In the past week I’ve had a dozen or so phone calls with potential clients. They mostly were articulate and smart. They had a need and my name had come up. There were expected questions and I gave the best answers I could.
- Should we redesign our website?
- What should we do to increase our search rank?
- How can we decrease our shopping cart abandonment rate?
I have well rehearsed and probably pretty accurate answers for each question, and people left very satisfied with my consultation (I ask.) Some wanted to move forward, others didn’t.
But my attitude has been changing and I cannot ignore it. I have been thinking of tribes, and how communities are exerting a more powerful force on the success of new ideas than ever before. I have been thinking about what branding means. And I’ve been thinking about the whole company-customer relationship and what it means for my clients.
How do you, as an outsider, take on the role of heretic? Is it enough to be skilled at finding latent “movements” and helping companies catalyze them? Where are the opportunities – what is the need?
Some initial thoughts:
- Who gets it? Who will actively create a manifesto and attempt to unite a community?
- Who has time for it? Tribal marketing takes a long time – and there is no way to short-cut it.
- Who is willing to give up control? Letting the community inter-connect under your umbrella is a risky proposition. There is a loss of control that goes with that.
- Who will postpone monetization? By the time people contact me they are already acting on some sort of company initiative or problem. Asking them to ignore that is difficult.
These questions are getting louder every day.