Nowadays, if we need to find something out online, most people's first stop is Google. But while it gives the opportunity for the searcher to get many helpful results based on their inquiry, it has also has the potential to be a marketing fiasco. Dell has experienced just how detrimental this could be to a brand. Just a few years ago, a search about Dell computers came up with mostly negative blog posts and consumer criticism. Today, after changes have been made, things have changed. Dell changed the direction of its marketing; instead of focusing on catalogs they turned their attention to consumer interactions. They created a blog where Dell news is posted and where users could leave comments. By not censoring the comments, Dell is able to get feedback from consumers on what could be done better as well as gain credibility among the blogging community. Dell has also set up a site called IdeaStorm. This is a gave Dell a spot where consumers can give ideas on what Dell should be doing, or what they could be doing better. While there is still a negative presence on these sites (21%), the negative voices are down and the positive ones are up.

What does this mean for the greater market? Companies need to begin paying more attention to what their consumers are saying. The internet is a great tool for the average-joe to interact with thousands, if not more, consumers. Negative blog posts or comments regarding a brand could do damage that takes years to repair. Moving forward, companies are going to have to interact more with their consumers and focus less on convincing consumers their product is best. Talk is not cheap...word of mouth (whether actual or online) has a growing marketing role and needs to be considered.