I just read a great book called Groundswell, winning in a world transformed by social technologies. I urge all of you that are reading my articles to get this book. It was written by two VP’s from Forrester Research, Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff. For those of you unfamiliar with Forrester Research, Forrester Research, Inc. (Nasdaq: FORR) is an independent technology and market research company that provides pragmatic and forward-thinking advice to global leaders in business and technology. For more than 24 years, Forrester has been making leaders successful every day through its proprietary research, consulting, events, and peer-to-peer executive programs.

Over the last six months I have been writing about social networking and web 2.0 initiatives. In this book they call this movement the Groundswell. They define “the groundswell as a social trend in which people use technologies to get the things they need from each other rather, than from traditional institutions like corporations.”

This book provides many examples through case studies from companies that we all know extremely well and provides successes as well as those that were not so successful the first time. They lead you through a thorough study of how to best get your company involved in the groundswell today.

Your company’s customers are talking about your brand right now on Myspace, Facebook and other blogs, forums and chat rooms in ways that you haven’t approved. You can bet that conversations with your customer service representatives and your customers will find their way on Youtube and so will any other form of advertising and promotion you do in reference to your products, services and even the corporate values that you promote. The very values that you associate your company with its brand. The CEO or president of your company is going to some day get wind of what is happening and ask for help from you and your colleagues to find a way to tone down this surge of people speaking their minds. It will come like a hurricane from a thousand sources and wash over a traditional business. Like any storm it cannot be stopped in one section to save another. It cannot be stopped at all. This is the movement that these clever and informative authors call the Groundswell. They say that “while you can’t stop it, you can understand it. You can not only live with it; you can thrive in it. No business or industry, product or service, large or small can afford to not begin today to create the strategy and approach needed to begin to find ways to be involved in this movement.

As I focus on working with our clients to help them get up to speed with how to best enter into this movement I urge you to do the same. There was an op ed piece in today’s New York Times by, Roger Cohen. It talked about the Obama Connection. He talks about Obama’s grasp of the central place of internet-driven social networking that has propelled his campaign for the Democratic nomination. Most profound for me is an excerpt from this article that I feel best sums up the importance for you of beginning today. Roger Cohen says “, a conviction that the nature of the post-post-9/11 world — the one beyond war without end — is going to be determined by sociability and connectivity. In the globalized world of MySpace, LinkedIn and the rest, sociability is a force as strong as sovereignty.” Are you ready?

Author's Bio: 

We have the opportunity as women to use our understanding and day to day experience to create marketing and brand strategies that recognize that women are individuals. The market place is now keenly aware of the power of purchasing and decision making that this most important target market wields. We aim to assist our partners and clients with intelligent ways to speak to the various "personas" of this target market by making sure that these clients build social networking and new media channels as a way to build relationships and educate their customers while creating a community of customers that can build relationships with one another. While the internet presence for most companies is now common place, creating the communities that this most important target market now dominate has yet to reach a tipping point where social media now has a key role in all marketing campaigns. bcad Group our woman owned and run marketing and communications firm, believes our expertise, innovation and creativity in this most important marketing channel can bring a fresh perspective.

Nicole’s PR, marketing and communications experience and expertise is focused around brand development. She produces memorable (WOW! Comment from satisfied clients.) projects that assist in growing a brand.

Her passion is rooted in brand strategy development, communications, and marketing program development, competitive analysis, sponsorships, publicity, web-site development and production, events and product launches.

Her flair is in strategy and execution to transform products and services into a powerful brand, to create cohesive objectives to reach target markets and to strategically position the brand in the competitive market place.

Nicole Mckinney's marketing and communications firm bcad Group specializes in unique solutions dedicated to building and creating brands. We believe business strategy is marketing strategy. Our job as a marketing group is to connect. We want to work with our partners to build marketing and branding practices around ideas that drive business opportunitites. By working with our business partners sharing risk and reward, we strive to bring cultural insights, communication processes and products together with an entrepreneurial vision while manufacturing expertise, distribution might and R&D skills to develop a business idea. Ultimately we are building upon ideas and creating the channels, the strategy and the pathways to fortify relationships with each and every person in a way that is meaningful and mindful of how they live their lives.