Media Influencer

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Dell made up with bloggers

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Jeff Jarvis on the end of Dell Hell.

They reached out to bloggers; they blogged; they found ways to listen to and follow the advice of their customers. They joined the conversation. That’s all we asked.

Absolutely. I particularly like this:

…note Dell’s compliance with the manifesto’s first three theses:

1. Markets are conversations.
2. Markets consist of human beings, not demographic sectors.
3. Conversations among human beings sound human. They are conducted in a human voice.

Had I not have my blog(s) to say this, I have gone hoarse from repeating this over the last 4 years. And this is just one of the many benefits of listening:

Dell realized that engaging in the conversation wasn’t just a way to stop blogging customers like me from harming the brand. We, the customers, bring them great value besides our money: We alert them to problem. We will tell them what products we want. We share our knowledge about their products. We help fellow customers solve problems. We will sell their products. But this happens only if you have a decent product and service and only if you listen to us.

I also agree with Stuart Henshall’s interpretation:

If you want a conversation to really take hold in a company you have to teach the CEO how to listen. Today it’s never been easier to innovate in this area. From my perspective every VP Marketing should be enabling a social media listening program.

Businesses are such a top down organisations that even if you manage to start conversations inside the company, there comes a point where those people run into a wall. The organisation reacts to new ways and there is a clash of cultures, if not more. And without a clear understanding and support from the CEO, it is unlikely to be resolved. Sun Microsystem’s Jonathan Schwartz had to line up the lawyers and the comms people and tell them in no uncertain terms that blogging is going to happen within and outside Sun. I am told that without such a push, the company would have never grown such a powerful and dynamic blogging community.

So it is foolish to assume that one blog makes a conversation, just like one swallow does not makes a summer. But it just may inform people about a change of season…

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