Posts tagged ‘twitter’

Moaning Sickness

A recent Ad Age article brought home the changes that are being forced on marketers these days.

A JetBlue passenger recently blogged about being unfairly slapped with a $50 charge for checking a box containing a bicycle (had the box contained anything but a bicycle, it would have been free). Then tweeters got involved. Within a few days JetBlue were groveling to him.

Michael Bush of Ad Age asks, “Are Major Marketers Training John Q. Public to Whine on Web?”

More important, by rewarding public complaints with exceptions, are companies becoming two-faced – showing a strict personality to most individuals but a cooperative one to those who scream the loudest?
It might well be that the quiet phone call to the 800 number is being replaced by the angry tweet. But what interests me more is that the incident illustrates how companies – and their marketing departments – need to evolve. You could say that companies go through three stages as they learn to deal with the power of customers in the online age.

  • Stage 1 – Reactive. The company reacts when it has to, i.e. when the costs are high enough. One angry customer might not be costly, but an angry customer who knows how to tweet might be very high
  • Stage 2 – Proactive. Rather than waiting for customers to scream, the company begins to engage the customer in a community and make them feel valued and listened to
  • Stage 3 – Strategic. Marketing takes the lead to develop a cohesive listening strategy that knits together internal and external conversations to gain insight and co-create with customers new solutions that define competitive advantage

The lesson from all this isn’t that whining and moaning are what pay off. It’s that marketing owns the customer relationship in ways it never did before. Companies who realize are the ones who will thrive.


June 24, 2010 at 8:35 AM Leave a comment

What’s In A (Twitter) Name?

My twitter handle is undergoing a change. Formerly “iopinc“, it has now completed its final metamorphosis to “thompsNmorrisN“.

Big deal, right? Film at 11. I won’t pretend this is vital news. But it does reflect a change that’s been going on in business.

Perhaps it’s my traditional Midwestern reticence, but for years I tried to keep my own personality out of my work. Gaining attention for myself has never interested me. Even as Twitter came of age, I chose to name my feed after my company, not myself. What was important was what we offered, not who is in the driver’s seat.

But friends and colleagues, with whom I regularly discuss marketing ideas, kept urging me to put my name on more stuff. They knew that the age of the faceless company is fading – top CEO’s are household names. Lots of highschoolers know who Jeff Bezos is – in 1950, would teenagers have known the name of, say, the president of Sears?

As companies struggle to put on a flesh-and-blood face, business people are making their voices heard in greater numbers. In the Internet age, we all have the opportunity to make a name of some kind. And at times the conversation is really interesting.

Thus, my Tweets will now be under a version of my name: thompsNmorrisN.

Why thompsNmorrisN? My parents didn’t have the foresight to give me a 14-character name. If you have a baby coming, consider yourself warned.

March 25, 2010 at 1:23 PM Leave a comment

Thompson Morrison

Thompson Morrison

About Thompson

As CEO of FUSE Insight, Thompson Morrison uses powerful new web interviewing technologies to help businesses better align their brand with the needs and aspirations of their customers. Learn more at


"The single most significant strategic strength that an organization can have is not a good strategic plan, but a commitment to strategic listening on the part of every member of the organization." -- Tom Peters