Today’s consumer wants to engage with businesses, as they look increasingly for a more ‘conversational’, collaborative relationship with the businesses they deal with.
This is seen from the way that buying decisions are made, with more and more consumers going to the web and engaging socially to find out what others think about a business, product or service, before they buy.
A recent Google study showed that the average shopper used over 10 sources of information to make a decision in 2011, up from around 5 in 2010 – that’s double in a year! In the past they may have asked a neighbour or friend for advice, now it’s potentially hundreds of thousands of people.
But they are not just going to others for advice, they are expecting businesses to have set-up appropriate ‘conversation’ channels they can engage with. Smart businesses are seeing this as a major opportunity. For example, Procter & Gamble slashed R&D budgets by half as they moved from the traditional market research approaches to engaging directly with consumers on social platforms, listening to what they were saying to each other, and posing questions for them to respond to.
If you want to see the impact collaboration is having then take a look at the reputational damage sustained by United Airlines when passenger Dave Carrol’s song “United broke my guitar” went viral.
Many businesses still have their heads in the sand with this, and are neither managing the risk of the increased consumer power, or taking advantage of the huge opportunity of having this sort of access!
Post By Keith Holdt (22 Posts)
Based in London, Keith works for LDC (www.ldc.co.uk), where as an investment executive he supports the boards and senior management teams of portfolio businesses driving value enhancement initiatives that generate shareholder value growth through cash generation, revenue growth and cost saving. Keith is also an associate speaker of TomorrowToday (www.tomorrowtoday.uk.com), an organisation focused on preparing leaders and their organisations for a new world of work, and in this capacity speaks on the impact on businesses of developments in Big Data, social media & hybrid analytics towards improved leadership and corporate decision-making and how this value can be exploited to deliver success. He has acted in an advisory capacity for a number of SME’s and start-ups, and currently serves on the Board of Advisors for Saffron Technologies (www.saffrontech.com), a US-based natural intelligence & hybrid analytics company positioned by both Gartner and Forrester as a market leader in the space.