If your like me then you like learning new things daily. I have continued to enjoy my weekly readings from my groundswell textbook. This week I was reading a chapter in the book called “energizing the groundswell”, what is energizing? Let’s put the this in the perspective of a political candidate. When they get their supporters pumped up, and spread the word this is called “energizing the base”. This also applies to companies and their customers. Energizing the base is a powerful way to apply the groundswell to boost your business (Li & Bernoff Pg. 130). Another topic worth mentioning is word of mouth. This is very powerful in brand marketing, achieving results that no other media campaign can achieve (Li & Bernoff Pg. 130). There are a few reasons about why word of mouth succeeds: it’s believable, it’s self-reinforcing, and lastly it’s self-spreading. I was shocked when I read about the percentages of “how much online North American Consumers trust sources of information about products or services”. The highest trust sources were from recommendations from friends and family (73%) and following that was emails from people you know (65%) (Li & Bernoff Pg. 132).
One of the main readings I felt was crucial for any business to absorb with groundswell was: “five steps for applying the techniques of energizing to your own organization”. I will explain each step in detail and relate it to a company that I’d like to work for, X5 Management.
1. Figure out if you want to energize with groundswell.
Obviously energizing with the groundswell isn’t for everyone. Energizing works well for companies with customers who are, or could be, enthusiastic about the company and its products (Li & Bernoff Pg. 148). Even if companies have enthusiastic customers, energizing the groundswell can be a challenge (Li & Bernoff Pg. 148). Regarding my company of interest, X5 can definitely put this step into perspective. The approach of X5 is to ensure all aspects of business (CROPS) are smooth and systematic. The X5 team wants to be energized, and wants the customers that they work with to have the best services provided. If customers are enthusiastic and energized themselves, this leads to referrals and more value for the company.
2. Check the Social Technographics profile of your customers
According to my textbook, “you need research to determine how actively and in what numbers your customers are participating in the groundswell” (Li & Bernoff Pg. 148). Now X5 doesn’t have age specifics but rather focuses on companies from all different industries. If X5 stays in contact with the customers, this results in customers having the right profile and participating with groundswell.
3. Ask yourself, “what is my customer’s problem?”
X5 excels with this. The great structure of the X5 team, allows them to have one on one’s with customers to get the full scoop on what specifically they need help with. You can relate this to the CROPS method I mentioned earlier. X5 doesn’t waste any time on things that don’t need to be done, it’s all about what the customer wants and needs.
4. Pick a strategy that fits your customers social technographics profile and problems.
“To make a community that’s successful you must consider the costs of design, moderation, and marketing, which can easily run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars” (Li & Bernoff Pg. 149). If X5 wants to get energized, then they will have to set a strategy to work with the groundswell. Once specifics are set and social technographics are matched then the company can capitalize on methods that will attract the companies from different industries.
5. Don’t start unless you can stick around for the long haul.
If your not in this for the long haul, then you should think about the ugly endings you’ve seen to marriages that lacked long term effort (Li & Bernoff Pg. 149). X5 is around for the long haul, so there will be success throughout the journey of energizing with groundswell. With common sense you know that success doesn’t just come to you, you go to it. If commitment is set, then plans can be put to use and the business will have leverage over other companies in the same field.
Do you want to get energized using the groundswell?! I welcome your thoughts
Image 1 retrieved from: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2008/12/16/the-top-10-ways-to-stay-energized.aspx
Image 2 retrieved from: http://theinspirationroom.com/daily/2004/energizer-batteries/
Li, C., & Bernoff, J. (2011). Groundswell: Winning in a world transformed by social technologies. Boston: Harvard Business School Publishing.