I love Verizon. They work. Their systems work. I am saying this even though I am not their cell or wireless customer. I envy those Verizon customers who can talk on their phone in a tunnel, at the subway, on top of a mountain. Their ‘Can You Hear Me Now?” campaign is worded perfectly. It addresses an issue every other cell phone user in the US experiences and coins it as a theme. It’s part of jokes, it’s part of conversations. Simple and therefore viral.
Verizon impressed me with their twittering customer service. My colleague Jeff who had a problem with his Verizon service twittered about it and got an almost instant reply from a Verizon blogger who saw his message. His technical issue was not resolved on the spot, but Jeff was so impressed with the approach, he told at least 20 people about this fast response and genuine care from Verizon.
So what happened with the twittering teddy? (Check it out at http://2pointhome.com/) This is a semi-fictional character who is supposed to represent all the help Verizon can offer to upgrade homes and solve networking issues…I think…The site is a bit busy, first introducing the twittering teddy, then building stories around him, grassroots events, DIY tips, etc.
I think the twittering teddy speaks more to marketers then to the typical Verizon customer. Twitter and Web 2.0 are not mainstream terms. So, the clever tag line of ‘how 2.0’ is probably lost on many. Verizon does better when it tells a simple story and gets to the core of the problem.
Idil has devised marketing and communication strategies for Fortune 500 companies and non-profit organizations for 20 years. She is the author of 'Implementing Word of Mouth Marketing: Online Strategies to Identify Influencers, Craft Stories and Draw Customers' (Wiley, 2010), as well as numerous industry briefs and articles on online communications.
Idil has been a public speaker on word-of-mouth marketing, women and ethnic minorities’ use of digital communications, and e-CRM. She has been widely quoted in trade journals and newspapers such as CNet news, CBS Market Watch, San Jose Mercury News, Chicago Sun Times, Harvard Business Review, the Financial Times and the New York Times. In 2010, she was selected ‘Digital Communicator of the Year’ by PRNews.
Idil is currently VP of Media Analytics at Nielsen, working with public sector, technology and telecom clients, gauging their advertising and brand communication effectiveness. She also serves on the Ad Council’s Research Committee.
Previously, she was a VP of Client Development at NM Incite – a Nielsen / McKinsey company, identifying and amplifying business opportunities in social media for clients. Prior to her roles at Nielsen, Cakim was a Senior Vice President in the global PR agency Golin’s digital practice and a Director of Burson-Marsteller’s think tank—the Knowledge Development group.
A native of Istanbul, she holds an M.A. in Communication from the Annenberg School at University of Pennsylvania and a B.A. in Sociology from Bryn Mawr College.
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