Monday, July 19, 2010

Groundswell-Chapters 5 & 6 Reaction

Reading chapters 5 & 6 of Groundswell was eye-opening for me.

I started taking this class because I knew deep down that social media was the wave of the future and important to me personally if I am to advance my career in marketing. Essentially, I was a lot like the executives described by the authors in CH. 5. I knew that it was important and I knew about the technologies but I didn't know why and didn't know where to start.

Also, for the past week I had been struggling with the fact that the influence social media has over consumers will last. My doubt stemmed from my personal experiences as a social media user that boiled down to me becoming increasingly tired of receiving the hundreds of messages and projections daily through the web and ultimately I decided to scale back my involvement in different media. Honestly, it is a feeling that has stemmed from all of the types of consumer-marketer interactions I have had on and off the web. Magazines, TV, radio, billboards, you name it, were all shouting at me, as they do all of us, and I was getting sick of it.

I didn't even realize how tiring it was until 4 years ago when I studied abroad in a foreign country and felt such relief because throughout my experience there I no longer listened to the TV or the radio, and was unable to even read the billboards that were printed in a language I couldn't understand. The result was, upon my return and in order to prolong some of the semblance of peace I felt abroad, I no longer subscribed to cable television or listened to the radio in the car. So with regard to social media and their messages my question was; if I was feeling this bogged down, how were others feeling? How would I develop a career in an industry I enjoyed participating in as an agent of industry but couldn't stand to listening to most of the time in my personal life?

What I have learned by reading chapters 5 and 6 is that social media is the solution-not an added problem like I had previously feared. First, in chapter 5, the authors stress the importance of listening. This really is the first key to communication and finally there are inexpensive and easy-to- use resources that get to the route of the issues that consumers may have and provide efficient avenues for companies to address them. Chapter 6 is all about how to talk with the customer and for me, this is even more important. I really felt relieved when I read, "with so many products trying to get people's attention, shouting at them isn't nearly as effective as it used to be...shouting doesn't work. Conversations do." It was as if they were reading my thoughts and put them into words better than I ever could. This book has really given me a better sense of the kind of marketer I want to become and has assuaged my fears of becoming the type that I hate.

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