Just An Online Minute... Companies Still Cautious About CGM
Not a chance, at least judging by some marketing executives' comments at a recent Yahoo forum dealing with social media.
While executives clearly realize that consumers have opinions, and that the Internet has given them the means to publish their thoughts, that doesn't mean they like it.
Speaking late Tuesday afternoon at the New York Public Library, Procter & Gamble's Stan Joosten, who carries the title, "Innovation Manager, Holistic Consumer Communication," said he's had to tell colleagues that the company doesn't have many options when faced with disgruntled Web users. "There's no turn-off-the-Internet button somewhere that I can use," he said he's explained.
Meanwhile, Starwood's Jeff Mirman, director of Sheraton interactive marketing, said the organization takes a "we-can't-fight-it" attitude towards user complaints. Mirman added that the hotel chain invites guests to post stories--positive and negative--about their experiences.
But a glance this morning at the consumer stories featured on the Sheraton home page shows nothing but gushing guests. "The room was beautiful and made for a relaxing night," enthused one. "We loved our room (bed was so comfy) and location of the hotel," raved another.
If any of the comments were negative, they certainly weren't readily available.
Of course, that's Sheraton's right. The hotel chain has no reason to publicize problems. But the feature hardly shows that Starwood has embraced consumer-generated media.