Customer 2.0

New word for old fashioned values

I *do* like Tara Hunt’s take on “helping out for free” – and since she’s making a thing of it, there’s a good chance that culture will shift a notch or two in that direction. You can’t eat Whuffie (but it’s getting harder to eat without it) | ::HorsePigCow:: marketing uncommon

(Thanks to Hugh MacLeod & Twitter for the heads up)

Whuffle has been part of my web experience since the early days of Fast Company London in 97/98 (FC London was the vortex that drew me into this working life) – pitch in, share ideas, expecting only shared knowledge, thanks and companionship in return. But the network built a decade ago still pays back.

I hope that Project VRM may offer something similar – we’ve had the whuffle talk – and folk are involved because, well, because it’s a cause we believe in. I’ll be interested to see the reactions to 20 minute conference talk – with added VRM – in Delhi next week. It’s very interesting to see how readily the ‘old’ marketing economy is thinking about VRM – there’s an article by Doc Searls, Alan Mitchell & Iain Henderson in this month’s IDM Journal (text for members only, I’m afraid).

real, social marketing

When folk talk about ‘marketing to social networks’ , you can be pretty sure (from their language) if they’re about to spam a community.  The wrong way to go about it is to think like a broadcast, analogue advertiser, and think what message can be put infront of the greatest number of eyeballs.

Making that message interactive is a just-about-acceptable half way house to…

Properly engaging folk
By giving them soemthing they can contribute to
That lets folk/customers change the company & its product/service, in even the most miniscule way.

There’s a conversation going on at the mo’ ’bout ‘social objects ‘(Gapingvoid is a great entry point, as are Jyri Engestrom’s slides on slideshare (who coined the term). And here’s a cracking example….

Howies make clothes; they’re a responsible company, in every way. <declaration: today I’m mostly wearing Howies jeans /declration>  So when they open their first store you’d expect a brand/web/shop social object. It’s described on Russell Davies’ blog  – and involves a heath robinson contraption to print photos from Howies’ flickr group. Looks like a thing of beauty – as a marketing concept and in store (must make a point of visiting.)

Two digital marketing strategies

Seth nails it: there’s two ways to market online – burn permission with frequency (make money  now, rebuild your customer base later), or engage, and dig in for a longer haul, but with permission.

I’ve always been a fan of the latter – work the customer base, with their consent, to grow your network by engaging theirs. Rather than talking about ‘permission’ which has a kinda ‘yes/no, once & for all time’ feel to it, I think of this as ‘consent’ –  it has a softer feel to the relationship, & maybe there’s more of a 2 way sense to the relationship.

BBC & TheCloud’s free wifi deal

This is massive.

It’s a breakthrough: free wifi & useful, entertaining content… I wonder if the BBC’s streaming tv will be included?

“The BBC has signed a deal with wireless network operator The Cloud to offer its customers online services over WiFi free of charge.

Customers with any WiFi enabled device will be able to surf the BBC’s web site in all 7,500 of The Cloud’s hotspots without paying a log-in or subscription fee.”
from VNUNet

Sadly news coverage of this innovative deal will get lost in coverage of the BBC’s budget & staffing plans. But I believe that it’s this kind of deal that defines public service broadcasting in a digital, networked society.

social networking & business roundup article

A nice piece by David Bowen that captures ‘where we’re up to’ on social networking

…and includes this gem
“The price is that it is important to give away really valuable
information, because only this will be picked up. “The first thing you
have to do is relinquish control,””

Nailed it.
There’s no point in sharing information that everybody knows.
If you’re an expert, share stuff that only you know, that everybody else (who is interested) will find useful.

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A stand on internet privacy from Google

“Privacy laws have not kept up with the reality of the internet and
technology, where we have vast amounts of information and every time a
credit card is used online, the data on it can move across six or seven
countries in a matter of minutes,” Mr Fleischer told the Financial
ahead of his speech.

This is good.

It may be a partially-formed thought at the moment, but without Google’s participation, any initiative will struggle to become a standard. With Google’s involvement, online practice and laws have a chance of defending our privacy – but in ways that are practical for individuals and lawyers, and commercially sound for online businesses.

So for example A Bill of Rights for Users of the Social Web and has a lot more chance of becoming accepted if it’s adopted by Google – and Skype. It’ll be interesting to see how the two approaches compare.

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Techcrunch on social networks/local search in the UK

’tis the new big thing: local search + social network recommendations.

Actually, I saw a broadsheet Sunday newspaper quoting research that ‘we’ trust our friends’ and communities’ restaurant  recommendations more than we trust professional restaurant reviewers – so maybe there’s something in this social networking, reviews, and local search thing?!

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