Thursday, January 8, 2009

Is the customer an enemy or an allied?

In the social media, corporations ability to listen and create a meaningful dialogue is key.
One reason for failure may be that traditional marketing uses a military jargong. The British advertising consultant Tim Lucas points out that we use expressions like: “target”, “hitrate” and “impact”. In that world, your customer is the enemy… What expressions would we use if we saw the customer more as a friend?

If we view the customer as our friend, our allied, it affects the way we measure the effects of social media. One sort of metric (that you can also measure) is to see how much your brand our your products is talked about. But if you switch perspectives, you could view it as your ability to spark a conversation. In that case, success is less about frequency and more about how well you know your audience, their wants, needs and dreams.

I listened to a theatre dramaturg talk about the idea of dialogue. Real dialogue means “being with the other, an equal relationship with a sincere ambition to connect". She also said: “We must be at home when inviting guests over". Is there anybody at home when your customers want to connect in the store or on the web? What do you talk about when you meet? Is the dialogue driven by passion or by the fact that you want to sell them stuff?


Marc-André said...

Can't agree more.

Some elements are key to get a good dialogue going.
-Talking to a specific group of people. Talking to just about everybody will make nobody interested.
-Have an opened-mind so you can change things in a way that will more connect with the audience.
-Not be afraid to ask questions.
-Try to find what is not working/where you are failing through your web stats.

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