Like any change in the “go to market” strategy of a business there is an inevitable change in the alignment of power within the organisation. Just as product siloed organisations typically failed in their efforts to align themselves around customer segments, today sales and marketing executives fear to unleash themselves into the power shift required for social media, one where the voice of the customer has gained unprecedented power.
“Why go there?” one might ask
It can’t be measured, it can’t be controlled, and it is unruly, taking off in unexpected directions at a moment’s notice. It does not fit within the neat return on investment models boards like to sign off on.
What it does do, is create new possibilities for your brand. Here are just some reasons why it is worth it.
- The conversation in the market is a key gathering point for customers
- Social media has high energy generated from genuine authentic experiences from people in community
- Social media is creating new business models, where people share more and co create
- In many branded content strategies customers are becoming co creators of the branded content
- Brands get a big shot of credibility for their transparency
- Brands who talk to customers learn and grow
Take TED, a global phenomenon of passionate people sharing “Ideas worth spreading”. Now a highly value media property on the internet, TED started with just a few volunteers, who wanted to share their ideas online. Today to attend an event at TED is $6,000 a seat, for the same content which is free online. TED is sold out a year in advance. TED is selling the energy of community and co creation, and the price is high.
Shoes of Prey, an online shoe store in Sydney Australia, allows customers to become their own designers. A boutique store of outstanding success using the customer co creation model. Shoes of Prey has over 80,000 Facebook likes, a great outcome for a smaller market like Australia.
The message for brands about social media is that you do have to let go of control, be vulnerable and go where the customers are.
Check the energy of the TED community at the $6,000 a head event, catch the Ukulele that rocks the TED after party
Hearts and Minds