This Is Not a Company’s Communication to Customers, This is the Conversation of People Who Happen to Work In This Company With People Who Happen to Be the Customers
Marketing 2.0 is not a hard push of advertising to national TV. Too big noise, shrinking audience, skeptic society makes old-school marketers less and less relevant.
The old-school marketing tactics was simple – create a 30 second spot, buy time on national TV and you are the king.
Not true anymore.
The old way of communication when companies spoke through ads or, at the best case, through PR department, are loosing efficiency.
Change from advertising to conversation
Nature of communication between companies and customers are changing. Today customers are skeptic, they have a huge amount of information between their fingertips, they are googling your company, your products, your services. And they end up listening to the third party sources and are reading references of your past buyers.
New social media tools are gaining popularity and even Consumer Reports are facing huge competition with forums or blogs.
The best what you can expect – that your potential customers when they make a decision will come to read blogs, written by your employees. Not your ads, because they don’t trust them anymore, but your blogs.
In most cases it will look like the conversation between people who happen to work in your company with people who happen to be your customers.
No matter how conversation happens, what counts is the customers belief that the people who are blogging or posting in forums, or twittering or talking in any other place are the experts in their fields and are fairly neutral and honest.
That’s why in most businesses social things are so valuable.
A CEO must lead the company’s conversation with customers
Sure, the most common social thing in the new web 2.0 age – a blog.
A blog from your company’s employee with an expertise in his field is one of the most valuable marketing tools today.
The best case is the business blog from the CEO of the company. The highest authority tends to be the most listened and the most reliable source by customers and prospects.
But this business blog must be a business blog, written by the CEO, not by the PR or advertising department. Yes, a CEO can have a blog editor, or a blog coach, but all posts should be written by himself personally.
Because this is not the company’s communication to customers, this is people’s who happen to be the CEOs of the company conversation with people who happen to read the CEO’s blog and happen to be the customers.
The role of CEOs are changing from managing to influencing
Little by little the time of brutual advertising campaigns are passing away.
The time of conversation, honesty, experience, expertise has started.
Today a CEO must stand in the front of that.
Many smart and most successful CEOs are already taking conversations with customers.
In previous times, when conversation was impossible due to technological issues, the most successful CEOs spoke to customers through media. It helped them to build a company and brand.
Now CEOs have a huge opportunity to bypass media and to stand in the forefront of this conversation. And that’s the biggest challenge and opportunity for a CEO.
Because, like Seth Godin said, “People don’t listen to companies, they listen to people”.
Dear CEOs, are you ready?