Chapter 11: How connecting with the groundswell transforms your company

This week‘s reading focuses on how the groundswell technology have affected the marketing strategies of many companies. As corporations try to connect with their customers and understand their needs, it is crucial that they tap into the groundswell where millions of potential customers are found. This can change the way companies do their business.

Here are the three essential elements to this transformation:

Taking it step by step – it is important for companies to make a business plan that helps them gradually adapt to the changes of the transformation. This will reduce resistance in the workplace which can result in a successful transition.
Each step naturally leads to the next important step – “Supporting strategies can lead to talking, which can lead to embracing” (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p.217). This is where companies create plan and think about where they want the business to go. Companies construct small goals that lead them to achieve that bigger goal.
Executive support – One of the most important things to have when making a change and taking on a new project is the top management support.

Changing the way the company operates to satisfy the needs of the stakeholders is very hard. It would take a lot of time, effort, and investment to transform the business. This is a case for both Unilever and Dell. Both companies had struggled into implementing social media strategies into their goal to better understand the clients or customers. However, Dell and Unilever learned to properly execute strategies using the groundswell and start to connect with their customers. Below is a video that shows how Dell used the groundswell to create a support community to help clients with their needs. It is one of the tools that helps Dell to have a foundation in the online community.

Source: YouTube

Here are five steps that can help your company succeed in embracing groundswell (Li & Bernoff, 2011):
1. Start small
2. Educate your executives
3. Get the right people to run your strategy
4. Get your agency and technology partners in sync
5. Plan for the next step and for the long term

In conclusion, adopting groundswell is challenging and it takes a lot of effort and teamwork to make it work. An effective planning and execution are needed to achieve the goals of the company. Take it step by step, get the company oriented and involved, then this would make a difference in the business. It is a lot of work but the result is definitely worth it.



Li, C. & Bernoff, J. (2011) Groundswell: winning in a world transformed by social technologies. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Publishing


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