Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The NOW Revolution - Day 3 at OMS 2011

The opening keynote for day 3 at OMS 2011 was a great presentation that focused on the transformation of "business as usual" due to Social Media. Amber Naslund and Jay Baer are the authors of The Now Revolution which was released yesterday. They make three points on the transformation of business during the NOW Revolution: Businesses need to be Faster, Smarter, and more Social.

The first argument is that businesses must be faster now in responding to their customers than ever before. Communication has shifted from traditional mail, to phone, to fax, to email, to real time social media. The acceptance by businesses to identify that they must change how they do business is the key to their eventual survival.

Companies that are successful at making that change taking social media seriously and realize that everyone in an organization is a PR rep and should be empowered to communicate with customer. This is a radical decentralization of information flow. Now, this must be done appropriately which means that policy's, procedures, and education must take place so that all employees know how, why, and what to say when communicating.

Next Amber and Jay state that companies need to get smarter. Companies need to recognize that all information is good information, even if the message is negative. With Social Media, customers now have the ability to find out more about your company than most of your employees know, and then make decisions based on those findings. With everyone being a reporter, it goes without saying that your business in making news everyday, even if you are unaware of it.

Where do you start, LISTEN. Companies are now required to decentralize their listening to be effective where each department is listening to messages important to them, and responding. This thought goes to the Web 3.0 presentation from yesterday that showed the different ways a business may organize their social media efforts, pointing to the "dandelion" method of multiple hub and spokes where a central person / department manages the overall process.

Ok, so the company is responding faster, empowering employees, and listening to the customers, NOW what? Be more social. Now that you have listened, start talking and being more social. Amber and Jay argue that you need to create conversations as part of the NOW Revolution. This is not just about talking about your products, but talking about topics that deal with you customers. "Every Company Has a Story to Tell!". Amber and Jay also state that marketing is not always the group that has the story to tell; rather the front line employees have the story to tell. The stories must be interesting, informative, and HUMAN.

This is a great point as many companies feel that just by talking, their customers will want to hear what they have to say. That is like saying "if I write a book, everyone will want to read it, including Opera". This is huts not true, there must be a connection made between your stories and your customers. That is the HUMAN value, aspect, that Amber and Jay Talk about.

Companies need to be social, and now longer that awkward 8th grader standing along the wall at the school dance. Be a capitalist in social media and chant that "more is better". So, to put this in perspective, it used to be important that consumers wear a brand. The name on the tag was important, so much so that Jean Companies like Levi and Guess were making plain t-shirts with nothing more than their brand name on it. NOW it is important that you customers wear your brand online through their conversations. Companies cannot only focus their efforts on building their own network, but utilize and maximize their impact on the customers and employees networks. Remember that More is better.

This was a great presentation that pointed out what should be obvious to companies, but is unfortunately not in most cases. I have to admit that the company I work for has a lot of room for growth in this area. The possibilities are limitless and can boost our relationships with our customers and consumers. Time to put The NOW Revolution as am must read on my book list.

Location:San Diego, CA


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