I asked Geoff Livingston (@geoffliving), CEO of Livingston Communications, what he thought of the MotrinMoms uproar, and he confirmed what many on the #MotrinMoms Twitterstream have suspected, namely that
a focus group would have stopped this from happening.
Geoff would know; he was just at the Society for New Communications Research awards ceremony with Shashi Bellamkonda (@shashib) of Network Solutions, who received an award for Excellence in New Communications, for the turnaround that company has seen in customer satisfaction, directly as a result of the improved social media listening and engagement they worked with Livingston Communications to achieve.
This made me think of the point Laura Fitton (@pistachio) made recently at the same SNCR award ceremony, where she discussed the future of Twitter, and why Twitter matters to business (click on the first tag to jump to the part of her talk I’m referring to):
Sadly for Motrin, what we’ve seen happen this weekend is Twitter functioning as a focus group AFTER the ad was launched. Generally, it’s considered preferable to get feedback from your focus groups BEFORE launch.
On the bright side, they now have their pick of volunteers:
What might have happened if they had reached out to the community of mommy bloggers on Twitter first, asked them what they thought of the ad, and incorporated their responses before launch?
And here’s the best analysis I’ve seen of this so far, from an advertising guy.