What do Engagement and the Value Chain have in common?

12 06 2009

… they are both being rocked by 2.0 – You didn’t think that Web 2.0 and other social web toys were just for pushy marketers, or did you?

Starting with the old and maybe boring Michael Porter value chain allows me to set up a baseline for this piece.  Most of us may have been taught how organizations work. Yep, they add value, every segment of it does or it’s made redundant, especially these days 2.0. We were trained wrong however. There is a beginning and an end to your job, NOT. We’re more and more moving to a river of information in which employees, partners and customers participate.  Think about the news industry or soon to be former news industry. Tipping the journalist maybe the future because all us (we’re the media) are involved, we’re just re-netting the value chain here.  Quality will be rewarded, so why not?

Does the healthcare industry move in any other direction? I don’t think so. The patient and relationship centered care model is moving full speed ahead. The health value chain is a participatory one. Care should be a collective well synchronized effort, no one can claim total expertise and we are all tired of being overly monitored, tested, and analyzed for liability purposes.

Odell's-pollHere is another simple but true product development example (local to me).  Odell Brewery company in Colorado finally got on board with Twitter. They also had the idea to engage their constituents which is probably the most difficult thing to do in social media. Let’s do a TwitterBrew (#odelltwitbrew), they said and then polled their Twitter followers about a new beer and its taste features. They then asked for a new name (TwitterBrew wasn’t as cool as “Blackbird”) and even asked for a new design, getting people again to vote on the design +1,500 voted … Geez ,that was easy and all involving people around them! Ok, if you develop a new Intel chip, it may be a little trickier…. or not, and this is my point. The collective did it and their work is more accurate than anything Odell could have dreamed of.

There is a massive opportunity for everyone across the organization from HR to product design to sales to change the way we work. Here are another couple of examples. CRM (Customer Relationships Management) systems are huge complex systems to empower sales forces. CoTweet (Twitter CRM) is in beta but @Wholefoods and other big names are already using it. Comcast was an early adopter of Twitter as one of their service managers (Frank Eliason) decided to answer customer questions via this system (not a corporate decision). 10 other customer service people later and Frank, they have 20,000 + followers on twitter and are delivering real value.

How to make it work? Check out SocialCast.com They integrate automation and people interaction messaging for corporations. Machines can tweet, hey why not? 🙂

Engagement is certainly the most empowering behavior that an organization can expect from their constituents. ‘They’ being ‘people’. Being inside the value chain or outside, engagement allows us to deliver and consume value. It’s time to rethink the value chain 2.0 style.

2.0 is awesome.


Mirror, Mirror, on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?

7 07 2008

How do you think Snow White’s Queen could have used Social Media to gauge her popularity?

Snow White’s Queen may certainly have tried to suppress her competition – fair enough – sounds like a good tactic to me. Common practice, you could say, with the Microsoft-Yahoo deal just another modern example.

But there are other, nonviolent ways to measure your brand popularity these days. Google News Alert is probably the easiest way, but if you want something more elaborate, there is FiltrBox. For those with healthier economic means, Collective Intellect or Networked Insights can really help too. So the big question becomes – how to positively influence all those participants in the social media democracy??

The Social Media Sphere is like the Queen’s mirror. Really. It tells the truth. If someone doesn’t like what you are doing, social media will reflect that back to you. The opposite also holds true – if they love you, the upward wave will carry you along itself.

Social Media Mirror - Bring marketing activities above water will benefit you

Social Media marketing is really about looking at all your offline, traditional media activities as “underwater activities”. You need to look at which ones are the most likely to float to the top and into the larger Social Media Sphere (above the water). It’s a lot more fluid and random there in terms of message and audience. Are you sponsoring a football game? Donating to charity? Launching via the college crowd? And how best to reach your audience for all these events?

Things to take away:

– Every activity in your value chain may have potential in the Social Media Sphere. People want to know more about you and your brand than ever before. Be ready to shoot videos of your manufacturing process, how you build your homes and why doing business with you is a good thing. People care, give’m what they want!

– The conversation is happening anyway, monitor it, engage and create social media marketing programs that will tackle head-on the good, the bad and the ugly. It’s beautiful to be able to engage… before a brand was blind to upwards and downward trends.

– Engage beyond yourself. Your marketing department or PR agency can do only so much. Your customers can do a lot more.

– Ask the question…..Mirror Mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?