In today’s Internet-driven world, customers have more power than ever. Through what interactive marketing expert Pete Blackshaw calls "consumer-generated media"—blogs, social networking pages, message boards, product review sites—even a single disgruntled customer can broadcast his complaints to an audience of millions. Blackshaw shows managers, marketers, and business leaders how to establish and maintain credibility for their brand by being authentic, listening and responding to customers, and forming relationships built on openness, transparency, and trust.Filled with stories based on his experience working with Fortune 500 brands such as Toyota, Dell, Nike, Sony, General Motors, Hershey, Unilever, Nestlé, Lexus, and Bank of America, Blackshaw offers a clear strategy to sustain a competitive advantage by creating enduring, loyal relationships with today’s consumer.
In June 2006, a man named Vincent Ferrari had a shockingly combative conversation with an AOL sales rep; he recorded it and posted it on YouTube. More than 62,827 viewings later, AOL's reputation was irretrievably damaged. In the digital age, disgruntled customers are now in the driver's seat, argues Blackshaw in this thoughtful and engaging book. With the advent of Consumerist.com and other venues where customers can blow off steam about bad service or deficient products, consumer generated media is a force to be reckoned with. Since consumers trust other consumers above companies or brands, a company's success depends on its credibility and its ability to gain the trust and support of Web-savvy, outspoken and influential customers. Through remarkable stories of mass consumer advocacy and the power of bloggers and ordinary Joes with an Internet connection and a bone to pick, Blackshaw advises executives on how to build credibility into their businesses through blogs, Web sites and video postings. Informative, energetic and entertaining, this is a marvelous argument for corporate responsibility and accountability, interesting to laypeople and instructive for executives.