What Will It Take?

by Jay Deragon on 01/24/2009

As more and more markets shift to “social media” as the new way for reaching customers and building relations more and more will fail. Social Media is just a means but unless your business philosophy and management methods are aligned with the means it may cost you dearly.

Every business owner shares one thing in common: the desire to create a stable, steady business that achieves profitability and grows over time. But not every business owner knows the secret formula that makes that possible. In its most complete form, marketing is about much more than letting people know your business exists, although that’s an important piece of the puzzle. In fact, in many ways, getting the word out is one of the last steps in a good marketing plan. In order to succeed, a company must establish relationships with customers.??????

Jay Conrad Levinson, inventor of the concept of guerilla marketing and author of the best-selling marketing series on the topic. Levinson has dubbed three imperatives the “guerilla’s manifesto” and, in fact, they truly describe what it takes to launch a marketing campaign that will drive your company to success.

The strong, lasting relationships that will ensure a company’s success are built on:

  1. • Establishing trust and rapport
  2. • Understanding customers’ needs
  3. • Providing real benefits

In many ways, these three imperatives all reiterate one central concept: The relationships between successful businesses and their customers depend on careful understanding and reliable fulfillment of human needs. The business owner understands what people need, and does everything he can to meet those needs.

What Does It Take?

A business can adopt the use of social media to market the company’s offering but to truly sustain long term success management must change its method. Changing management methods take time but given the state of all this social stuff time is something you can’t afford.

To catch up with the emergence of the relationship economy companies will have to reengineer themselves quickly. Social Media happens at the click of a mouse and transparency as to how good you really are can no longer be covered up my slick marketing messages. A fundamental restructuring of the organizations management methods and even in some case the entire management team may need to be changed. Social Media will and is fueling change in business methods and markets will follow those that match their methods with their social media message.

Fundamental, structural changes may take place slowly.

The last transformational changes in management methods was introduced to the world during the 1970’s and 80’s. The call for changing management methods was labeled as “The Quality Movement” and the guru behind the principals and methods was Dr. W. Edwards Deming. The change reactions started from this movement can still be felt and seen today.

The effects of those changes can take even longer to materialize The results are obvious, Toyota has won the game, 57 years after they have implemented William Edwards Deming’s 14 management principles: Toyota Aims to Be No. 1 in 2008 Vehicle Sales

Toyota, while engaged in all this social stuff, has their priorities right and subsequently has been serving the interest of the customer for years. So ask yourself, which comes first, social media or management methods?

Not many managers or business leaders will like this message. After all, the message shines the light and exposes the effectiveness and efficiency of the methods management uses, or doesn’t use, to run the business.

Get it?

What say you?

{ 2 comments }

Aron Stevenson February 9, 2009 at 1:03 pm

BUSINESS – What Will It Take ? by Jay Deragon – build relationships with your customers – http://is.gd/hQDf

Dan January 24, 2009 at 10:41 pm

Here’s a case study from a Seattle resident: Starbucks is closing stores and laying off staff – what else is an overpriced, over built coffee shop to do in a recession?

They can become the ground zero of social media. With underutilized space during off-hours, they can sponsor communities of practice (engineers, coders, sales groups), entrepreneurs, blog clubs, and “Meet-ups”. There is a huge market for the 2-10 people getting together to discuss a start-up, community project, or self-employment. Serve up a projector, a screen, and 1/2 price coffee for such groups and gain “all of the above”.

Why are these things so difficult for corporations to see?

Nice post Jay

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