Posts Tagged ‘blogs’
Business, Featured - Written Wednesday, August 11, 2010 by Denis Hancock - 2 Comments
As I scan articles about the impact of social media on marketing, I commonly come some variant of the statement “the customer is now in control.” But the more I research and think about this statement, the less I believe it – and the underlying message being sent to marketers – is. So today I thought I’d explain why.
My first issue is with the word now. From my perspective, the customer has always been in control – the fate of companies providing products and services in a capitalist economy is ultimately determined by what customers choose to buy. In turn, the analysis shifts towards social media somehow giving customers slightly more control than they had before – a small, but important, distinction.
The typical argument is that as customers have connected with each other through platforms like blogs, Twitter, and Facebook, the opinions they share amongst themselves have increased in importance, while the typical “broadcast marketing” approaches have decreased in effectiveness. While I do believe there is some truth to this, there is another way to look at what’s happening.
For starters, if customers only wanted to hear each other’s opinions, they could do so without engaging companies at all – either in somewhat self-organizing fashion through Facebook and Twitter, or “neutral” services like Yelp. But many, many customers are also opting to directly connect with companies – liking, following, lurking in communities, etc. – through these very same platforms. In doing so, many are effectively asking companies to engage with them.
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