The "groundswell", which is the term now being used for online social technologies, such as blogs, social networking sites like MySpace, and user-generated sites like YouTube and numerous other online communities now common on the Web, is making a dramatic impact on the way many organizations are conducting their marketing strategies. These online social networking sites have enabled the power to shift from the companies to the customer, this shift in power is being termed "customercentric". Companies can no longer rely on their perceptions of what customers want or the way they want the customer to perceive their organization, or products and services. The customers are now banning with one another through the many social networking sites now available online, and are often announcing their bad experiences with a product or service they received from a particular company. This is causing many organizations to scramble and forcing them to come up with new ways to handle these problems before things get out of hand. Many managers are uncomfortable with this new change and have a great deal of fear about the loss of control they are experiencing, while other managers and companies have embraced the "groundswell" and are implementing new and innovative ways to take advantage of online social networking as a way to endorse and market their products and services at a very low cost, while gaining high exposure. They are also forming strategic framework for developing and implementing the appropriate social applications for their organizations' needs. The social applications some companies are implementing to reach a variety of business objectives within different departments include:
1. Research and Developm...
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...undswell consumer applications are very effective and are becoming a must have for companies to grow to maximum potential. The social applications generate more accurate research insights, extend the reach of marketing, boost sales efforts and lower support costs. The potential benefits of customer relationships that social applications can provide are too persuasive for companies to deny. Although the groundswell can have its share of risks, engaging with the groundswell is the best way to promote a "customercentric" philosophy within a company. It creates a more direct, two-way contact relationship between a company and the consumers. It also provides managers with direct evidence of how customers think and feel. With the balance of power shifting from company to customer, it is becoming contagious for companies to engage in groundswell consumer applications.
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