Francois Gossieaux, co-author of The Hyper-Social Organization: Eclipse Your Competition by Leveraging Social Media was stopped in the hallway for this quick interview and discussed customer service as being the only true differentiator left, unless your Apple! Francois happens to be an upcoming guest on the Business901 Podcast.
The book is an enjoyable read and digs into the use of social media in business. It is not a tool book. For example both Twitter and Facebook are barely mentioned in the book. I felt this book coincides with my thoughts on social media. It also follows on the same lines of John Hagel in his book, The Power of Pull: How Small Moves, Smartly Made, Can Set Big Things in Motion.
From the book:
Lead Generation through the Hyper-Social Lens
“Where are my leads, and why am I gelling crappy leads from my marketing department?” If you have been anywhere near the intersection sales and marketing recently, these are questions that you have probably heard – perhaps many times over. Many senior sales executives are still looking for a predictable flow of leads at the end of a lead acquisition and nurturing “funnel.” And while many marketers have been struggling with setting expectations for predictable lead deliver, for more than a decade, their sense of panic and angst about this issue has risen to alarming levels
So what’s going on?
For starters, the funnel metaphor is broken. People no longer are making buying decisions in a linear fashion, going from awareness, to familiarity to consideration, evaluation, and purchase or perhaps they never did. Second, people are now turning to their peers, friends, and other users of a particular product for advice instead of to the company. Third, the potential number of choices that prospects can have in their product consideration set is much larger than it has ever been before, and the information sources through which those products can become part of buyers’ consideration sets has grown exponentially as well.
In the Business901 Podcast with Francois we discussed these concepts and others which I found equally enlightening and from my observations, today’s reality. When I discuss Lean Marketing in the sense of pull, most Continuous Improvement experts struggle with the concept. They relate it directly to Lean manufacturing. Even service related Lean practices struggle with it. Talking to Francois, I discovered most traditional organizations do. The Pull concept in marketing is about knowledge creation. I think you can still use the funnel metaphor but in a totally different way. Instead of the traditional progression through stages it is about an expansion of organizational knowledge.
Greater opportunities exist when your organization interacts with your customers on a peer to peer basis. One of the measures I consider for a Lean organization is how deep in an organization can a customer penetrate? This is done through the social context of the organization which enables multiple touch points for both you and the customer. Deeper penetration with a customer is a result of the increase in knowledge that you co-create.
This is just one example of the knowledge creation funnel that successful companies are using. Lean principles such as Respect for People and PDCA reinforces these. The PDCA (Knowledge Creation) spiral exists and IMHO the reason that Lean is the future of Marketing.
Lean Marketing Creates Knowledge for the Customer
Why Lean Marketing? Because it is the Future of Marketing …
The Pull in Lean Marketing
The 7 step Lean Process of Marketing to Toyota
The Marketing Knowledge Spiral