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Listen First!: Turning Social Media Conversations into Business Advantage by Stephen D. Rappaport

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Chapter 22

Rethink Marketing, Media, and Advertising

Social media conversations are transforming the very nature of media and marketing. In some quarters, conversations are becoming considered as a new form of media that blends content, community, and chatter. Social channels like Facebook and Twitter, blogs, forums, and review sites encourage people to talk with one another and with companies, express their views, amplify their voices, and provide the means to do so. As we saw in Part II, marketers as diverse as JetBlue, Comcast, Gatorade, Provo Craft, Fiat, and Naked Wines have committed to relating with customers—informing and entertaining, providing service, smoothing transactions, solving problems, consulting them and learning from them. That's a big change from the bygone era of “make and sell” companies of the mass media era who talked more than they listened. By bringing the voice of people into companies, listening to social media conversations has been central to these transformations, and will continue to be. This chapter's essays examine why they will.

Kantar Media's Richard Fielding and Networked Insight's Dan Neely engage in a virtual dialogue centered on the evolving role of conversation in marketing and advertising. The primary implication they set forth is no doubt both revolutionary and controversial: Marketer-controlled advertising will recede as companies engage in experience-driven and open-ended conversations, some of which—the ones that move through social ...

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