Monday, June 28, 2010

CrapHammer: A response to Ara Tremblay - "Social Media: Are We Talking About it Because There’s Nothing Else to Talk About?"

Ara Tremblay asks "Social Media: Are We Talking About it Because There’s Nothing Else to Talk About?"

A friend in the insurance space sent this to me and asked for my opinion. I share my response here.


I hear the argument a lot. And I can relate. I cringe every time the topic of defining social media comes up, for example.

And this is the crux of it. We are not talking about a programming language. Or a change in infrastructure.

We are speaking of a significant societal shift - from organizations leveraging technology to accomplish their goals TO individuals leveraging technology to accomplish THEIR goals.

And their goals are MUNDANE. They are ABSURD. And they are anything BUT rational.

And nothing matters more than what consumers say about us as a brand. Nothing.

The outcome of this shift will require significant investments in technologies, infrastructure and new ways to operate for businesses. Those that see it coming will be the most successful because they will be positioning their firm to take advantage vs. those that question whether anything is changing out there.

Look at companies that are embracing this and driving unheard of profits and growth? Zappos offers its successful minimum wage trainees $2,000 to NOT take the job. Dell empowers its employees to fix problems and does not care where they sit - call center or escalation path.


I can certainly relate to Ara's line of questioning.

There is no end to people just filling time with the latest buzz words.

And my company, like any other agency, has to own up to our role in fueling this type of behavior and conversation.

But this is not a new technology.

This is a shift in who is using technology.

Technology has been democratized.

Just as businesses that fell asleep at the wheel were disintermediated by technology in the 1990's, now businesses face being left behind by the very consumers they "serve."...CrapHammer

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