Disconnected In a Connected World

The Break Up

copyright © 2010 Betsy L. Angert.  BeThink.org

Today many businesses are disconnected in a connected world.  Corporations seek customers.  Potential purchasers can access concisely presented persuasive information.   Clients are sold products.  Support?  Some may be available sometimes .  Web pages are Marketing Tools.  No real relationships emerge let alone evolve.  Technology used serves the organization. Commerce has too little concern for consumer needs. Executives and enterprises pay less attention to what is authentically desired.  Conversation.  In the search for potential patrons companies ignore what is right in front of their faces and in their hearts; people are gregarious.  

Humans are social animals.  We each crave a connection.  Facebook and Twitter founders understood this.  The statistics overwhelming show this.  Yet, rather than embrace what is real, organizations opt for what causes a break-up.  

The results of ongoing research shows that organizations have begun to invest in social media, but barely.  Only those companies who respond to purchasers’ real lives seem to see a need for a truer Internet experience.  Most simply stumble into the medium blindly.  Few realize that what occurs in cyberspace is a conversation.  Hence, businesses, big and small, for profit and not, use sales and marketing approaches to seek loyalty or brand awareness.

Organizational budgets reflect a lack of understanding; America is “wired.”  Please peruse the profound truths evident in a recent Pew Research Center Publication, The Future of Online Socializing, Older Adults and Social Media or Gadget Ownership.

In relationship to the technology and the Internet, most relevant for many corporations is what The Temkin Group, a customer experience research and consulting firm considers the Top 10 Customer Experience Incompetencies.

Authentic interest and Interactions are near void.  Instead, reliance on the pitfalls is prevalent.  Frequently, corporate web sites, tools available to prospective customers, and current clients are marketing ploys.  Employees are not served much better.  At times, participatory platforms are accessible.  Yet, even these do not fully engage consumers.  Unknowingly, businesses build barriers when bridges need to be built.  Perchance, organizations will look at what is thought to be wise and wonderful, then, assess.   Why is it that conventional wisdom does not work well? In the World-Wide-Web  

Study: Companies invest in social media for loyalty purposes

August 31, 2010

A conclusion that can be drawn from overall survey results is that the use of social media as a marketing tool is still in the early experimental stage. “Marketers across all sectors are involved in social media,” said DMA Research Manager Yoram Wurmser. “However, after five or six years in the space, and growing social media budgets, marketers are still testing the waters to figure out what works, with the incentive to accelerate their efforts being driven by consumers’ rapid adoption of this trend.” In fact, research from Nielsen released this week shows that consumers are spending 43% more time on social media than a year ago, making social networking and blogs the top online activity followed by online games and email.

One of the key revelations from the research is that the absolute dollar amount marketers are setting aside for social media is low:

  • When asked what percentage of their company’s overall marketing budget is spent on social media, the largest group, covering 24% of survey takers, selected “don’t know”
  • 17% of respondents said they allocated only 1% of their annual marketing budget to social media
  • 16% said they allocate 4-5%
  • Smaller companies with tighter budgets are significantly more likely than large companies to say they spend almost 50% of their marketing budget on social media.

Another key finding reveals a lack of metrics for success differentiated by objective:

  • When asked to identify the most important measure of social media success, nearly two-thirds of respondents selected “don’t know
  • Of those who identified a measurement, the largest group, covering 20%, said engaging customers to respond and provide feedback
  • 65% of respondents said they’re not using any listening tools to monitor what their customers are saying about their brand

Organizations often adopt strategies that experts say offer near certain doom. Tycoons think “If they build it, buyers will come.”  Executives “Follow the leaders,” rather than distinguish themselves or recognize the unique world that is theirs alone.  “Blatant sales pitches” scatter the landscape . . . and lose sales as well as once loyal support.  “Social media is treated as though it were a one-way street, an island, or the work of lowly staffers.”

The Ten Harsh Truths About Corporate Websites are avoided.  Sales and Marketing departments are assigned a task that is not their specialty, rather than engaging in a conversation, they create a monologue.  Information Technology departments are seen as soothsayers rather than divisions that do well in the delivery of complex tools.  Organizations mistakenly believe their webpage is all about them.  Thus, a greater disconnect is established.  Disconnects and subsequent breakups between consumers and companies that do not genuinely communicate are common.

References and Resources; Reality of a Connected Customer, Client, Potential consumer . . .

Sad Conversations With Bushies

copyright © 2007 Possum Ponders.  Sedalia Tales

One recent morning as twelve of us stood on the sidewalk for our regular Saturday morning vigil, a young (thirty-something) man approached.  He smiled and seemed friendly enough with his greeting.  He said he’d seen us there the week before and just wished to see what we were about.  Our signs made very clear just what we were about.  We mourn for those who have died and protest the war in an effort to end the ongoing succession of deaths.  Signs always include the number of Americans killed in Iraq to date and today included at least one with the “T” word.  We are pretty outspoken overall and even at that do practice measured restraint in our messages.  More beyond the fold.

Recognizing our hats (mine says Vietnam Veteran) and the uniform shirt of another man, he stumbled over the words “so you are veterans.”  Not all of us are, but two of us right in front of him just happened to be.  Then the one way conversation began with “What do you think we should do about terrorists and what about the Buddhist terrorists?”  (his words, not mine).  No amount of explanation of either fact or history was to deter the young man.  He continued to be polite but misinformed through a several minute conversation.  One member of the group gave him a DVD to review and we all invited him back next week to continue the interaction.

Hard as we tried, none of the three of were able to penetrate the right-wing slogan spouting ideas the man posited.  We simply could find no common ground from which to begin a real conversation.  His ideas were set in bedrock and we had no drill strong enough to penetrate the barrier.

Today’s episode reminded me of last weekend spent with my creationist, fundamentalist Christian, right-winger, war supporting son.  He is an adult who lives with a wife in North Carolina.  We spent a weekend as father and son in Virginia Beach.  Our goal was to find some of the connections we had when he was younger.  Just as we have so many times, we were forced at last to keep the conversation to light subjects for complete lack of common ground.  Saturday was spent hanging out in the hotel room while he watched TV and I followed a childhood story diary of mine on Kos.  Our only meaningful conversation had to do with creationism.  Even there we had no middle ground.  At least he agreed to read a book on the subject.  I mailed the book early this week.  Will be interesting to see if he finds any place for the book in his life.

How do we approach these closed minds.  I am at a breaking point in frustration.  So many are so misled and continue to ignore facts in the face of the fiction being put out from the administration.  Finding common ground is sometimes outside my reach even though I pride myself on being a somewhat sane and very rational human being.  Whatever are we to do indeed?

Crossposted from Daily Kos.