Archive for November, 2009

Monologue or dialogue?

Saturday, November 21st, 2009

RIP

We all know how important the internet is to companies these days. But I get the feeling that many businesses are still fumbling in the dark. First and foremost it’s important to remember that for the past century companies have controlled the communiction with their customers through monologues over traditional media like radio and TV. Then along came the web and turned this model on its head. Naturally, it will take any business a long time to fully adapt to this change but unfortunately consumers don’t have the patience to wait. Companies need to develop a greater undertanding of the way people interact with brands on the internet so that they can connect with their customers and have the much awaited dialogue that’s been needed for so long.

Luckily, Razorfish, who are one of the largest interactive agencies in the world, recently released their annual consumer behaviour report in an attempt to explain how people interact with brands online. This report should be compulsory for everyone that in someway interacts with customers in a business. If you don’t want to understand the behavioural trends on the web then just have a look at the awesome illustrations in the report.

There are so many intersting facts in this report and the one businesses should pay extra attention to is the fact that 65 % of consumers reported to have had a digital experience that either positively or negatively changed their mind about a brand. Of that group, 97 % stated that this eventually influenced whether they bought from the brand or not. This is incredibly interesting and it illustrates the importance of managing digital relationships.

The facts

I think this is great news for everyone. This changing relationship will force businesses to push the boundaries of  quality in everything from product development to customer service and consumers will get a lot more for their money. Whether you are in B2B or B2C doesn’t make much of difference. We are all conusmers in the end, so if you are in B2B it is very risky to believe that you can afford to ignore the digital trend. I also think it’s important to point out that the digital relationship will not replace face-to-face interaction but simply add immense value to the overall relationship you are able to have with your customers. Businesses will need to adapt to the digital ways quickly and start having more dialougues instead of monologues.