Brands That Push Messages Out, Now Starting To Listen

“Relax, said the night man,
We are programmed to receive.” -The Eagles

Irina Slutsky of Geek Entertainment TV is now writing news for Ad Age. Well done, Ad Age.
Today, Slutsky introduces us to two women–Beth LaPierre and Susan Beebe–chief listening officers at Kodak and Dell, respectively.
“In a world where marketing managers are eager to get their perspective across, the idea of hearing the consumer is often more foreign than it should be,” Slutsky reasons.
Kodak receives about 300,000 online mentions a month and a large part of the chief listener’s job is to classify the data for the company’s benefit.
“What kind of information does our marketing team need vs. our product team?” Ms. LaPierre asked.
I have a question for you…do you have anyone on staff whose job it is to listen?

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. Chief Listening Officer? Are you kidding me? You mean a company like Kodak, a company that almost completely lost its relevancy because it lost its value in the marketplace, has hired someone to listen? Because apparently no one else in the company could listen? What, is the marketing department too busy? As I wrote at & the fact that we think listening is a new skill to be applied just shows us how far off the mark business is today.
    And the answer to your question is that everyone should be listening. Companies shouldn’t need a dedicated listener and certainly not a C level person. They should already have a customer service department who theoretically listen to customers each & every day.
    If the CMO is wondering why their average tenure is 18 months, maybe its the fact that companies have to hire someone to listen to their customers because they’re clearly not doing it might be one answer.