A Plea For Change
Yahoo recently hired Marissa Mayer to act as the new CEO and President of the company whose struggles over the past couple of years have been well documented. Formerly a 13-year employee of long-time rival Google, it looks like one of her first assignments will be restoring Flickr to prominence – at least that’s what the user community wants.
Led by L.A. journalist and blogger Sean Bonner, the internet community recently created DearMarissaMayer.com, a website and initiative that urges Yahoo’s new CEO to fix the photo sharing site and quote, “make Flickr awesome again”. Bonner’s appeal quickly created a viral affect, generating well over 20,000 tweets since first being published on July 17, 2012. Apparently Yahoo was listening because it responded on behalf of Flickr by asking the internet community to help improve the quality of the site. Included in the rely was a link to a web page containing details on many of the available job positions currently available at Flickr.
Related reading – Marissa Mayer: Yahoo’s latest strategy
The Marketing Takeaway
It’s obvious that Yahoo already has a lot on its plate. If it didn’t, then all this time would have not passed with Flickr being ignored while the company focused on other matters. This time, however, Yahoo took the initiative to not only communicate with its users, but respond with a message that shows it is paying attention.
The call to action for users to participate in the comeback was simply brilliant. Businesses must do more than force a message on their audience. They must allow those users to have their say and actually listen. But when it comes to Yahoo salvaging the Flickr experience, it may be a case of too little too late.
Flickr has fallen, but can it get back up? That remains to be seen. Unfortunately for Flickr, much of the competition evolved to seamlessly support social media and other technology, while it largely remained static.
On a positive note, the Dear Marissa Mayer movement shows that there are legions of users ready to give the site another chance – if, of course, drastic improvements are made. It will be interesting to see if Mayer truly makes Flickr a top priority, and turn this take away into a marketing lesson we can really sing the praises of.
Image source – Gizmodo.com