The Social Business Revolution


By Larry Augustin, CEO Of SugarCRM

While we were busy doing business, the world changed around us. The smarter and more alert among us have noticed and are forging a path based on the realities of today. The rest of us are plugging away as we always have been, still unaware that we’re becoming obsolete more rapidly every day.

That change has been created by the emergence of social networking technology. This technology has provided the sort of productivity gains to individual customers that used to be confined to businesses. Now, customers can compare notes on a business from across countries and continents....


...Instead of believing the marketing messages of companies, they can trust in the real-world experiences of other customers.

Starting in 2006, the Edelman Trust Barometer study found customers were more trusting of “a person like me” than they were of business or even of experts. Experts have regained their position of trust in recent years, but customers are still more likely to believe each other than they are to believe your marketing message.

This new dynamic has turned buyer-seller relationships on their heads — but it’s not an unmanageable situation. In fact, there are rules to follow that can help you find success in this new world.

Rule #1 — You Are Not in Control

The customer now controls the conversation, not you. What he or she says about you can have a dramatic impact. The good news is that social media allows you to participate in these conversations and to help steer them — but your influence is limited. This puts greater emphasis on your entire business to execute — not just to avoid providing fuel for negative comments but to give customers positive things to discuss in social media.

Rule #2 — Traditional Marketing Tactics Are Declining

The tactics of... continued on page two >


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