During the Industrial Age, the power asymmetry between vendor and customer got so steep that vendors got to talking about customers as if the latter were cattle or slaves. Customers became “targets” that vendors “captured,” “acquired,” “locked in” and “managed.” As the Information Age dawned, however, customers gradually became more independent. So, midway into the second decade of the new millennium, customers were no longer the ones being managed. Nor, however, were vendors. Instead, relationship itself was managed by both parties.
This gets to my issue about broadcast media, which includes broadcast strategies deployed in “social media” contexts, which we see often enough to know that the cluetrain hasn’t quite left the station. Marketing culture doesn’t warm to symmetrical, interactive customer engagement – for many marketing professionals, a VRM approach feels inefficient and cedes too much control to the customer (though VRM is about finding technologies that make the interactions more efficient). I’m building my practice around facilitating relationships (businesses/customers, ngos/constituents – I’m especially interested in the latter, working with mission-driven organizations).
Out of time for now, but more to come.