Stages of the Social Engagement Journey

Monday, February 7th, 2011

Every Monday I try to read news on Social Media, Digital Marketing, and so on. I allow myself a couple of hours of internet browsing before the «week» starts to attack me and I end up on Friday totally defeated..  Today I found a very interesting blog that tries to explain the five stages of a Social Engagement Journey. Let me reproduce you parts of of it and give you the link for the complete article after my comments.

Stage 1 of the journey is traditional command and control. One-way communication with customers is the norm, and the various functional units in a company operate relatively independently.

– Well,  I would say more than Stage 1, this would be the status where most of companies that have more than 10 yeras of existence normally are.

Stage 2 usually involves 1-2 individuals or teams who begin experimenting with social engagement. These mavericks can appear in any part of the organization but are often in marketing or support groups. There may be multiple mavericks in a company, but they are not yet connected to each other. Teams in this stage emphasize direct customer engagement, likely breaking or bending internal rules to make it happen

This is totally true. Problem is that the speed of implementation of social engagement will depend on how high in hierarchy are these people, and how open minded is the top management. Some managers still look at numbers and only at numbers..while they should look at the people who allow them to have these numbers, that is, their customers.

Stage 3 is when companies begin getting serious about social. A formal team may be empowered to  help operationalize social engagement, or there are informal internal communities that drive progress. At this stage, companies emphasize training, policies, measurement frameworks and common engagement platforms.

And this is the stage when everyone goes crazy and either loses faith in what they do, and this is transmittable to the customers, or just produce enormous process to fulfill easy things. One needs to be careful at this stage and try to implement those processes and programs that naturally fit with the nature of our business.

Stage 4 usually means social engagement is delivering real business results. Executive support is broad, and engagement efforts are built into forecasts and annual plans. Customer listening is the norm, and multiple individuals within business units and functional groups are empowered to engage directly with customers and prospects

– This is the ideal stage, but only achievable if we have gain the confidence of our customers to engange with us. No matter how many social programms we do, unless we do offer quality information, and quality time to our customers, it wont work.

Stage 5 is probably nirvana given that many of the tools to achieve this stage don’t exist yet for enterprise-level companies, but we call it the Fully Engaged Enterprise. In it, companies experience breakthrough business results based on deep customer engagement. Customers say things like “You know what I need before I do” and “my life is better because of you,» or “I trust you.” That said, there’s a lot of foundation work to do in Stages 1-4, regardless of technology.

Of course. Yes, this will be the final goal. But, do you really think there is just one single company capable of offering: «the need before you feel it ?». I believe this stage would rather be the results of driving the marketing strategies based on the outcome from Stage 4.

These were my comments, and this is the link for this intereseting post:

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