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Listen First!: Turning Social Media Conversations Into Business Advantage Hardcover – April 12, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Shhh Listen. Hear that? That's the sound of your business. The conversations taking place online and in the marketplace tell you nearly everything you need to know about your company and your customers—what people are saying about you, how they use your products, whether they'll buy or recommend your product, and how they respond to your marketing and advertising. Listening provides unrivaled insight. If you do it right, you'll have a decisive edge over your competition as you adapt faster to customer needs and market changes. Listening is ultimately about gaining business advantage.

Based on authoritative research from the Adver-tising Research Foundation, Listen First! delivers a playbook for marketing and advertising success-fully in our conversational era. This book explains what listening is, how to do it, how it's used, and where it's headed. Done well, social media listening uncovers pivotal insights that guide marketing as well as product development, customer service, and just about all business functions that touch customers and other stakeholders. You'll learn the tools, winning plays, and proven tactics for listening so that you can:

  • Understand what customers are thinking, feeling, and doing in their lives that affect demand and interest in your products or services

  • Identify threats to your reputation

  • See how customers position competing brands in their minds, not as advertisers position them

  • Sense market shifts that threaten existing business or present new opportunities

  • Develop new products or refine your current lineup by bringing customer voices into R&D, innovation, and concept testing

  • Make your messages more relevant and sharpen targeting by directing messages to people according to their conversational interests

  • Keep sales humming, even when business conditions might be unfavorable—or better predict short-term sales based on the volume and specifics of conversational activity

  • Determine competitors' strengths and weaknesses

  • Plan and buy advertising based on where conversations are happening

  • Organize your company to maximize listening's value across all its departments

Listen First! gives you evidence, research, and expert viewpoints that will enable you to take advantage of listening and build your business over the short term and for the long haul. If you want your company to have a sustainable business advantage in an uncertain world, it is time to start—and act on—listening.

About the Author

STEPHEN D. RAPPAPORT is the lead author of The Online Advertising Playbook: Proven Strategies and Tested Tactics from the Advertising Research Foundation (Wiley). At ARF, Steve is Knowledge Solutions Director. A sought-after speaker at industry conferences, Steve holds workshops and strategy sessions with leading brands and lectures at major business schools.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 302 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (April 12, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470935510
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470935514
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,342,676 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jason L. Mcdonald on April 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Quick Review:

Being a good listener, argues Stephen Rappaport, is an increasingly important skill in the age of effective Internet marketing. This playbook by the Advertising Research Foundation is a detailed (perhaps over detailed) effort to help businesses both small and large learn how to leverage social media as a platform for marketing research. Although quite difficult to read, its value lies in its difference: unlike most social media marketing books, this one is all about listening and research.

I teach Social Media Marketing both online and in San Francisco (you can click on my profile or Google Jason McDonald to find me), and this book is a one-of-a-kind new perspective on social media marketing and reputation management, that I will recommend to my students and colleagues who want to look before they leap into social media marketing!

Detailed Review:

Listen First! Social Media Marketing Research

Marketing ultimately is about selling; marketing is to selling, as strategy is to tactics. So as marketers, we are the eyes and ears of our companies - constantly scanning the environment for opportunities and threats. As Rappaport argues in this book, the new social media landscape provides unprecedented opportunities for us to 'listen in' to our customers - and thereby gain insights into both opportunities and threats.

Whereas previously marketing research was largely about surveys, focus groups, observational methods, and sales data, now we can hear customers as they complain, customers as they praise, customers as they suggest ideas to us (and to each other). Social media venues such as Twitter, Facebook, Yelp and the like are a veritable gold mine of untapped marketing intelligence.
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Format: Hardcover
>>>..."Listen First!" is an InDepth Playbook that responds to Four Questions often heard : What is Listening to Social Media? / How is it used? / How is it done?, and Where is it headed?!!!...At Present, It seems that Listening has No Authoritative Source that organizes & synthesizes what is known about Social Media Listening & Presents Social Media Listening in a way that was useful for making Marketing & Branding Decisions!!!...>>> Stephen Rappaport, Author, Authority, Thought & Team Leader, etc. offers "Listen First!" to address & fill that void!!!..."Listen First!" provides the State-of-the Art Knowledge, Context & Content in Social Media Listening over 23 Chapters, 302+ pages, selecting cases based on Solid Research that will StandUp to Careful Scrutiny & Whose Methods are supported from doing Excellent Listening Work!!!...>>> "Listen First!" will start the Internal Conversations on Listening in All Organizations, Companies, etc. that want to Listen More Efficently!!!...>>> For Those Who Care, Invest in a PurchaseReview of "Listen First!" & Your Journey Will Begin!!!...
>>>..."Listen First!" starts with a combined MustRead Foreword from Bob Barocci - President / Advertising Research Foundation / ARF & Stephen Rappaport / Knowledge Solutions Director / ARFListen First!: Turning Social Media Conversations Into Business Advantage, followed by a Detailed MustRead Introduction from Stephen Rappaport!!!...
>>>..."Listen First!" has Four Parts / 23 Chapters.
>>>...Part 1 - Steps to Effective Listening has 3 Chapters.
>>>...Chapter 01 - Organize for Listening and Define Objectives, Key Measures, and Conversations.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By N. Glassman on May 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover
In his important new book, Listen First! Turning Social Media Conversations into Business Advantage, Steve Rappaport takes marketers back to their research roots. It has become too easy, and habitual, to ask customers questions that are important to us rather than listen to learn what is important to them. Accessible social media conversations present an opportunity to mend our ways and Rappaport shows us how we can make the most of listening.

In our fluid, unpredictable world, companies need to continuously update their understanding of factors surrounding their brands so that they can adapt, adjust and respond in a timely way to improve chances of connection and success. Listening can contribute to customer identification, understanding the competitive landscape, product development and improvement, reputation management and more.

With the increasing sophistication, ease of use and declining cost of social media listening and monitoring tools, companies can strive to become listening organizations. The impediment in most companies is the disconnect among departments that prevent their listening to each other. Rappaport makes it clear that being a social company is not only co-requisite to having a successful social strategy, but a successful business strategy. Every department and person in the company does not need to participate equally in social communications, but all must understand they are, and need to act within, a web of relationships that includes customers, vendors, stakeholders and coworkers.

Companies need to develop strategies and tactics based on their values and culture.
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