In the past, I had the good fortune of working with the Get Satisfaction team to help brands embrace new media to improve customer relationships. During those early years, I learned a great deal about the process and corresponding hurdles that face change agents as organizations evaluate new technology to socialize CRM. I also began what would later become years of immersion in understanding and defining the role leadership plays in changing organizational culture and methodologies to help businesses truly get closer to customers. Along the way, I met Jeff Nolan, at the time, a venture capitalist and later an operational executive. Jeff is now VP of Product Marketing at Get Satisfaction and we recently spent some time together talking about, well, everything. It was a great discussion that ended up as two posts…”Brevity and Depth: Part 1 and Part 2.”
Part three in a four-part series on innovation and change as the new schools of business management…
To call Zappos an online shoe store takes away from the brilliance behind the 12-year-old e-commerce powerhouse. While its original premise was based on helping people find the shoes they want, in one place, online, and discounted, it certainly evolved into something nothing short of disruptive. As we hear so often with technology startups, Zappos was born in a college dorm room.
In early 2007, Chris Heuer, Shel Israel, Deb Schultz, Giovanni Rodriguez, and I explored the evolution of social media within the enterprise at an intimate business event in Palo Alto. One of the more memorable discussions focused on the rise of an official role within business to listen to social discourse and channel inbound questions and comments as well as official responses. The question eventually arose, how do we classify this new role within the organization? The designation of “Community Manager” earned the greatest support that day, but it did so with a caveat, “communities, by organic design, could not be managed.”
Jeremiah Owyang, industry analyst at Altimeter Group, published a report that sent shock waves throughout the global creative industry. For large agencies, it represented a harbinger of change. For specialized groups, the report was a declaration of validation.
Welcome to the (R)evolution, a new series that connects you to the people, trends, and ideas defining the future of business, marketing, and media. In episode 8, I proudly welcome Frank Eliason, senior VP of Social Media at Citibank.
Perhaps the most difficult aspects of Social Media to embrace are the changes in our behavior and overall philosophy it necessitates in order to earn relevance and ultimately prominence in consumer hearts, minds, and markets.
Simply put, Social Media makes us vulnerable and officially ends an era of perceived control threaded by the illusion of invincibility.
Wherever the balance of influence falls in new media, without genuine, empathetic service, recognition, or reciprocity, we are only extending the very things that prevent us from forming meaningful connections.
I had a fantastic conversation with Frank Eliason (@comcastcares), Duncan Riley, and Chris Brogan last night during the Microsoft Windows Mobile Developer event (@WMDev) at Chapel in Seattle. We explored the drivers that propel companies into social labyrinths and how they participate, react and in turn, strategically plan (or should) once they’ve arrived.
The common motives are spurred through innovation (rare) and urgency (more common).
I’ve been spending a fair amount of time touring the world in support of my ideas and thoughts on the direction of new PR, branding, service, and marketing communications. My reward and inspiration to continue is sourced from each person I meet and the experiences and challenges they share. I’ve learned that our greatest hindrance to evolve is not our unwillingness to do so, our indoctrination in new media and communications is truly obstructed by the executives to whom we report and serve.
Brian Solis is principal at Altimeter Group, a research firm focused on disruptive technology. A digital analyst, sociologist, and futurist, Solis has studied and influenced the effects of emerging technology on business, marketing, and culture. Solis is also globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders and published authors in new media. His new book, What's the Future of Business (WTF), explores the landscape of connected consumerism and how business and customer relationships unfold and flourish in four distinct moments of truth. His previous book, The End of Business as Usual, explores the emergence of Generation-C, a new generation of customers and employees and how businesses must adapt to reach them. Prior to End of Business, Solis released Engage, which is regarded as the industry reference guide for businesses to market, sell and service in the social web.