Marketers act as though we are all cattle waiting to be herded into a transaction. It seems as though the prevailing thought about all this social technology is that it enables organizations to “herd” us into their community and they use “tricks of the trade” to do so.
Ever consider what is the intention of the large social networks? Facebook wants our traffic so they can sell ads to the marketers. The market still fails to understand that we don’t want ads rather we’re looking for conversations that have an affinity to our own intentions.
What Is Your Intention?
Doc Searls writes: My thinking out loud about what came to be called VRM began with The Intention Economy at Linux Journal, which I posted from a seat amidst the audience at the 2006 eTech in San Diego. The money ‘graphs:
The Intention Economy grows around buyers, not sellers. It leverages the simple fact that buyers are the first source of money, and that they come ready-made. You don’t need advertising to make them.
The Intention Economy is about markets, not marketing. You don’t need marketing to make Intention Markets.
The Intention Economy is built around truly open markets, not a collection of silos. In The Intention Economy, customers don’t have to fly from silo to silo, like a bees from flower to flower, collecting deal info (and unavoidable hype) like so much pollen. In The Intention Economy, the buyer notifies the market of the intent to buy, and sellers compete for the buyer’s purchase. Simple as that.
The Intention Economy is built around more than transactions. Conversations matter. So do relationships. So do reputation, authority and respect. Those virtues, however, are earned by sellers (as well as buyers) and not just “branded” by sellers on the minds of buyers like the symbols of ranchers burned on the hides of cattle.
The Intention Economy is about buyers finding sellers, not sellers finding (or “capturing”) buyers.
In The Intention Economy, a car rental customer should be able to say to the car rental market, “I’ll be skiing in Park City from March 20-25. I want to rent a 4-wheel drive SUV. I belong to Avis Wizard, Budget FastBreak and Hertz 1 Club. I don’t want to pay up front for gas or get any insurance. What can any of you companies do for me?” — and have the sellers compete for the buyer’s business…
I also believe we need to start viewing economies, and markets, from the inside out: from the single buyer toward the surrounding world of sellers. And to start constructing technical solutions to the buyer’s problem of getting what he or she wants from markets, rather than the seller’s problem of getting buyers’ attention.
Doc is a man who sees a system of complexity and tries to make it simple, useful and meaningful. His original work, The Cluetrain Manifesto, was based on the theme that “markets are conversations” and he has worked to build a new system (VRM) which truly enables a new way for markets to operate.
Markets are born out of innovation that fuels consumption. Consumption fueled the industrial economy which created behemoth institutions, large amounts of capital and greed. Market leaders believed their methods, their products and their power was the reason why the market existed.
The information economy fueled broader market awareness from which markets became smarter, more informed and “connected”. This information was fueled by and from communications enabled by emerging technology. Information then created new knowledge for market consumption. Knowledge was then propagated through relationships formulated on-line and off-line. The aggregation of consumer conversations enabled by technology fueled awareness of market methods and intents. Consumers found influence from relationships and have begun to “opt out” of the old methods created by the markets.
Social technology has created a transparency of intent. Intent is a relational attribute that reveals motive. The “markets of conversations” are no longer motivated by old methods used by the markets over the last 40 years. As Doc has said so well “The Intention Economy is built around more than transactions. Conversations matter. So do relationships. So do reputation, authority and respect. Those virtues, however, are earned by sellers (as well as buyers) and not just “branded” by sellers on the minds of buyers like the symbols of ranchers burned on the hides of cattle.”
Markets will no longer be herded into a transaction.
Stay tuned for Doc’s new book “The Intention Economy”. Like The Cluetrain Manifesto I am sure his new book will lay yet another foundation of knowledge to be used to build a better future.