While I was on the road this past week, I finally had a chance to finish two books that have been sitting on my nightstand. Both are must-reads for any marketer/brand manager that is trying to understand the changing landscape that puts the consumer in control:
- Satisfied Customers Tell Three Friends, Angry Customers Tell 3,000: Written by my good friend Pete Blackshaw, this book talks about how in a consumer-driven world, business leaders need to establish credibility for their brands by listening and engaging with customers. My favorite part of the book comes near the end when Pete talks about the Consumer Relations Department. For years Consumer Relations has been a forgotten cost center, often outsourced to the farthest reaches of the globe in an attempt at lowering costs. But in today’s world, Consumer Relations is often the front line for listening to consumers. Pete makes the point for rethinking the Consumer Relations Department by taking money away from Mass Media and investing it to form better relationships with Consumers. I couldn’t agree more.
- Groundswell – Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies: I have become a big fan of Forrester recently and this book does nothing by reaffirm that faith. Unlike other books on Social Media that focus on the technology, Groundswell focuses on the social shift of how consumers behave and the impact it is having on business. They do so by looking at 25 real-life case studies of the Groundswell in action, while layering it with deep Forrester data. They also take the book one step further with not only a great blog, but also a free Social Technographics Profile for your customers.
These two books are at the top of my list for anyone wanting to understand the dramatic change that has taken place in the consumer landscape. Great stuff.