Sounds like an interesting venture you are taking on. Good luck. Let us know if we can help you.
Posted by Scott Wilder on September 26, 2006 1:13 PM
I bought a 2006 Pontiac Grand Prix GXP 2 months ago and I have driven 3000 miles. The front rotors were grooved after 150 miles and there is a really bad brake dust problem. I brought it in for service and the dealership called GM and there is a bulletin on this problem through GM. GM told the dealer that they are aware of this problem but there is no safety concern so they will do nothing about it. There is nothing worse than buying a $35,000 car and having the brakes pulsate after 3000 miles. So if you are looking at purchasing a GXP don't because there is a problem with the front brakes and GM will do nothing for you up to this point. I called GM customer service and they told me that they were aware of the problem and if a resolution comes up they will let me know. I knew I should of bought the Toyota Avalon. If anyone else knows how to deal with GM other than the customer service number please let me know. Thanks
Posted by Ryan on September 6, 2006 2:47 PM
Thanks Ted, its already been a great experience.
Posted by John Cass on September 4, 2006 11:01 AM
If you want advice, ask me and do the opposite :)
Seriously, I hope and expect it'll be a great experience for you!
Posted by Ted Demopoulos on September 4, 2006 9:33 AM
Thanks Chris, though this book will be less about what is a blog, and more about how to do effective blogging. I think the basics have been covered I hope this book will take us to the next stage.
Posted by John Cass on August 28, 2006 11:54 PM
Wow, yet another corporate blogging book. I wish you well, John.
Posted by Chris on August 28, 2006 2:13 PM
Ed, thanks for the comment. I agree I think it is best to have an overall strategy. However, I've also come across a number of blogger who have told me that strategy and goals are not as important as being in the conversation.
I suppose we'd say that their goal is to start a conversation with their industry peers so as to learn from the experience. Whatever the goal, strategy or purpose is.
Your point about support for blogging has to be there from management, as blogging can quickly hit minefields when the volume of customer queries overloads the existing system is correct in my view. Many company blogs seek to mitigate customer service questions and send them off to existing channels. General Motor's blog and to a certain extent the new Dell blog seek to handle customer complains through other existing channels. However, if the customer just wants to use blogs for customer service questions, why not go with the flow and handle them there.
Ironically, bloggers at more established blogging firms; Microsoft and the Macromedia division of Adobe just did this as part of corporate blogging. However, those bloggers were developers and product managers, and it just seemed obvious to them that you answer the customers question on the blog.
Strange, the new generation of blogs, derived from corporate and PR seem to be missing the boat when it comes to the benefits of answering customer service questions.
Actually regarding Dell, from what I can see to large extent, I think Dell is learning on its feet with its new blog and quickly realizing that handling customer service questions is the real reason for the blog. Or at least I hope so. ;-)
Posted by John Cass on July 28, 2006 7:40 AM
It is best if there is an actual overarching corporate strategy to begin with ;-) Then the empowerment of the customer service rep ( budget, authority, liability insurance ) to actually address a customer's complaint offered via comment and|or feedback ( without being summarily dismissed for showing initiative ) and a process to collect data re: a problem in a systematic way is the logical extension of the open communication loop. If you're C-Suite isn't willing to follow up on customer satisfaction ( your competitors will be happy to 'cause they can read the complaint, too ) then don't begin the blogging charade in the first place. It will only end badly.
Posted by Ed Dodds on July 28, 2006 7:24 AM
Thanks for your mention of my critique. Just so you know, I'm in contact with Jupiter Research right now and hope to be able to add some perspective to this issue next week.
Posted by Fard Johnmar on July 7, 2006 10:01 AM
Trevor, Your point about the lack of fear of publishing is well taken. Now that would be an interesting survey of people by age or experience. If the social scientists are correct the younger or more immersed in the new digital culture the smaller the fear to publish.
