I thought myself very clever over at Queen D’s blog yesterday where she had crowd sourced whether to buy an iPhone 4 of wait for 5 and all we spoke about was the iPad2. I shared in comments I was going to implement a little C-to-B marketing to crowd source and social media my need for a new vacuum.
You know how I love to coin words; I went to look and saw two previous mentions of C-to-B marketing (yet it’s not a trendy term). And, so, this effort is to replace my 10-year-old Kenmore canister which finally burned its motor (great hardworking machine).
I’m researching as a consumer using other consumers and asking businesses for their recommendations. I’m using social media only as my due diligence channel, and trying to avoid websites in the beginning. So, to recap, the purchase decision includes a consumer-to-business strategy, a consumer-to-consumer strategy, identifying Facebook pages and Twitter accounts for vacuum products, while absorbing word-of-mouth-tips from total strangers. (This is more fun than buying a car last year.)
- Want direct interaction with a vacuum manufacturer to give me its sales spiel.
- Want consumer recommendations for what they’re using today and why they’re happy with product.
- Want to see social media engagement with the products I’m researching.
Step 1: Crowd Source
Twitter. I posted a question on two Twitter accounts about brand, quality, price, and longevity. The tweeps responded well – six votes for Dyson, two for Kirby and thumbs down for Hoover and Eureka.
I looked for Twitter accounts for Dyson, Hoover, Kirby, and Miele, a German brand. Only @MieleUSA has a Twitter account! I posed a question this evening (“why should I buy”), and may not get a response as it’s after business hours.
** I posted a question to my personal and business pages. On the personal page, I got 7 replies (mostly for Dyson) and one response on the business page. People are loving the Dyson Animal. One peep said she loves her Miele (and I’d never heard of that German brand before!).
** I did a search for company Facebook pages for Kirby, Hoover, Dyson, and Miele USA. I found nothing!!
** I posted a question to all circles on this channel. I got back a glowing recommendation for Miele with a link to its site and a second comment that this peep has had a Miele for 10 years and loves it for its great quality and high-end manufacturing.
** I finally succumbed to one website review with all the vacuums in one place. I learned that upright vacuums are perfect for wall-to-wall carpeting while canister vacuums are best for hardwood floors, ceilings, walls, stairs, and furniture. (I didn’t know that.)
** Crowd sourcing in advance of a purchase decision is the way to go for something as expensive as a vacuum. I learned I’m going to spend $300 to $500 to get a high-quality machine that lasts 10 years or I’ll suffer like one peep did with three less-than-quality models (Hoover and Eureka) in five years.
** The vacuum product makers are absolutely nowhere on social media! This is astonishing to me! There is ample opportunity for companies to engage with consumers on Facebook, especially, with something that is a staple for every household in the world. Where are the marketing departments? Where is the PR team to advise these companies they ought to engage with consumers?
** I learned enough from consumer-to-consumer marketing within two hours to direct my buy decision. I also got sound advice about using coupons at Bed, Bath & Beyond and shopping online (after I went to a physical store to touch and feel the product).