In the Customer Strategies area, social ‘everything’ is a happening term. Whether it is called outside/in or CrowdSourcing or Social Network Analysis or “Partners in Co-Creation” or any other equally weak attempt to capture the power of consumer behavior, the hype vessel is at full throttle. And largely without a rudder. Not to say that in advertising there has not been success, or in marketing, or in sales, or in customer service, or in product development. But these are unconnected points of light, like looking into the night sky with no conception that there are formations of constellations and galaxies.
It will not be long before program heads come under severe scrutiny for their social media efforts. Already I am seeing the brilliant department heads who initiated social listening or social analysis leaving for better positions elsewhere. Some of this is like rats from a sinking ship. They smell the water leeching up from the hull, and they don’t want to be there when it floods the deck.
We could be on the cusp of an inverse Halo Effect. Remembering your Psyche 101 or Sociology, this was a bias whereby the possession of one trait (Like Madmen’s Don Draper’s dashing good looks) creates a bias in observers that other attributes of the person or thing are equally terrific. Well, I’m seeing this impact begin to crumble, like the anesthesia is wearing off, and upper management is saying: “What in the heck are all six of you doing running rogue social projects?”
And like the Night of the Long Knives, it will be best to be prepared. As in: have your resume prepared, or have already called the meeting to discuss coordinating strategies.
Here is what you do: pull together all of the performance metrics you have for your social media / co-creation / listening project, put them in a very compelling graphical format, and develop a rudimentary ROI, and publicize the daylights out of it.
We are only in Social 1.0, and the next step is integration of processes, so let’s get ready and pull the pieces of the patchwork together.