Right now we're thinking about marketing and communications because of this incredible attention that social media is getting, especially by those who are doing it. We pay attention when we're attuned to something. Notice when you want to buy a car, you keep seeing that very model everywhere? That's because you're thinking about it specifically.
Social is not new, businesses have known about social for a long time. It's the greater access that we now have (potentially) to learn more about how to do stuff well through collaboration that we are excited about - or we should be. Imagine if you could connect with people who think like you throughout the organization. Business owners see the potential, and want to capitalize on it.
A couple of things happened that should make you think about your role:
- your customers have limited time and attention to give
- thus little details can make a really big difference
Before now, you were at the mercy of the media buy available. Let's say you sell incredible silver jewelry and you're part of a string of shops at a Mall or in one of those villages that are making a comeback. What are your options? You can buy the ad in the local directory and hope that gets the word out.
Of course, you can also make your customers happy, and they will tell others when they have an opportunity to do so. In fact, you know that it is your existing customers who are bringing in the most traffic - and business - to your store.
How can you give them better ways to make those referrals?
Whether email is the new offline or not, you can help your customers spread the word by asking if they would like to be included in your monthly email with offers. If you're really good, you also send them an email to remind them they told you it was ok to include them in the mailing and asking them to confirm that with you. In lead nurturing marketing, we call that double opt in.
You can also start a blog, use video to show how the artists you buy from make what you sell. Tell the stories of how the collections were put together. At the end of the day, what customers buy is a story they identify with. If you're a small business, your Web site could be a blog.
These are just a couple of ideas I wanted to jot down as it's fairly easy to shine a spotlight to what you do well by communicating more and giving your customers a way to spread it, if they so choose. For a small business with limited resources, doing stuff well translates into being more effective on the facilitated conversation end.
What happens if you're not a small business in touch with its customers and employees or partners? You could start by communicating better with your customers and employees. But make no mistake, doing stuff well means you are also putting time into all of the little details that make such a big difference in saving or investing the time giving you attention.
Enterprise 2.0 is not about technology, it's about the people and the organization, and finding pride again in doing stuff well.
From the archives:
Excellent reads, if I may say so myself.