private discussions or even a website so you are able to directly see what consumers are saying about your products and services. This is an advantage because it is one way to listen to groundswell and you also are allowed to ask your customers whatever you want. The second strategy, brand monitoring, is a strategy that includes hiring a third party company to listen to do the monitoring for you. This includes having them to listen to internet posts, discussion forums, twitter, reviews etc. Surprisingly there are a lot of companies that will do this such as Nielsen’s BuzzMetrics and Cymfony (Li & Bernoff, 2011).

Finding out what others are saying about your company us crucial, hence why listening should not be neglected. There advantage aspects to listening that will benefit you such as finding out what your brand stands for, understand how buzz is shifting, save research money and increase the response, sources that influence the market, managing PR crisis, and new product and marketing ideas. How you should response to this after listening you should be taking active measures. This includes by starting a plan by checking the technographical profile of customers, monitoring brands and vendors. After all this you will be seeing progress within the organization which groundswell states  will help with  a new shift within the community because once you take action on a new piece of information your company will never be the same (Li & Bernoff, 2011).

After that summary, I believe that in every industry and every company should be listening to their consumers. I feel like it is crucial to hear what the public and your own target market is saying about their experience or thoughts about the company. Every company can benefit from this because this will allow them to hear what the customers want and what will make the company better.


Li, C., & Bernoff, J. (2011). Groundswell: Winning in a world transformed by social technologies. (expanded and revised edition). Boston: Harvard Business Review School Press.

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