George F.Colony CEO, Forrester, has written a brilliant paper on how technology has broken down the barriers that existed between companies and customers. In an era where the 30-sec TV Spot and newspaper ads are dying, over the last couple of years, I too have come to firmly believe that marketing and technology departments in companies have to come together and work closely, if companies want to build truly tangible value for their customers.
George goes on to explain how CEOs need to pay attention to this increasingly:
- Marketing and technology in your company must work together to design and implement your Web 2.0 strategy. And you, and only you, can get the dogs and cats to interbreed. It's an unnatural act, but one that must occur before your company can become an opportunist, rather than a victim, in the world of Web 2.0.
- You may try to restrict your digital content through laws, rules, digital rights management, and/or security systems. The cold reality remains that customers, citizens, consumers want what they want, regardless of how you may try to restrict them. They see the power of digital and its inherent flexibility.
- You've got to earn the respect and allegiance of your customers every day — both of which can wither with unparalleled speed (see Dell and the flaming batteries, circa 2006).
- Get your marketers to throw out those 30-question customer surveys and focus on one question: "Would you recommend this product or service to a friend or colleague?"
- After eight years of evaluating more than 1,000 large corporate Web sites, Forrester found only 3% with passing grades. The vast majority are hard to use, confusing, poorly designed, and cast an unfavorable shadow over the brand.
- It's now a two-way conversation. Listen, respond, and talk intelligently. Stop dictating to customers. It's your customers, not you, that have the power.
Lovely stuff and worth putting into action rightaway!