Don’t fear the little guy

It is trite that blogging empowers the individual to express his/her voice to a massive audience with minimal or no cost and to have a tremendous impact.  This could inspire terror in companies who don’t want their skeletons to come out the closet.  This is the flipside of being able to empower customers to interact with you and tell you what they think about your products and services.  As Seth Godin puts it:

While some organizations are trying to flip the funnel and give a megaphone to their happiest customers (leveraging their positive word of mouth) more are obsessed with silencing the dissenters.

Just as asymmetrical warfare has turned our geopolitical system upside down, the same thing is happening in the marketing world. While it’s tempting to spend all your time stamping out the little enemies, the architecture of the system favors a strategy of embracing and leveraging your happy constituents instead.

Trying to squash criticism is not only pointless but also counter-productive.  All you wind up doing is infuriating the blogosphere and attracting even more negative criticism that will spread even further and faster.  As the Borg put it “Resistance is futile”.  The only thing that can really be done if a company wishes to avoid being eviscerated in the blogosphere is to accept the criticism and address it in a constructive manner.

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