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Marketing in the Groundswell [Hardcover]

Josh Bernoff , Charlene Li
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Jun 2009
“Since Groundswell was published in April of 2008, two things have happened: The global economy has gone into the dumper; and at the same time, marketers have fallen in love with social technologies.” So states author Josh Bernoff in his introduction to Marketing in the Groundswell, which offers vital information that everyone involved in marketing or in communicating with customers needs to know.

The book includes three core chapters from the original bestseller that focus on market research, marketing, and spreading word-of-mouth among your best customers. Sure, you already know that customers are writing about your products on blogs or talking about your brand on Twitter and Facebook. Now, turn that interest into opportunity and profit.

In these economic times, marketers like you are increasing their investment in social technologies, while cutting back on more traditional expenses. Why? Because they work no matter the economic climate. Marketing in the Groundswell shows you how you can build social applications, measure their results, and use the social technology movement to yourcompany’s advantage.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business School Press (1 Jun 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1422129802
  • ISBN-13: 978-1422129807
  • Product Dimensions: 18.5 x 11.9 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 933,778 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


Every leader needs to read this book and make sure that his/her employees read it, too.
-- Børsen, Denmark, June 6, 2008

Readable and clearly argued ...Any organisation thinking of taking advantage of social networking will find plenty of food for thought.
-- IT Week, May 9, 2008

This business strategy book is set to help people see UGC not as a threat, but an opportunity to communicate. -- Putting People First - Experientia blog, May 4, 2008

'entertaining, well- written and mercifully free from techy details'
-- Financial Times, June 4th, 2008

Best Book in Marketing Category, Best Business Books 2008
-- Strategy and Business, December 2008

For any businesses that have not yet ventured into the world of social media, Groundswell is an excellent guide. -- ILM Edge magazine, September 2008

This book is a must-read for anyone getting to grips with the impact of Web 2.0 on business.
-- Information Age, August 7th 2008

`for Groundswell's intended audience ... the emphasis on data and analytics is not a bug - it's a feature.'
-- Financial Times, 21 May 2008 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

Corporate executives are struggling with a new trend: people using online social technologies (blogs, social networking sites, YouTube, podcasts) to discuss products and companies, write their own news, and find their own deals. This groundswell is global, it's unstoppable, it affects every industry and it's utterly foreign to the powerful companies running things now.

When consumers you've never met are rating your company's products in public forums with which you have no experience or influence, your company is vulnerable. In Groundswell, Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff of Forrester, Inc. explain how to turn this threat into an opportunity.

Using tools and data straight from Forrester, you'll learn how to:

  • Evaluate new social technologies as they emerge
  • Determine how different groups of consumers are participating in social technology arenas
  • Apply a four-step process for formulating your future strategy
  • Build social technologies into your business including monitoring your brand value, talking with the groundswell through marketing and PR campaigns, and energizing your best customers to recruit their peers

Timely and insightful, this book is required reading for executives seeking to protect and strengthen their company's public image.

"Groundswell is jammed with big ideas, useful stories, and quotable stats. This is the new industrial revolution. Are you on board?"
-Seth Godin, author, Meatball Sundae

"This book will rock your world, if social technology hasn't rocked it already. It's a tsunami of unstoppable force. Amazon, Procter & Gamble, Facebook, Google, and Dell are profiting from the crest of the wave. Are you? Li and Bernoff are the apostles of the tsunami. This book will be your bible."
-Scott Cook, Founder and Chairman of the Executive Committee, Intuit

"Groundswell provides practical advice on how to stay nimble and flexible in an ever-morphing digital world. Enabling your company to respond to change quickly especially when talking to and supporting your consumers is essential for business success."
-Cathie Black, President, Hearst Magazines

"The first phase of the Internet was about getting everyone connected. In this next phase, which changes the way we work, live, play, and learn, we re starting to realize the value of those connections as well as the new communications and experiences those interactions lead to the human network. Groundswell effectively documents this shift and underscores the opportunities available to all from this major market transition."
-John T. Chambers, Chairman and CEO, Cisco

"Heed the Groundswell! It's critical reading and helped us master the new dynamics of social media."
-Christina Norman, President, MTV

"Groundswell is a comprehensive look at the tidal wave of change engulfing marketers. Nobody should attempt to engage the newly empowered and emboldened consumer without first hearing what Li and Bernoff have to say on the subject."
-Clark Kokich, CEO, Avenue A | Razorfish

"Social technologies and the groundswell impact every business and organization worldwide. Li and Bernoff have written an insightful book that takes a refreshing research-driven approach to helping businesses transform themselves and successfully navigate this new dynamic landscape."
-Steve Rubel, Senior Vice President, Edelman Digital, and columnist for Advertising Age --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Its just an extract from the original 28 Sep 2009
It's not clear from the official review on this site but this is just an extract from the original book - so if you've got that already then don't bother to buy this.

The original is brilliant but if you've got it then you don't need this and if you haven't got it then buy that rather than this and get the whole story.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
By Robert Morris TOP 500 REVIEWER
What Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff characterize as "the groundswell" is "a social trend in which people use technologies to get the things they need from each other instead of from companies. If you're in a company, this is a challenge...[This trend] has created s permanent, long-lasting shift in the way the world works. This book exists to help companies deal with the trend, [begin italics] regardless of how the individual technology pieces change [end italics]."More specifically, Li and Bernoff respond to questions such as these:

What unique threats does the groundswell pose?
How to turn it to competitive advantage, "like a jujitsu master"?
What are its component technologies?
What is The Social Technologies Profile and what does it offer?
What is the four-step POST process for creating strategies?
What are the five primary objectives for a groundswell strategy?
How to create customers who are evangelists for you?
How to establish and support relationships between and among your customers?
How can the same trends that empower customers also empower employees?

