AdAge editor Matthew Creamer wrote in this week’s edition:
The back-and-forth between companies and consumers, once contained in frustrated phone calls and letter-writing, is now being played out in public. The growth of consumer-generated media — not just YouTube videos but the millions and millions of bits of product feedback floating in the web ether — means that the little-used suggestion box nailed to the boss’ door (long a symbol of corporate inertia) has been digitized and turned inside-out for the world to see.
Then I was quoted and said:
“The customer-service function is extending into realm of social media, said Max Kalehoff, VP-marketing at Nielsen Buzzmetrics. “It’s customer service becoming the new-media department, getting as close to the core of those experiences that prompt positive or negative media for brands.”
The bottom line: we all emit digital trails of meta data which contribute to the larger information halo that surrounds brands and ultimately define their reputations and success in the world. Companies now have no choice but to widely deploy institutional listening mechanisms to identify, respond and leverage the threats and opportunities which are our experiences, delights, frustrations and gestures — for which social media are but one category of exposing venues. These new listening mechanisms I describe are the distributed neurons which are the foundation of central nervous systems in companies today. To fail to enable and nurture these receptors is akin to escaping a blazing house, on your own, without vision, hearing our sensation.