Posted by John Cass on June 26, 2006 9:56 AM
I have a 2005 malibu and some times when I turn the key to start nothing happens, then I try again and it starts. I have had in to the dealer 3 or 4 times and they can not repair it. It is still under warranty and I would like to know if I could get a signed statement saying G M will cover if it fails after warranty runs out. I would very much like to get it repaired but have been unable to do so. Waiting for your reply.
Posted by Ken Madden on June 25, 2006 11:47 PM
John - I think because I am an information junkie and like discussions etc that the digital world was just a no-brainer for me (mind you my passion for books and musty 2nd hand shops is undiminished).
All the under 25s I know understand the idea of getting news online, researching purchases, staying in contact with IM and email etc but only a tiny few get the idea of self-publishing. Partly that's cultural. Like the rest of us they are just getting used to the idea that expertise is now democratic. We the editors decide. They / we are still getting used to the idea that we don't wait to be asked or approved anymore we just publish and see what the people think
Posted by Trevor Cook on June 23, 2006 5:04 PM
Thanks Trevor. I think Lord Saatchi was using the 'death of advertising,' pitch as a device to be provocative, just as I used the phrase Lord Saatchi speaks 'utter rubbish." Both of us actually stepped back from fully committing to our initial opening. Which was why I used my phrase in the first place to illustrate the point you made, its easy to make "big bold predictions."
Hey, following on from my idea that its culture that makes us digital. What's your path to the new digital world?
And do you have any stories to tell of under 25's who have not made it there yet?
Posted by John Cass on June 23, 2006 8:50 AM
Excellent piece. We live in a world of rapid change across media, PR and advertising but its too easy to go around predicting the death of this or that in fact I think it is more of a copout than anything. Harder to do real analysis easier to make big, bold predictions.
BTW I'm 51 and I've had no trouble immigrating to digital!
Posted by Trevor Cook on June 23, 2006 6:53 AM
Another classic although it hasn't even been released yet: The Long Tail by Chris Anderson.
Thanks for the post John. Working on all those issues you mentioned! :-)
Posted by Walter Carl on June 20, 2006 11:29 PM
Maybe the only disagreement between CGM research and Bill Neal is the use of the word 'research'.
I think you are right Doug, the reasons you might use consumer generated research would be different from traditional marketing research. If a company wanted to track rumors about its brand, the process of CGM monitoring will allow the company to react quickly to unsubstantiated rumors. If you want to know who are the most influential people in your industry's blogging community, tracking the conversations will reveal the influencers. And if you wanted more opportunities to find unique ideas blogging and CGM gives you amble content to review. See my post on a company called Informative on how their clients combine CGM research with traditional marketing research.
Interestingly, I've spoken with some experts in the field who tell me some of their clients have dropped traditional marketing research from their toolkit in favor of CGM research.
Maybe the companies dropped the marketing research because CGM research actually fits their original goals more succinctly than traditional marketing research ever did.
I made the connection between CGM research and marketing research when I discovered companies were using the feedback from customers to help make their products better. See the Macromedia case study on the blogging survey for an example of this in action.
The strength of blogs is their openness, to the audience, and their accessibility to search engines. The process of getting feedback, and conversation says a lot about your brand. And what that process says about your company and brand maybe more important than a single piece of feedback.
Maybe there's a lack of understanding of the goals of each type of research? I am reminded here of many of the discussion's I've had with PR people about how both PR and SEO fit into the new world of blogging. First we have to explain where we are coming from to know what we are talking about.
Posted by John Cass on June 20, 2006 2:49 PM
I am struck that one of the criticisms in Bill Neal's reply is that CGM research is "qualitative." Of course it is.
So, is the problem that some people are taking it as statisitcally valid quant research? I hope not. And if that's not the case, then waht, really, is the problem?
