In a team brainstorm before the Holidays an idea was brought up which effectively would have had a company reaching out to regular everyday citizens (consumers) who happened to be in need; consumers who had raised their hands and said, “I don’t understand this and I need help,” or who had shouted out amongst their peers, “People, this isn’t right. There has to be a better way to get this done.”
Because it made sense given the target audience demographics, the hand-raising and shouting-out was presumed to be taking place online in blogs, fora, social networks and the like. The company outreach was therefore also presumed to be taking place in those channels.
But we hit a brief roadblock during team discussion at the end of the storming exercise. It was brief not because the block was taken down, but simply because we’d moved on to other brainstormed “keepers.” The issue was whether consumers might not be a little leery of (I think the term in the room had been “sketched out by”) companies just coming out of nowhere and talking to them online in such an unprompted fashion.
Would that I had read through this Digital Influence Index beforehand. (And shame on me since the report from Fleishman Hillard and Harris Interactive is actually from last June!)
Relevant to this question from the brainstorm was the below set of findings in the DII. True, these are positioned from the standpoint of microblog (read: Twitter), but I think the point is clear enough to make broader statements legitimately.
- 75 percent of consumers view companies with microblog accounts as more deserving of their trust than those without.
- An equal percentage are pleased that organizations are monitoring microblogs and listening to what consumers have to say.
- Few study respondents were concerned that the organizations were setting up these accounts merely for show (11%), or using them to spy on consumers (14%).
It’s great to brainstorm great ideas that feel right. It’s even better when those great ideas can be supported with data that helps improve chance of sell-through client-side.