Monday, October 29, 2007

Don't Just Listen - Pay Attention to the Voice of the Customer

The marketing world is all a-twitter with news of the iPod touch ad originally created by an 18-year old English college student. On his YouTube post in September Nick Haley said,

I loved the look of the new iPod Touch, found this music, and thought it was perfect for it. I made a commercial using material from and editing in Apple's Final Cut Pro.
*Sorry about the grey start, its the way YouTube deals with MPEGs*
Made on my MacBook - September 2007.
Music - CSS - Music is My Hot Hot Sex.

Apple found the 30-second ad, loved it, and brought the young man to the US to confer with their agency, TBWA/Chiat/Day. The result? His ad, with minor modifications, started airing last night on Desperate Housewives and the World Series. If you missed it, take a look.

Apple posted a higher quality video here.

And, no, apparently no one knows what kind of a deal the agency made with Nick Haley. Whatever it was, as a college freshman, he’s probably pretty happy with it. And if he wants to go into advertising, he has a great start on his portfolio!

I think the relevant words in all of this are “Apple found” it. But you also have to add, “they followed up with a smart response.”

So enjoy the ad. It’s slick, professional and thoroughly appealing. While you do, ask, “Who in my company scans communication channels for what users are saying about us?” “What do they do when they find it?” “Do we have a mechanism for dealing with the negative by opening a dialogue?” “Do we encourage employees at all levels to bring material to the attention of marketing?” “Do we have an organizational process/organizational support for bringing the positive in and taking advantage of it?”

I’ll belabor the obvious. It’s is a rich ecosystem of customer-created content out there. Marketers ignore it--good or bad--at their peril. If they’re smart, they react positively to the good stuff and use it in ways that build strong bridges to their customers. And if they get lots of positive media twitter in the process, that’s a bonus!
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