This post is not about introducing new terminology, as its title might suggest. This post is about exploring thoughts and new directions for a marketers approach in an increasingly competitive world. A world in which the Social Customer seems to be calling the shots. A world that is not yet comfortable about sustainable economic recovery and a business world that is interested but somewhat scared to embark upon new ways to interact and build social relationships with their Customers. Value co-creating relationships that is.
Marketers have been among the first people that seek to understand the implications of social media for their businesses. First and utmost they have been exploring ways to use these new media for their traditional marketing activities. Most will have discovered by now that traditional “push & shout” techniques do not work. But there will be new ones entering the social landscape that will fail too.
Adoption of a new marketing logic
In my humble opinion marketers do not only need to adapt their approaches in engaging with Customers or trying to influence Customers. Marketers need to adopt a new logic. A logic that is not based on Goods Dominant Logic, but on Service Dominant Logic. A goods dominant logic approach is focused mostly on creating momentum for value exchange or “the sale”. A service dominant logic is based upon the understanding that value for the Customer is created in the use of a product or service offered by a Company.
Influence of relationships in Customer networks
At the same time we are just beginning to understand how relationships in networks of Customers influence others. Customer activities in online social networks, which evidently leaves a trail of data, may help us understand this better, but is at the same time also influencing the way this influencing works. We are also seeing that Customers are helping other Customers improve their experience with products and services. As this may sound appealing, because the Customer is doing part of your job, it is also hindering the marketer from contributing to the Customer’s value creation process. In turn this takes away opportunity to increase value for the company. Value which should no longer be solely defined in terms of money, but should also be defined in terms of referral-value and network-value.
What are the implications for marketers job?
How does this all help the marketer? What are the implications of adopting a Service Dominant Logic and understanding that social Customer relationships in Customers’ networks highly influence the value creating capabilities of the marketer. How can your company benefit from these idea’s and what does this mean for the jobs marketers need to do?
Below you will find a presentation in which I present my views on these questions. On the side I have slightly changed my Social CRM Strategy Framework Statement, based on these new insights. And please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments too.
You will find a list of reference articles, that represent and have shaped my views, at the end of the deck.