In two short weeks my class will be starting up, and I am amazed by both the passage of time and speed by which new social media and other technologies have become mainstream. An amazing new President swept into the Presidency, in part by harnessing the power of the new tools, and everyone from Intel to the store down the street have jumped on the social media band wagon.
But at some other level the shift between more traditional forms of marketing (think mass marketing and mass media) are still what most of us cling to as we transition from the familiar to something entirely new based on the Internet and social media.
I find it all so incredibly exciting. Sometimes it feels like the creativity of world has been unleashed, and it is right at our fingertips just waiting to be harnessed. But the basics remain the same, in order to succeed a company, like a Presidential candidate must have a strong vision, strategy and plan. I was at a Valley Fortune 500 company the other day which was grappling to redefining its vision, lost in the fog of a transition to something new. The problem was that customers were beginning to rebel. They didn't feel listened to. They felt sold.
The company's sales figures for the past year reflect the drop in trust, and the company is reaching out to consider what they can do. I believe that part of their answer calls for a brand new culture, based on new Internet principles of collaboration and participation, relationships and engagement, over sales. That isn't so much the introduction of a new tool set as a new mind set -- and that is even harder. But just think of the possible rewards.