August 3, 2011 / 12:42 PM / 8 years ago

Management Tip of the Day: Help consumers express themselves

Anna and Richard Muller sit inside a shopping cart during Black Friday sales at the Toys R Us store in Carle Place, New York November 26, 2010. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

BOSTON (Reuters) - For a marketing officer life has become more complicated now that information no longer flows in only one direction and consumer “touch points” have multiplied, says Harvard Business Review.

The Management Tip of the Day offers quick, practical management tips and ideas from Harvard Business Review and ( Any opinions expressed are not endorsed by Reuters.

“A marketing campaign’s success used to be judged on impressions: how many people saw, heard, or read an ad.

In this new era of networked customers, smart marketers also pay attention to consumer expressions — anything from a comment to a “like” to a forward of your content.

Here are three ways to make the most of expressions:

1. Embrace them. Consumers can generate more messages than you ever could. Don’t fight the flow. Instead, feed it with content consumers will want to pass on.

2. Facilitate, don’t control. Participate in the conversations consumers have about your products but don’t try to direct them. It’s fruitless and often stifling.

3. Set the record straight only when necessary. Not every consumer expression is positive. Chime in when you must but also allow your fans to speak on your behalf.”

-Today’s management tip was adapted from “Coca-Cola Marketing Shifts from Impressions to Expressions” by Joe Tripodi, chief marketing and commercial officer of the Coca-Cola Company.

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