How Connecting With The Groundswell Transforms Your Company

How Connecting With The Groundswell Transforms Your Company

Hello again, from wonderful sunny/snowy Edmonton, where one day it’s snowing and a brisk -15C and the next is a balmy +10C.  Just like the weather we’ve been experiencing here, your company will go through many changes and transformations throughout its existence.   My previous blog touched on the art of listening and how important it is for you to listen to your customers interactions with your brand through the Groundswell.  Just by listening to the Groundswell, you are fundamentally changing your company’s operations.  This transformation will be different depending on how much of the Groundswell you embrace, and as such this posting will focus on how to prepare your organisation for such a transformation.

Game Plan for Change

Just like any major decision you undertake in business, you wouldn’t embrace social technologies without having a game plan.  Doing so would be disastrous for both you and your company and would yield undesirable business losses.  The steps/guidelines are essential for a smooth transformation for your company.

  1. Take Small Steps

We must learn to walk before we can walk.  The same goes for your business.  You need to understand that transformation takes time and doesn’t happen overnight.  Instead of just jumping into the thick of the Groundswell, listen for shortcomings and strategize for overcoming them.  Take it slow and win the small battles within the groundswell.  Just doing this will show people that your company is ready for positive change, and will allow for a greater chance for success.

  1. Educate Key People

People aren’t born with knowledge.  Instead of assuming that your key decision makers understand technology, get them educated.  Have them learn what research is available (i.e. Social Technographics Profile) at their disposal.  Have them learn how to use social media platforms and tools within an internal setting, where any mistakes they make can be treated as a learning experience.  Remember ignorance is not bliss, and can represent the key turning point between success and failure.

  1. Get the Right People to Run Your Strategy

Having the right people executing strategy is key to success.  You wouldn’t have your secretary make budgetary decisions just because they have a lot of free time.  No, you’d have your accountants make these decisions as they are “passionate” about financials.  The strategic decisions made within the Groundswell are no different.  You want to have the people that are most passionate about connecting with your customer base to enact the strategy. These people live and breathe for the customer and understand that building a relationship with the customer is the fundamentals to business success.

  1. Get Your Advertising Agency and Technology Partners in Sync

“If they don’t understand the groundswell, get them to invest the time and resources – or change agencies” (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p. 230).  Seek out partners that understand the importance of the groundswell and know how to harness the potential that lies within.  Remember for every advertising agency and technology service provider available, there is many more competing for your business.

  1. Plan for the Future

Plan for the long-term.  Short-term planning is good and all, but where are you going to take your business in a year? 5 years?  or 10 years?  The most successful businesses always look at long-term planning when developing strategies.

Remember these guidelines are just that, guidelines on how to develop a strategy for using the Groundswell. With the proper mindset you can be ready to harness the groundswell and develop a social media marketing strategy to take your business to the next level of success.


Transformation in Practice: Dell

In chapter 11, one of the most drastic transformation examples of a business was that of the global computer manufacturer Dell.  This company at the height of the 1990’s/ early 2000’s was a global business powerhouse and a leader in the home computer market.  In the early 2000’s, in an effort to cut costs and improve profitability the company decided to outsource the one thing the brand was known for; customer service.  Slowly this decision eroded any consumer confidence that was built up with have provided world class customer oriented service to end users.  Instead of being silent, customers slowly “grabbed a hold of the brand” and voiced their displeasure on the internet.  This proved almost fatal for Dell, as the brand was being associated with poor quality.   Instead of repeatedly doing the same thing over and over and failing miserably at trying to win consumers back, Dell decided to engage its customers on a almost personal level.  The company started to listen to customers and hear out its customers.  The company went under a transformation and enacted a social media campaign that is still in effect to this day.  The following videos detail Dell’s transformation via the groundswell and how the company has benefited immensely from the integration of social media technologies into the company’s corporate culture.




Change is coming to your business, whether you want it or not.  It is up to you to adopt the groundswell to successfully transform your business for success in the future.  Remember the key steps in implementing a strategy for the groundswell:

  1. Take Small Steps
  2. Educate Key People
  3. Get the Right People to Run Your Strategy
  4. Get Your Advertising Agency and Technology Partners in Sync
  5. Plan For The Future

With these steps in mind, you can implement a successful transformation of your business for the digital age.


Now I’m going to leave you with one of my favourite songs and one that I find very fitting for this topic of transformation. Enjoy and until next week take care.



Li, C., & Bernoff, J. (2011). Groundswell. Boston: Harvard Business Review Press.



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