Sellers knew this and took advantage of the situation and manipulated markets for the sake of higher financial gains. Suppliers were squeezed, employees were expenses, the environment wasn’t a consideration and the entity was a slave to its shareholders.
Then times changed when the internet enabled information about anything and anyone to be freely available. Then buyers became smart and sellers had to provide more information about everything. Not only did the buyer become smarter but so did the employees, the suppliers, the community, and the shareholders so the demand for more information, more transparency and smarter decisions from the seller increased dramatically.
Marketers learned to spin information in entertaining ways. Using social technology sellers used media to look transparent and socially oriented by manipulating “friends and followers” with “rewards and incentives” as a tool to create brand loyalty. New measures followed like engagements, interactions, touch-points, clicks and a host of others means for the new socially oriented seller to justify their efforts to better serve and inform the buyer. But the buyer saw through the seller’s selfish intent and understood that all these efforts were self-serving. The seller’s actions did not represent the needed transformation in thinking about giving people information to create and experience more value.
Then the sellers decided they needed to capture more data about what people really wanted. So the sellers improved their call center performance, their web site analytics’ and the analysis of all the data captured from these interactions. Sellers became obsessed with capturing data of customer interactions at each touch-point while forgetting that a relationship was a journey not a sprint and the intangibles created more value than the tangibles.
Meanwhile internally sellers also became obsessed with capturing data from employee interactions with other employees, with customers and suppliers hoping to learn what can be done to improve productivity and quality of service. Thrilled with the potential meaning of all this Big Data sellers began to believe they could again become smarter and thus increase productivity and profitability faster than ever before.
Meanwhile the human network watched in disbelief as the so called smarter sellers continued in their folly ignoring the wisdom of the crowds and the voice of the people they claim to serve.
Many are simply not able to see the forest for the trees because of their smarts.