Business follows different methods to build and deliver to the masses. Creating market differential aimed at specific markets is the means for creating market movement. Think of the Apple IPhone as an example of creating and delivering market differential and thus movement.
What and Where are the Markets?
A market is a social structure for exchange of rights, which enables people, firms and products to be evaluated and priced. A market allows buyers and sellers to discover information and carry out a voluntary exchange of goods or services. It is one of the two key institutions for organizing trade. In everyday usage, the word “market” may also refer to the location where goods and services are traded, or in other words, the marketplace of transactions.
Business is a Web of Conversational Transactions
A conversational transaction is an agreement, communication, or movement carried out between separate entities or individuals. These conversations often involve the exchange of items of value, such as information, introductions, knowledge, services and sometimes money. These conversational transactions evolve into relationships based on an affinity defined between two parties then thousands of individuals collectively forming a “swarm” of transactional conversations centric to affinities.
These collective relationships then form into markets being defined by the “collective parties engaging in conversations“. Think about how customers thrilled or disappointed with a new product or service converse with others thus creating a web of conversations that influence others. Think about employees disappointed with employers and the influence the subsequent conversations have when promulgated into the marketplace of people. The marketplace is where the conversation are occurring, the conversational transactions are the influence on the marketplace, any marketplace, your marketplace.
The Social Web is the Marketplace of Conversations
The social web is the new marketplace fueled by conversations and relationships formed at the intersection of people and technology. Web 1.0 was about delivering information. Web 2.0 is about enabling conversations which in turn create transactions. Thus the appropriate label of the “social web”.
Doc Searls book, The Cluetrain Manifesto, and on his blog often and regularly he refers to three categories of activity which are fueled and enabled by the power of the web. These are: transactions, conversations and relationships. Doc writes “In too many markets the mix of the three is warped and strained. Too much of the conversation is insincere, preachy, hollow or otherwise bullshit. And the current methods used by businesses pollutes both conversation and relationship.”
“Networked markets are beginning to self-organize faster than the companies that have traditionally served them. Thanks to the web, markets are becoming better informed,” Some of Doc’s key points are:
- These networked conversations are enabling powerful new forms of social organization and knowledge exchange to emerge.
- As a result, markets are getting smarter, more informed, more organized. Participation in a networked market changes people fundamentally.
- People in networked markets have figured out that they get far better information and support from one another than from vendors. So much for corporate rhetoric about adding value to commoditized products.
- There are no secrets. The networked market knows more than companies do about their own products. And whether the news is good or bad, they tell everyone.
- What’s happening to markets is also happening among employees. A metaphysical construct called “The Company” is the only thing standing between the two.
- Corporations do not speak in the same voice as these new networked conversations. To their intended online audiences, companies sound hollow, flat, literally inhuman.
- In just a few more years, the current homogenized “voice” of business—the sound of mission statements and brochures—will seem as contrived and artificial as the language of the 18th century French court.smarter, and more demanding of qualities missing from most business organizations.
The Social Web of Business
Business is about markets, methods and masses. The markets are the relationships, people. The methods are about the conversation and the masses is about the reach of the transactions. To win in the relationship economy a business must have solid market relations, honest, open and frank conversations which in turn fuel the transactions, results.
The Relationship Economy is about people, one to one to millions, transacting in the form of conversations but openly, honestly and at velocities never before experienced. These transactions enable new relationships to be formed with a global reach and formed within what we have come to call the social web.
These conversations are about anything, everything, anybody and everybody. These conversations are nonstop able, fluid, frank and with no hierarchy of control, they are free and without constraint. This represents a movement of markets and unless business understands the methods they will loose the masses and the subsequent transactions.
It is that simple yet hard for business to grasp considering the current state of mind. “It” requires a different mindset, a focus on human factors and understanding the value of “real” conversations.
What say you?