Competing in the Online Community Game

Every organization operates in an ecosystem. Your key stakeholders - employees, customers, suppliers etc. - are all part of that ecosystem. How you connect - or fail to connect - with them determines your transaction costs and long term business value.

If your customer comes seeking you then your transaction costs are lower by definition. "Repeat buying" and "Larger share of the wallet" are both phenomenons that use this simple fact as their foundation.

If your customer refers you to others then also your transaction costs are lower. "Viral marketing" and "Word of mouth advertising" are borne from this simple fact.

If you introduce a new product based on customer needs rather than random research then the chances of that product being bought are greater - hence generating higher business value. "customer driven design" and "customer focused marketing" are concepts that take from this little gem.

The series of nuggets coming out of a simple concept of active engagement of your key stakeholders is endless. The question is: how to create this active engagement?

You are competing with the inherent mistrust of your customer - how many people will actively participate on a Ford Motor company forum without thinking that Ford put it up for an ulterior motive?

You are competing with the other ecosystems your stakeholders are part of - Ford customers are on New York Times website and forums. They are on Facebook and Youtube. How do you compete with these juggernauts?

The answer is neither simple nor short!

Here is the story of one university and its quest to engage its alumni>>

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Posted on 06/02/2009 by

Competing in the Online Community Game author sourabhhajela



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