In the clue train manifesto it described how new technologies have empowered the consumers with a voice of their own. This has had a profound effect on marketers, advertisers, public relations, and businesses in general because they can not continue to feed consumers with their advertising campaign slogans and not have products which live up to their company’s claims.
Word of mouth is more powerful for consumers anyway. For instance, I have always valued the opinions of my family and friends more than any advertisement on TV that I try to avoid anyway – mostly because they do not get boost in a paycheck for telling me “its great.”
Also, this chapter mentioned the importance of having the associates selling the product to be able to honestly relate to customers instead of repeating the typical sales-pitch prescribed by corporate or by their managers. This old approach turns people off, just as people try to escape commercials on TV by surfing. I thought this was totally relevant when retail establishments today still sell mini insurance plans on everything in the store (Best Buy, Sears, Sports Authority etc). With each of these plans is sold by a mandated sales monologue by sales associates to every customer. However, customers are becoming wary of such plans. For instance, at this website people review Sports Authority’s ECPs which are now being sold on shoes.
I thought the best advice this article gave out was that companies should embrace their “real” voice and honestly let their potential customers know what their products actually do, and not just what they claim to do in the best circumstance. For instance, the United Airlines example showed how important having more customer service by having the associate discuss/explain circumstances online. With the advent of the internet the customers can create a lot of bad reviews online if not communicated with by a company representative to appease their concerns. A company that does a fantastic job at this would be REI’s website with their expert reviews as well as superb customer support.
The other article entitled “bloggers….” went on to explain the increase in grassroots movement on the internet which discussed the controversy of internet users “helping” a campaign individually. Oftentimes, the most damage can be a viral video of an opponent which can change public opinion. But who is to blame?
1) How has the internet changed the way that grassroots organizations have supported as well as opposed particular political candidates?
2) What are some examples of products that have not lived up to their advertisement for you? How has the internet changed the way you evaluate these products?