Posted by: CarolAnn | January 8, 2014

Hello, Is anybody REALLY listening?

Mickey-Ds-TwitterThe customer may not always be right, but they do have all the answers.” – Jeff Ready, Forbes Magazine Contributor.Mickey-Ds-Twitter-II

By virtue of the fact that one does not have to search long and hard for the accompanying not-so-flattering headlines, anyone can quickly get the “flavor” of what went wrong with McDonald’s “Mighty Wings”. In fact, we have social media – more precisely, Twitter, to thank for this golden nugget article that dropped right into my proverbial lap.

Yes, I admit it, I ordered and tasted the Mighty Wings when they first came onto the market. My thoughts? They were just edible, underwhelming in flavor, and I could not finish the third, overpriced one because the mismatched spices were as appealing to the palate as one reviewer called them, “McNuggets with choking hazards“. I get it  Mickey Ds…you wanted to try something new, but for lack of a better words, this product was a failure.

Now roughly five months into its original launch, the Mighty Wings‘  debut is ending just as quickly as it came. Or so some in marketing may think. Here’s the debacle, in social media, word of mouth travels hundred-fold faster than traditional multimedia of our recent past.   So how did they miss the signs of this  giant fiasco in the making?

I tend to agree with Jeff Ready (Forbes Magazine Contributor), who more notably remarked that many would-be marketers needlessly spend thousands of dollars on market research from industry analysts without ever using the easiest place to measure the pulse of their own customer base.  He went on to state that “those analysts probably got their data straight from your own customers anyway.” (The customer may not always be right, but they do have all the answers) Why pay specialists generously to mine data from your customers just to have you buy it back from them? Logically it makes no sense, and in a real-time social media landscape, time is money. The more money that traditional marketers devote to outside sources, the less reliable the data becomes, and the longer it takes to respond to flop products like the not-so-tasty “Mighty Wings”, among other product failures of the past.

Social media outlets like Twitter, Facebook and Google+, to name a few, have thrown a monkey wrench in conventional marketing strategies – both digitally and commercially. And to put it lightly, this cultural trend is not going anywhere anytime soon.

In fact, social media rules the Internet highway; and if you are not having a two-way dialogue with your consumer, then you are missing the ball.

Who is listening to their customer base?

Historically, Coca-Cola ®, Budweiser ® and Geico® have made substantial and fluid progress with social media by stellar marketing campaigns based predominantly on the voice of the customer – commonly referred to as “VOC“. Geico, in particular has resorted to “nonconventional” marketing, which has made a lasting impression for the brand.

Whether you are an entrepreneur with your first online startup business or an established corporation, there is no time like the present to start focusing not just on the quality products and services you provide, but the stage that has now been taken over by consumers who can and will make or break your reputation online.  Traditional marketing in every sense is no longer the king of the ball court.  Truth be told, it would behoove those interested in maintaining long-term growth and ROI, to look to their own customer service base to extract the VOC from the customers who have taken center stage on social media.

Alternatively, you can have a box of Mickey D’s Mighty Wings…but it is safe to presume those will be or already are obsolete.

Hello, is anybody REALLY Listening?

Copyright 2014 – ALL Rights Reserved

OPED by CarolAnn Bailey-Lloyd – Social Media, Philosophy, Current Events and Insights for the Modern Age



  1. Sounds more like a Mighty Fiasco for McDonald’s.

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