The advent of the social business marketplace represents a startling opportunity for CEOs, both in turns of the upside for their corporations and shareholders, and for the positive impact that brands can have on their customer community and the world at large. But to get there CEOs must make several critical changes that are each very challenging in their own right. These challenges include new ways of thinking at the board level, new organizational structures, a new approach to customer service and new demands placed on all employees, including their supply chain. In execution, there are several changes a CEO must oversee. Here are a few of them:
1. CEOs must embrace the role of serving as the public face of the company to their customer community and the marketplace at large.
2. They must reposition their brand as the chief celebrant of their customer community, rather than its celebrity.
3. They must shift the emphasis from a broadcast and self-focus mentality to one of listening and community service.
4. They must shift their focus from short term profits to meet analyst projections to long-term investments in customer relationships.
5. They must empower their customer community to become co-authors for the brand's narrative in their marketing and communications.
6. They must clearly define the brand's core values and align their communications around those in order to attract a like-minded community of brand advocates.
7. They must encourage a culture of risk, rather than guaranteed return, in order to continue to evolve and prosper in a fast-changing marketplace.
8. They must overcome the inertia that any institution brings and replace it with a fascination with emerging technology.
9. They must expand the focus of their business strategies and marketing to build social capital as well as financial capital.
10. They must understand and recognize the metrics specific to the social business marketplace and reframe how they measure Return on Investment (ROI).
Only when CEOs make these adjustments can they hope to not only inspire a community of loyal customers, but also serve as a leader brand within their category and for the community at large. Such changes are not easy to institute, but are absolutely critical.
We First lays on the specific steps a brand can take to shift from the outdates dynamics of push marketing and a broadcast mentality, to pull marketing and a listening posture that ensures that social media works for a brand rather than against it. (To order your copy of We First, click here and start building the company you want for your shareholders, customers and your community today.)
Reprinted from SimonMainwaring.com
Simon Mainwaring is a branding consultant, advertising creative director, blogger, and speaker. A former Nike creative at Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, and worldwide creative director for Motorola at Ogilvy, he now consults for brands and creative companies that are re-inventing their industries and enabling positive change. Follow him at SimonMainwaring.com or on Twitter @SimonMainwaring.