E-commerce Link: Reality Check
You cannot control your customers anymore. Instead, it's time for you to enter "the conversation" or risk becoming irrelevant to them. And when you start conversing, you must be transparent and humanize yourself. It's imperative to assess the sentiment of your fans and detractors on the Web—take the pulse of your brand image. It's also time to map customers' social graphs and architect personas to keep them within your control.
Rather than look at these typical Web 2.0 statements as valid, let's temporarily invalidate them. No, you haven't lost control of your customers. No, the conversation they're having about you isn't new; it's just amplified and expedited by the Web. Your brand is human, and you are honest with customers.
My point is to demonstrate how such statements that many social media and Web marketing experts apply don't just sound ridiculous; they also signal a disconnect with your core business objectives. The bottom line: They're not in sync with your version of reality.
Making each budget dollar go further is vital to survival. That means realigning the goals of team members with objectives that improve customer connections and ROI. This month, I'm providing tips on getting the job done.
Question Your Consultants
What if "the experts" are wrong? What if they're inhibiting your ability to generate more digital sales, leads and meaningful customer interactions? It's time to ask hard questions of your employees and consultants.
You ask, "I need to sell more products—how can the Web help?" The digital consultant answers, but with a question, "Are you generating buzz about your brand on Facebook?" You have no answer. Poof! Somehow your consultant's question is more relevant and urgent. You wonder are you out of touch? Your sense of reality is challenged.
You may adopt your consultant's new questions—this reality—as your own. Suddenly you're playing catch-up. Your brand isn't in control. You rush into the digital jungle with new-found guides at your side—buzzing, posting and tweeting. But eventually you wonder why your objectives aren't met. The buzz, posts, tweets are novel, but what about sales and leads? What about your reality?