Conversation Agent - Valeria Maltoni - ROI of Social Media is not a One-Time Deal

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It's an interesting point you raise about Organisations and the old org. chart. I think this is where many of the problems arise.

The Marketing function has sets of metrics, then Sales does too, and Customer Service another (get ppl off the phone ASAP - love that one!). Often these groups operate as if the other did not exist.

I think once Companies embrace a more holistic approach to their activities things will get easier.

Perhaps as Joseph Jaffe pointed out in his book "Join the Conversation" their needs to be something that crosses the functions called "conversation" and then have metrics that everyone buys into.

One of the challenges is that the various functions within an organisation have sets of Goals at the beginning of each year and often these metrics then cascade down from that.

Sometimes you can read this as "things to beat the staff up about if they don't meet the target". This is from actual experiences.

Often they are obsessed about having things to measure not just the externals by, but how the staff or teams internally are performing.

I think, for some Companies the changes required to understand this more fully will be quite challenging.


Thank you for continuing the conversation, Mike. I think what we object to as far as rules go is when they are not grounded in values. We have a hard time figuring out why the rule exists in a certain way.

To use a metaphor, rules can be like emergency buttons left over from clothes you have since given to charity. They are not useful anymore, yet there they are still sitting in your chest drawer. Except for rules are sometimes applied to a jacket where they do not fit anymore.

Companies are run by boards and executive teams who set the tone on the business. Alas, organizations are still using the old industrial age org. charts by and large. You remind me about terminology, too.

I agree with you that customer evangelists are a powerful testimonial to the company products and services.

I wouldnt say I am cynical however I do raise my eyebrow sometimes about the "communities" that some Companies set-up.

I cant say I do know of any blogger who's done what you stated, then again that doesn't mean it hasn't happened just that I haven't heard about it at this point in time.

I concur with your comment about Employees being a community. At this point in time, as you will see from the myriad of rules that some Companies have about Employees using collaboration / social tools there is some lack of trust, and that's not ideal.
People don't like too many rules (that's what governments have done and that why many mistrust them too).

There are rays of light out there, I believe Dell is progressive in this area, and that's cool.

The Company "should" be part of the Community however they often shoot themselves in the foot when they can't even get the basics of doing business correct in the first place.

I still think a Community that arises around a Product or Service because of the passion of the Customers for it, is fantastic. I've seen that happen before and it is wonderful to behold. The company has to be ready to take both the praise and the critical feedback that may also come.


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