Quick Bites on Marketing, Customer Service, Employees, and Social Media

I am giving a talk today to a private company who is exploring the use of social media as an internal tool. I certainly want to recommend these books, first Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social TechnologiesGroundswell, by Charline Li and Josh Bernoff, and also Empowered: Unleash Your Employees, Energize Your Customers, and Transform Your Business, by Josh Bernoff and Ted Schadler.

Below is a link to the HERO Diagnostic tool (Highly Empowered Resourceful Operatives) Forrester has shared with us, to help companies evaluate their resources and look in very direct and simple terms: do you have what it takes to engage in social technologies and if not, how do you identify what is missing and how do you get it?

Key to this discussion are several truisms: what used to be thought of as slogans or biz school clichés that have proven themselves to be as true as ever in the context of our always on, socially connected world:
* Relationship Marketing It has proven itself to be the core building block. Social networks have shown us how “insignificant” touch points become the tipping point for purchasing decisions and brand affiliations.
* Everyone is in sales. With people talking about their real lives in real time on places like Facebook, it is not possible to build firewalls around the day job. Our work and our play now interweave and influence both our social and our buying behaviors.
* Customer service is marketing is customer service. Yes it is a perennial feedback loop and you can no longer separate one from the other.

The takeaway for me is that it doesn’t matter so much where you begin – we are a co-creative wholistic organism these days and external customers and internal employees are no longer on opposite sides of the fence. Any investment in either side is bound to have a ripple effect. Having said that though, if you are a risk-averse company I heartily agree that investing in training inside the company is the smart way to proceed. Why stress out unnecessarily?

Photo Credit: Employee of the Quarter by absoblogginlutely on Flickr.com

UPDATE March 11, 2011: More links!
1) Since a lot of you use Android phones, here are Five Ways to Keep Your Android Phone Secure.
2) Watch the Social Media Revolution again and again.
3) Watch the entire interview on Multitasking with Clifford Nass, Stanford professor at gigaom.com.
4) Watch the entire series of seven video episodes from my embark to the USS Nimitz.
5) Check out some of the conversation on Twitter via @mktgconf. (I can only imagine what this will look like next year!)

I have sent a summary of the questionnaire data to Jondi for internal distribution, along with a copy of The Cluetrain Manifesto to keep in your library. Here is a link to my main presentation if you want to download and save a copy. (PDF; 967K)


You can find and play with HERO and all of the other interactive tools here at Forrester.com. (Update: I removed the embedded copy as it was breaking the code on our blog. Just follow the link to use the interactive form on their web site.)