We are experiencing a change in the world of customer communication. It is no longer the company that is controlling the brand management but the consumer. Forget the concept of social media… we have been witnessing this transition for the past decade… and since the inception of the Internet as a worthwhile tool for communication.
Customers are now talking about you at a staggering pace using sites like Twitter, Facebook, Myspace and LinkedIN… and the list goes on. I was watching TV today and taking note of the increasinly terrible advertising that is taking place on the cable networks. I began to realize that I (along with millions of others) are no longer making buying decisions based on traditional advertising. You can take the definition of traditional advertising any way you want but in my terms it means old ways of doing business.
A great book to read from the Heath brothers is Made to Stick which talks about the concept of creating a story to push your company into the next decade of communication. I have read, reread, and read again the excellent points made throughout the book and began to realize one thing… if you do not create a story that your customers can retell you will lose market share steadily over the next couple of years.
We might not be seeing a steady decline because social media and the Internet is still bleeding edge when it comes to market penetration in a global sense. My question is simply this: What happens when we do reach the peak of market penetration for social media? What happens when your customers ARE using the tool and using it effectively? What do you do when you reach the point? Are you ready for the onslaught? Is your communications department familiarizing themselves with the tools?
All that matters is your story. You are going to be creating a story based on a marketing process but we might come to the point where it doesn’t matter what you want your story to be… your customers are going to create a story anyway. Experience is the key to the future of marketing and customer communication. They (your customer) are going to be talking NOT about your sales or PR release but how they personally experienced your product or service.
Are you preparing yourself for the new age of communication?