...Consumers will rely on their peers as they make online decisions, whether or not brands choose to participate. Socially connected consumers will strengthen communities and shift power away from brands and CRM systems; eventually this will result in empowered communities defining the next generation of products.Here are 3 of the 5 ways brands should prepare:
- Connect with Advocates: Focus on customer advocates, they will sway over prospects, and could defend against detractors. Their opinion is trusted more than yours, and when the power shifts to community, and they start to define what products should be, they become more important than ever.
- Evolve your Enterprise Systems: Your enterprise systems will need to connect to the social web. Social networks and their partners are quickly becoming a source of customer information and lead generation beyond your CRM system. CMS systems will need to inherit social features--pressure your vendors to offer this, or find a community platform.
- Shatter your Corporate Website: In the most radical future, content will come to consumers--rather than them chasing it--prepare to fragment your corporate website and let it distribute to the social web. Let the most important information go and spread to communities where they exist; fish where the fish are.