Last week, I heard Forrester’s Charlene Li speak at a business marketer’s luncheon where she gave a comprehensive overview of how social technologies are transforming business. Charlene laid out a framework for how businesses should be approaching the emerging (and at times daunting) consumer-controlled marketplace that nicely dovetailed with Jennifer’s recent post about the Scout Labs Hierarchy of Needs. The basic premise: There are low-level, but critical business needs (like crisis management) that social technologies can and do address readily, and that higher level business needs (like becoming a customer-centric organization) are also very well served by getting across CGM.
When asked about the biggest hurdle companies face when seeking to become more tuned in to CGM, Charlene responded that executive buy in was still a big hurdle for some marketers and by far the single largest factor that contributes to success when adopting a social media strategy.
I caught this piece in the New York Times yesterday that gave a nice list of healthy examples of top executives that have actively embraced the new world of social media. I thought it excellent ammunition for marketers who are looking for convincing arguments to the powers that be that it’s not only time to start listening, but to invest in tools and best-practices for keeping up with consumer-controlled conversations.
If that doesn’t do the trick, keep your eye out for Charlene’s soon to be released book, Groundswell: Winning in a World of Social Technologies, in which I’m sure the case for a well-supported social media strategy at will be aptly made.