Conversation Agent - Valeria Maltoni - You're Asking the Wrong Question

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Consumers indeed talked back, we did ;-) Yet because our voices were diffuse and local, they did not reach the right people inside organizations (those who would do something about it) or companies found it easy to dismiss the feedback. The voices today are amplified to the point that companies are trying to figure out how to reach citizen marketers and influentials.

The challenge as you highlight is on multiple fronts. In some cases it may be appropriate to acknowledge and learn; in others it may be best to take specific action and become involved.

The internal challenge is felt strongly -- many who were just product managers in the past need to become more aware and attuned to these forces. As well, they need to become wise as to when to take appropriate action. As emerged in the discussion from other posts here, the answer is not to let consumers develop the product or services... we should continue this conversation, Toby. It is way too rich with opportunity to leave it here. Thank you so much for allowing me to develop the thought further.

Long or short .. another thoughtful post! I agree with your stance; smart marketers always knew "you never controlled the conversation, you only thought you did" .. but instead of "because consumers did not talk back" I propose that customers did talk back to companies and to each other. However, technology e.g., the internet, social media has provided our customers with many opportunities for their voices to be amplified and to be heard by more people, who in turn, add their thoughts/voices and take to the "virtual streets."

The challenge for business is not only to listen and learn but to acknowledge, take specific action and become involved in a multiple dimension exchange. The impact from social media goes beyond the importance to join the "conversation" to developing new ways of conducting business including creating internal information processes, as well as, sophisticated customer feedback mechanisms.

In my haste to compress it all in a small space I gave up some accuracy. Or maybe I gave you what my business colleagues think and see -- brand = completely in our control, which of course in not true. Intent counts, but perception reigns.

Somewhere in there stewardship meets with perceptions and comes back into the internal conversation, changed. Thank you for the break down, and the stories.

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Conversation Agent

  • Since 2006, Conversation Agent focuses on business, technology, digital culture, and human behavior. At Conversation Agent LLC, I help organizations and brands that want to build better experiences tell a new story.


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