Chapter 6: Talking with the groundswell

Previous chapters talked about tapping the groundswell. The Social Techno-graphic Profile was a way to know into which groups our customers fall into which helps us make better decisions in the groundswell. POST process focused on the importance of knowing why a company should get into the groundswell. These two topics are important to keep in mind as we move into chapter 6 which focuses on the importance and benefit of talking. (an objective under the POST process)

Li and Bernoff explain that talking and marketing differ. They refer to marketing as “shouting”, which includes television commercials, or ads placed on a YouTube video that even if it was a product I’m interested in, I don’t care for it. talking is more like an acceptable way of marketing, where customers can choose to engage or not and it is more effective than traditional marketing or “shouting” (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p. 101)

There are techniques to talking with the groundswell, the techniques mentioned by Li and Bernoff are:

  • Post a viral video: posting a viral video can direct viewers to visit a company’s blog, website, or social networking site where these viewers can interact with others.
  • Engage in social networks: having a presence in social networking sites is probably the most important technique in my opinion, especially when we target younger individuals who would be “Joiners”
  • Join the blogosphere: blogging is where a company can be creative. Bloggers can respond to customer questions or concerns and establish trust.
  • Create a Community: communities like forums can be used to “deliver value to [customers]…” and “effective at delivering marketing messages” (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p. 103)

A great example of a company that really knows the value of “talking” is Sephora. Sephora offers different beauty products from a lot of brands. Sephora has two blogs, but the one that got my attention is BEAUTYTALK. This is because it’s more focused on allowing their customers to actually talk about anything related to beauty and receive advice. Unquestionably, the benefits of this blog would include increased sales but more importantly, the relationship Sephora creates with its customers. According to “Users’ accounts are linked to their social media presences and Sephora loyalty cards, giving the beauty company all sorts of access to deep user metrics Facebook and Twitter can’t offer. Although Sephora would not give exact metrics as of publishing time, Lithium confirmed over 1 million monthly page views for the site as of September 2014.”

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Ungerleider, N. (2014, September 22). How Sephora discovered that lurkers are also its “superfans” Retrieved from

Li, C., & Bernoff, J. (2011). Groundswell. Boston, Massachusetts: Harvard Business School Publishing.


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