Feb 08, 2008

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10 Ways Brands Can Benefit from Joining the Conversation As a leader you can feel almost bamboozled from people saying phrases such as - "Join the conversation, collaborate, engage employees, listen to the customer" but I think we need to understand that all these things only work if you Take action based on what you learn from listening. Decrease the time from listening and taking action, otherwise the moment has passed. Build your findings into an improvement action plan...what gets measured, gets done. Change emphasis from data collection to filtering what the data really means. Change the emphasis from looking at what has happened to what can we do in the future. Increase the tolerance to risk. Calculated risk of course, but risk that is trying to take the company forward. To engage means trying new things, new things are not certain, new things may or may not work but standing still will never win in the long run. Truly put the employee or customer engagement at the heart of why you are doing it, rather than as a marketing exercise. If not, the measurable impact will be reduced and even harder to measure. Track progress of the collaboration - employee satisfaction, customer satisfaction, retention, loyalty, added value etc Understand that your role is moving from controlling to monitoring. Understand that value should be placed on leaders/managers who can build relationships, inspire to action, communciate, take decisions,....i.e more emphasis on emotional intelligence as a reason for promotion. Joining the conversation internally or externally is the first step towards engagement, it is not the final step though. It is using the information, the ideas to create change within the business. Otherwise all your hard work will count for nothing. Conversation + Conversion (of Ideas) + Commitment = Success

Anna Farmery

Social Marketing Architect, Speaker, Author and in spare time completing PhD on the future of the social business model

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