Posted by DougH on June 20, 2006 2:15 PM
Just a note that the study of organizational adoption of innovations is pretty well-established. The five steps of the process in this literature are: 1. Agenda-setting - finding an organizational problem that may create a perceived need for innovation (this is where denial may fit in). 2. Matching - the innovation with the problem. 3. redefining - fitting the innovation (eg, blogging) through modifications and re-invention to the organization's structures and culture. 4. Clarifying - the relationship between the innovation and the organization ('how blogging helps us stay true to our focus on customers'). 5. Routinizing - the innovation becomes part of the company's activities and no longer has a separate identity. However, I think the affective stages of response Max describes are useful for those of us who have to deal with it. Two sub reactions I would put in the taxonomy are (probably as poorly directed anger responses: (1) Smother the baby - marshall all the resources one can to demonstrate why it won't work/isn't appropriate for the organization, and (2) devil's advocate it to extinction - just keep up the "yes, but..." and "what if'..." scenario spinning until you wear everybody else out.
Posted by craig lefebvre on June 19, 2006 10:03 AM
Thanks for the comment Bill. For the rest of the readers, I can tell you that I have been in contact with Bill. He is a GM dealer and I called him directly to double check his identity. Though he does run a competitor's dealership as well.
Posted by John Cass on June 16, 2006 3:08 PM
I understand your saddness about GM. As a GM dealer I should not write this for fear of seroius repercussions but I feel someone should know this . As General Motors is trying to increase sales the Cleveland branch of GMAC has made a serious commitment to close "quite a few of the smaller dealers in Ohio". The question is how can GM increase sale when in no-urban areas GMAC is doing whatever they can to shut smaller dealers down. They are using all the tool in the box to do this. ie. not buying deals, raising interest rates dealers must pay to floorplan, ect...
Posted by Bill(can not state due to fear) on June 16, 2006 2:23 PM
I cannot claim credit on that one, Tom Brashear, my director of market research came up with the idea. And did all the leg work. It's all about the team.
Posted by John Cass on June 15, 2006 9:51 AM
John - should have know that AMA/Boston would be riding the curve high with you leading the Chapter!
Posted by Toby on June 14, 2006 11:27 PM
Hi Ben, thanks for the comment. I am curious, how many merchants do you have as customers? I have a continuing effort to determine the total number of company bloggers. And I believe that there are more larger company bloggers than smaller company bloggers. Also would there be anything about your company that would attract smaller companies that blog?
Posted by John Cass on June 13, 2006 9:36 PM
When my engineers decided to build the capability for blogs and RSS into our platform, I have to admit ---i thought they were crazy. We help local merchants leverage the internet, I just did not see them as bloggers.
We are now finding the 30% of them are blogging. It was a pretty big surprise
Posted by Ben on June 13, 2006 9:22 PM
Toby, great interview, you always do good work. :-)
I like the idea of the AMA/Boston market research panel. Though the market research SIG just did a panel on consumer generated media. However, we did not have the critique!
I think panel discussions are always better with a bit of controversy, don't you?
Posted by John Cass on June 13, 2006 9:04 PM
John - thanks for the shout out. I hope that Bill's interview encourages the research community to take a closer look at cmg as an additional source of information. Perhaps it might be an interesting program for AMA/Boston to put together?
Posted by Toby on June 13, 2006 8:51 PM
Easton, your point about originality is interesting, how can a blogger be original?
Posted by John Cass on June 13, 2006 1:41 PM
Thanks for mentioning my post on blog posting frequency. I'll learn more about the issue as I attempt to post three times a day for the rest of the weekdays this month. In the past, I've mostly done one post each weekday. I'll try not to "burn out" - I'll vary my post topics and simply lower that invisible fence that has kept my thoughts bottled up inside instead of spilled out onto my blog for the world to read.
Totally agree - the more others write about your topic of choice, the more you need to write about it to get noticed - or at least, the more originally you need to write.
Posted by Easton Ellsworth on June 13, 2006 1:25 AM
Hi Jim, thanks for your comment. I think you should ask your question on the GM FastLane blog. As this blog has no connection with Bog Lutz or GM.
Posted by John Cass on June 12, 2006 11:20 AM