"Customers (and employees) are tired of traditional communicators, marketers and advertisers. Customers are increasingly cynical and skeptical. They trust leaders less and their own peers more. They are more educated and do more research. They go online to complete a task.
Social media is not some channel in your marketing strategy. Social media is about people talking to people, customers talking to customers. It is the world of the customer, where the organization is a guest. This is a radical change. Organizations are used to telling customers what to do, what to buy. Organizations are used to controlling the message. Traditional organizations are simply not used to customers talking back.
Today, organizations must develop much greater empathy for their customers. In many organizations, customer interactions are controlled by a tight group of people (often in sales and support). Large parts of the organization, including product developers, marketers, content publishers and online professionals, have surprisingly little interaction with or knowledge of the customer.
Without interaction it is very hard to develop empathy. In an online world where customers are increasingly dominant, more in control, more impatient and less loyal, this is a recipe for increasing dissatisfaction. Developing organization-wide empathy for the customer should be a key consideration for modern management. At the most basic level, that means employees observing customer behavior much more.
Strategy must now consider the empowered, social customer and citizen because more than anything else this is how the game and playing field has changed. Strategies that embrace openness and transparency are more likely to succeed today. Strategies that tap into the collective intelligence or wisdom of the crowds are also more likely to be successful."