Embrace C.H.A.O.S. (Customers Have Altered Our Strategy). Thanks to broad customer adoption of social media and other methods of autonomous discovery, the roles of Sales, Marketing, Client Care, IT and Product Development are vastly different today. The change runs deep and wide, and it’s all happening on that little blue screen. No matter what your corporate role, you are feeling the influence.
- use of well-governed, cloud-based tools, so your organization can be productive and responsive wherever they are;
- use of mobile and social technologies to improve response and engage audiences in their chosen channels;
- deep profiling of your audience’s mobile, social, enterprise and cloud presence, to inform your content strategy;
- empowering your own organization with an internal social network so they can collaborate better; and
- representing your products and services in a “right content, right context” world.
Sales & Marketing
There is still yet a place for Interruptive (Outbound) marketing – email, trade shows, webinars, PR, direct mail, advertising, cold calling, inside sales, business articles, advertising, whitepapers etc. Buyers still respond to email marketing and print ads.
The difference is that now it’s about how to get found rather than how to find buyers. Buyers are driving this change, using social filtering tools to discover relevant content.
Real world. Websites. Micro-sites. Partner portals. Community sites. RSS. LinkedIn. Twitter. FaceBook. YouTube. Pinterest. Your customers are there. It’s time to meet up.
The new challenge is to help customers discover you in their community and engage with you meaningful, relevant ways, and encourage them to converse with and about you in ways that express their values and which advocate, support, and shape your brand.
Agile organizations know that a product or service launch is just the beginning of another scrum schedule. Customers often don’t know what they want until you show it to them. Bill Cosby observed this phenomenon many years ago when commenting on how children acquire nicknames. You can name your own child anything you want, but once your child goes out to play in the neighborhood, whatever the other kids call him, that’s his name.
Crowdsourcing ideas for product and service features is a hallmark of the agile organization. The fanfoundry approach enables you to accelerate the maturity of your products and services, creating features users value while avoiding traps like “pursuit of excellence” and internal dialogue “echo chambers”.
Customers run from vendor websites that smell like death. We are all competing with the customer’s view of satisfactory experience. Enabling customers to talk in front of you, instead of behind your back, enables you to develop services and standards that satisfy clients based on their need satisfaction, which then becomes your baseline.
Thanks to social media, B2C strategy and tactics are now relevant and practical in the B2B space. Savvy buyers research online and filter out the rest. Being a fanfoundry enables you to craft one-to-one conversations with each member of your buyer, supplier and customer communities – on their terms, at their pace, in their chosen medium.
Why not enable customers and communities to filter you in using inbound channels, rather than have them tune you out based on your off-target, interruptive, outbound efforts? The customer will buy when they are ready. It is your job to help them assess readiness and make intelligent choices, and of course motivate them to choose you if and when appropriate, and keep them coming back because they value the satisfaction of an effective relationship.