Throughout their narrative, drawing upon a wealth of data accumulated by Forrester Research as well as by their own studies, Li and Bernoff include a number of real-world examples - in the form of mini-case studies -- that demonstrate key points.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars An Extract - Misleading Description 19 July 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I read Groundswell with interest and pre-ordered this book as it appeared on the catalogue. i did not realize that this is just an extract from the original book. So, I ended up returning it as soon as it arrived.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
For many businesses who have still yet to venture into the world of social media. "Groundswell" is a must read. The book cites a number of case studies which illustrate how companies are gaining insights, increasing revenues, lowering costs and engaging their customers within today's Web 2.0 world.

Forrester analysts, Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff have produced the most up-to-book on the subject and present their findings in a clear and easy to understand format. Both demonstrate their expertise as analysts and writers and provide numerous data examples throughout the book.

What is a Groundswell?

Charlene and Josh define the Groundswell as:
"...a social trend in which people use technologies to get the things they need from each other, rather than from traditional institutions".

The authors discuss why it important to participate in the "Groundswell" and why the "Groundswell" is happening now. The book begins with an overview into what "social media" actually is, and discusses many of the successes and the pitfalls that a company can go through during its journey. The book then offers steps that a business should follow to implement a successful social media strategy.

The book essentially examines how such tools threaten institutional power, and how individuals can use them to empower themselves and their businesses.

Many businesses foolishly believe that participating in social media is as simple as creating a blog, or being active in Facebook.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Really enjoyable reading 21 Feb 2009
By S. Gale
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
There have been a few books written about "social computing", but few that go much further than simply providing observations or commentary. This book is different. If you are trying to make some sense of what you see happening on blogs and social networking sites and are trying to work out what you and your company should do, then this book is for you.

It is written by a couple authors from Forrester, so it will be little surprise that it is really strong on the strategy front. It successfully manages to link what we are seeing happening today on the Internet to strategies for succeeding in this space. The first part of the book provides us with an understanding of how to match solutions to an organisation's specific customer base. Users are categorised according to whether they are: creators, critics, collectors, joiners, spectators, or inactives. This categorisation comes from Forrester's Social Technographics tool and you can find more information on the book's website [] and even generate your own profile. The blog on the website is very good, by the way.

The authors then match technical solutions to an organisation's objectives: namely, listening, talking energizing, supporting and embracing their customers. Part 2 of the book is dedicated to stepping through each of these objectives providing worked through examples of how organisations have succeeded in each of these domains. As you might imagine, adopting the appropriate technique for your particular audience is absolutely key.

If you are interested in Innovation, chapters 8 and 9 have some useful insights on the role customers can play in the innovation process.

In a area that is frequently over-hyped, this book provides significant insight and examples that reinforce what following a successful strategy can do for you and your company. If you are about to embark on your first venture into this space, I would strongly suggest that you read this book first. Highly recommended.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring social media methods
This book is very expiring and may be used as concrete guidelines for a company to get started involving in the groundswell,
Published 20 months ago by Liv Hedgaard Boye Jensen
5.0 out of 5 stars So useful
Before I read this book I had spent two years out of the marketing loop while social media raged around me in my new role in TV. Read more
Published on 26 Oct 2010 by Cornish Patsy
5.0 out of 5 stars Expert analysis of the newest internet tools and how to exploit them
Do you visit a social networking site at least once a month, like "one in four online American adults"? Do you read an online journal or blog, like 52% of online Japanese? Read more
Published on 11 Oct 2010 by Rolf Dobelli
4.0 out of 5 stars Aimed at social media professionals more than anyone
I was a little worried by the opening chapter or two that this book has dated as it's been on my wishlist for some time but I hadn't got around to reading it until this week. Read more
Published on 21 July 2010 by AJ Fisher
4.0 out of 5 stars You can start here
I really enjoyed reading that book. In many instances it feels too corporate to read however if you are in one, you'll probably like it. Read more
Published on 3 May 2010 by Eran Ben Sabat
3.0 out of 5 stars Informative, but tediously boring
The book covers all aspects of understanding and participating with the groundswell, providing case studies and demographics in each section so you can get a full understanding of... Read more
Published on 24 Feb 2010 by G. Fraser
5.0 out of 5 stars Seller beware
This book demonstrates the sheer power of social networks to make or break your business. In the 21st Century if you business does not have a sensibly managed social media policy... Read more
Published on 22 Jun 2009 by A. Peel
4.0 out of 5 stars Great
great starter for thinking about Social Media strategically..

Covers both an internal and external business levels. Read more
Published on 26 May 2009 by N. Allen
4.0 out of 5 stars Good background document
Forrester Research occupy a unique position. They have access to the internet's great thinkers through briefings that they have with all the leading web service companies: Yahoo! Read more
Published on 29 Sep 2008 by Mr. G. Carroll
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a "must read"
Like the positive reviews above, I agree that this is a great book! I wouldn't agree with the reviewer who sites the case studies as banal - they are real world studies across a... Read more
Published on 23 Sep 2008 by Bm Levitan
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