When talking about Harnessing the Power of The New Economy for Profit, it is fundamental to discuss four critical areas of understanding. What is the Relationship Economy? How do you build Social Currency through the use of Social Media? What is Big Data and how can we use it? The power of a Vision and how to create one.
RELATIONSHIP ECONOMY: The Relationship economy is about a trusting, give-and-take process that brings producers and consumers into a much more symbiotic and communicative relationship than previous economic models. A recent 2013 article in The Guardian entitled, Marketing Revolution: the Rise of the Relationship Economy stated, “When a person decides to buy a product for its social attributes, they’re making a statement about what they believe a good relationship is.” The writer, Tom LaForge, went on to share most importantly, “These are values-based statements. And values are rock solid foundations upon which brand loyalty can reside for a long, long time.”
Interestingly enough, even with the technology to support two-way communication and discussions on the relationship economy we still observe many companies and entrepreneurs who are using the outdated mode of one-way communication called broadcasting. For example, how many have seen on social media channels a robotic, automated approach to sharing information? A brand may have a million plus followers but if no one is tuning in because there is no true relationship or interaction, there is little worth to this type of campaign.
SOCIAL CURRENCY: How much influence and Social Currency do you possess? How successful are your social media strategies? How do you stack up to the social media heavyweights? Currently, there are algorithms and metrics that can accurately measure how you size up. In fact, it’s a mistake to think that the number of followers or friends someone has equaled their influence.
This couldn’t be more false. In fact, it takes more than numbers… there are many variables that play into the metrics of how influential someone is through the power of their social media. It’s their Social Currency… your Social Currency, my Social Currency, that tells us how much influence we wield via our social media.
What is this new math? It’s a lot of computation, but various companies such as Klout, PeerIndex and Kred all attempt to define your social currency (or digital social influence) with an actual score. The higher your score, the more influence or Social Currency you have. So what’s your score and what does Social Currency mean? Why keep score you ask? Companies are keeping score because everyone is attempting to define and put a number on the power that is influence. In the current system of economics, influence is derived monetary, political or social capital. Social capital as a component of influence is now changing drastically to include and perhaps be overtaken by our digital personas!
BIG DATA: Big data is the key to the Relationship Economy. By understanding our customers data, we can develop a greater and deeper knowledge of our customers needs and wants. Big data is a broad term for data sets so large or complex that traditional data processing applications are inadequate. Challenges include analysis, capture, curation, search, sharing, storage, transfer, visualization, and information privacy. Examples include data from social networks, purchasing systems, demographic data, etc.
McKinsey & Company says, “The use of big data will underpin new waves of productivity growth and consumer surplus. For example, we estimate that a retailer using big data to the fullest has the potential to increase its operating margin by more than 60 percent. Big data offers considerable benefits to consumers as well as to companies and organizations. For instance, services enabled by personal location data can allow consumers to capture $600 billion in economic surplus.”
VISION: What is a Vision? Why is it important? What makes it different from a Mission Statement? These are just some of the many questions people have when I bring up the concept of having a defined Vision. A Vision is much different from a Mission. A personal or company Mission is the message you share with others which let them know what you or your.
It is what you, and/or your company can aim for on a daily basis. Why do you need a Vision? Let me ask another question, why do you need to know your destination on any trip? Without a Vision, your organization is rudderless and unsure where to go. A Vision is also much different than your corporate strategy. Former CEO and current Leadership Consultant, Michael Hyatt says, “Vision and strategy are both important. But there is a priority to them. Vision always comes first. Always. If you have a clear vision, you will eventually attract the right strategy. If you don’t have a clear vision, no strategy will save you.” A major problem in today’s business world related to Vision? More than 70% of employees do not know their company Vision. A recent Harvard Business Review article, “When CEOs Talk Strategy, Is Anyone Listening?” found even in high-performing companies which had “clearly articulated public strategies,” only 29% of employees could correctly identify their company’s strategy out of six choices. Your Vision is an opportunity to build relationships in your organization and outside of it. Make a point to ensure everyone on your team understands the group Vision. Be mindful to live your Vision and base at least part of this vision on recognizing the value of relationships, both inside and outside of the company. With this in mind, employees are encouraged to build sustained and deep relationships with your customers, keeping them in the fold for the long term.
A few key’s on creating and maintaining an effective Vision Statement:
Start with a Framework. Use your Mission Statement and Core Competencies as a starting point for articulating your Values.
Look Ahead. Think farther ahead then just the next one to 3 years. Your Vision Statement should fall somewhere in the 4-8 year time-frame with 5 years being the standard most organizations follow.
Make it simple. Some organizations will make an all encompassing statement that is a paragraph or more in length. Avoid this at all costs. Employees have a much better chance to remember and embrace a Vision Statement that is only a sentence or two in length.
Revisit your Vision every year or two. With the passage of time, re-evaluate, is the Vision still relevant? Don’t be afraid to update it and keep it current.
If you would like to know more about how I can help your company shift from Suffering to Sensational in the Relationship Economy please feel free to contact me through my website at www.tamaramccleary.com or on twitter @tamaramccleary.