I may well be seen as a slow developer but the power of social media never ceases to amaze me. So much is written and talked about this channel with its multitude of bedazzling incarnations that it can be rather baffling for us baby boomers and we seem to have segmented into a number of different camps ranging from the addicted and the bemused!
This having been said, I find myself migrating from the later to a “lite” version of the former as I receive help for my ignorance issue. The thing that excites me the most is the gathering clarity with which social media can apply to the B2B world as much as the consumer space. But there is one critical thing that we must never lose sight of…..brand experience is still the powerhouse of delivering promises.
Since the beginning of time customer experience has been one of the critical brand building activities and now is more important than ever as brands have nowhere to hide in our interconnected world.
If our brands do not deliver the promises they make, then this amazing force for positive change will become our enemy, as our customers turn against us and use the very medium we are using to build our brands to destroy them.
And rightly so.
As marketers, we have promised our customers so much and too often let them down when they interact with the brand. This is just not the most direct pressure for businesses to ensure that that brand building is seen as a total company issue and that the operations teams have as much influence as the marketers. For example trying asking yourself the question – “when driving change programmes through the business at what stage is the brand and its consumers represented and how is it influencing our decisions?” If the answer is “it’s not” or even “that isn’t relevant” then prepare yourself for some very disappointing outcomes as you change the relationship with customers based on inwardly focused decision making and not customer orientation.
Not only will they will spot this, because you can’t stop the insides of a business leaking out, they have the ultimate weapon to make their disappointments felt amongst their peer groups as the medium becomes the message yet again.