Letting Go, Opening Up and Listening

Pete Blackshaw at ConsumerGeneratedMedia recently wrote this post and this article that expanded on P&G CEO A.G. Lafley’s Let Go speech. I though Pete expanded on Lafley’s call to action quite well with the notion that companies not only need to let go their desire to control the consumer’s viewpoint, but that they also need to open up.

A more subtle point made in Pete’s post is about the notion of listening and how important it is for companies that seriously want to capitalize on the trend toward user-generated content and customer engagement in the new read/write web. We at Kalivo could not agree more, as can be seen from our tag line of “Listen. Learn. Respond. Measure.”

So critical is this listening aspect to the entire customer engagement business process and value proposition that we have embedded listening into our Customer Engagement offering – the Kalivo Hub. The Kalivo Hub embraces all aspects suggested by Blackshaw and Lafley, namely:

  • Let Go – we allow for two-way conversations; the customers and the comapny can both start conversations on a Kalivo powered Hub
  • Open Up – the company can blog to its respective audiences, and can make as much of its internal and external conversations visible on the Hub to any and all viewers
  • Listen – our Hubs have persistent, business-focused web crawling capabilities to find conversations when and where they are happening, and enables the company to respond at the source and share with their Hub members; additionally, we have provided conversation monitoring capabilities to allow companies to more easily listen and respond to the myriad conversations within the Hub itself
Pete mentions the following in his post:

Importantly, we’re about to see an explosion of unqualified marketer experimentation in the social media and “co-creation” arena. Do we really know what’s truly going to work? (I don’t!) In the absence of an accessible, empowering listening pipe, brands are throwing the radar to the winds. Indeed, keeping the consumer voice as close to us as possible has the potential to be the one source of competitive advantage for brands in this untested new marketing environment.

I agree with Pete, in that the train has left the station and the era of listening-centered marketing has begun. I also agree that it’s too early to tell what is truly going to work. I am also appreciative of the fact that someone as prominent as Lafley from such a marketing powerhouse as P&G has begun to serve as a catalyst for others to acknowledge this power shift.

At Kalivo we have done extensive research into the needs in this new era of marketing, and have put forth the first step, in the form of the Kalivo Hub, toward providing a compelling solution.

— brian