Many people and organizations have identified “listening” to the chatter on social media as an enormous business opportunity. Listening to customers, voice of the customer, sentiment analysis and even semantic technologies designed to understand the meaning in what people are saying.
The obvious - and rightful criticism - to the current fashion for Chief Listening Officers is that everybody in the organisation should be listening, not just one designated person or department.
But as this report suggests, Chief Listening Officers aren't really performing the touchy-feely task enshrined on their business card but instead bringing hard data-analysis skills to the torrent of online chatter about the brand. In fact, Susan Beebe - CLO at Dell - describes her job as building "complex queries."
I originally wrote this post in March of 2008 on my previous blog and here, 2.5+ years later, I'm still reading posts about how revolutionary it is that we can listen to our customers and that we're not in control any more. I don't buy it, certainly not on a broad basis. Hell, the company that most SM folks love to love, Apple, certainly hasn't given up control.
Is it possible that losing one sense can improve one's ability to communicate? Aerospace consultant Bruno Kahne asserts this in an amazing article in the magazine Strategy + Business ("Lessons of Silence").