George Colony of Forrester has a quick and interesting read for what he tells CEOs on Web 2.0 (free registration required). I agree with his points, but I think there are a few more to be made.
George does a good job confronting CEOs with the change in control—customers control you, not vice-versa. He also rightly points out that most Web sites are lousy.
In my new book, Do It Wrong Quickly, I also point out a few other things. First, it’s not just about listening to what customers say (although that is important), it is also about watching what they do. One of the reasons that Web sites are lousy is that no one pays attention to where customers click, where they abandon, and whether they buy. By applying direct marketing principles for measuring and improving response, marketers find they immediately improve their Web site. By employing techniques such as multivariate testing, they often improve their response rates by 30% within a few months.
But it’s not even about just listening and watching, it’s about responding. How quickly can you change what you are doing when it’s not working? Are you prepared to change your message, your offer, your products? The companies with this fast-response culture are the ones that are satisfying customers.
When I say “do it wrong quickly,” I am not proposing that you try to do things the wrong way—I am getting you to admit that whatever we do is usually wrong. Our first try, no matter how well considered, is probably off the mark. We need to come to terms with this reality, listen to what customers say and do in reaction to what we do, and then do something else.
Marketing 2.0 is as much about paying attention as getting attention. That’s the biggest change.