Sense & Respond: Is Your Ear to the Ground

ear-to-the-ground.jpgGreg Verdino has a great post up today that deals with one of my favorite topics: The importance of using Sense & Respond techniques to allow your business to be more agile and adaptive to customer wants & needs. Simply stated, Sense & Respond means knowing things earlier and being organized to respond quickly. To know things earlier, businesses need to establish sensing networks which feed information in from all over the place. It may include customer comments on your discussion forums, blog posts, input from vendors, and insights culled from data-mining you transactional databases. Much of it may appear to be noise, but with the right filtering, you can gain competitive advantages through these insights.

In his post, Greg talks about agencies tracking what potential influencers are saying about their client’s products:

These agencies seem to be doing what they can to keep abreast of what potential influentials have to say about their clients’ products. If listening to what consumers (in general) and social media content creators (in particular) are saying about your company, brand and products is the first step toward a smart social media strategy (trust me, it is), I’d say McCann and Ogilvy are certainly heading in the right direction.

Social Media is an increasingly important sensing target for organizations looking to be more adaptive. The highly publicized “Dell Hell” story and Dell’s eventual response in the form of IdeaStorm is a great example of the importance of having a social media strategy.

Greg closes his post with the following:

How about you? Do you have your ear to the ground? Or is your head just buried in the sand?


8 thoughts on “Sense & Respond: Is Your Ear to the Ground

  1. Nice follow up to Greg’s post Doug. It was wild to get a call from KY’s pr people and at the same time it definitely re-affirmed wanting to blog and add to the conversation.

  2. Doug —

    Thanks for the comments and sorry for the slow reply back. I certainly understand where you and Steve Haeckel are coming from when stating that S&R needs to extend beyond marketing.

    But leaving it at that is letting Marketing off the hook. What if senior execs don’t have the appetite to develop this competency as you and Steve define it? (apparently, that’s what happened at your own firm).

    For me, the power of the S&R label is that it gives marketing a way to define and measure a new competency, one few marketing departments have to today.

  3. Ron, Great point! While Stephan suggests a organization-wide model, the examples that I have seen in the real world are typically focused in a couple of functions within a business. Marketing is an excellent place to start. Thanks for the comments!

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