Question

Topic: Book Club

Citizen Marketers: Value Creation In Communities

Posted by Anonymous on 500 Points
Ben & Jackie illuminate how "the more a citizen marketer contributes to the greater good of the community the more valuable their contributions become". I’ve witnessed this in several “nodes” (or vertical communities) within the blogosphere (i.e. political community, marketing community, manufacturing community). But I’m interested in how WE professional marketers are using social media to create value for our target audiences.

You might be currently planning these initiatives…or already implementing them.

If B2B-focused, are you contributing thought leadership or creating sites that engender community among colleagues? If B2C-focused, are you inviting your customers to contribute content (text, video) or involving their feedback and opinions in the product-development stage? Are you giving them free tools based upon their needs/preferences (e.g. free music through MySpace, free software apps/widgets)?

In leveraging social media how are you creating value and contributing to your respective community, be it B2B or B2C?

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Moderator Note: This discussion refers to the book Citizen Marketers by Jackie Huba and Ben McConnell (topic: social media). Click the title to buy the book from Amazon. Then join the conversation. We'd LOVE for you to participate!
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RESPONSES

  • Posted on Accepted
    Right now I work in an industry that is high technology and science, but offline. Our sales model is through a group of national, regional and local distributors. Our contributions to our customers are superior customer service (I really mean that), and expert technical support in the field through research in partnership with universities and consultants.

    The value add way to contribute is by helping our customers navigate the complexities of their business and learn new ways to add to their growth. We provide continuing education seminars at no cost to them, and occasionally a copy of a book we believe will help them gain insights into their business.

    The other side of that is providing training to our teams to think creatively and take the time to develop our existing and new relationships with customers.

    I envision the next phase of our conversation to spill online with Web 2.0 interfaces and tools.

  • Posted on Accepted
    I work for a financial institution. This morning, I sent my boss an idea based on how Threadless sells its t-shirts.

    My idea was to have members vote on three different special offerings. The one that receives the most votes would be offered the following month.

    The goal is to give the customers more of a voice, and outwardly prove to them that their opinion matters and makes a difference.
  • Posted on Author
    Thanks for commenting guys, this thread is especially important to me.

    Valeria wrote: "The value add way to contribute is by helping our customers navigate the complexities of their business and learn new ways to add to their growth."

    CK's takeaway: I like this, you're facilitating and guiding them. Such a strong bond when you teach people, eh? Think how much we all loved our teachers because they made the unknown exciting instead of scary.

    mkhostet wrote:" The goal is to give the customers more of a voice, and outwardly prove to them that their opinion matters and makes a difference."

    CK's takeaway: So the contribution is giving customers the control/empowerment. Can't agree more. After all, they're in control of their purchasing decisions...we might as well listen to them, eh?
  • Posted on Accepted
    My current client is B2B in new product development for health and personal care consumer products. My plan is to build him a blog for his clients in his niche industry. I had set him up with a Google Reader account, researched and subscribed to a small number of very relevant blogs. I didn't flood this on him because i don't want to overwhelm.
  • Posted on Author
    Mario: Ah, the "overwhelm" factor...it's a very real issue and you're smart to take "baby steps" so as to make sure these media become habits (not a hassle!). I like how you're hitting on "niche" as that's what this space is all about. With rankings and such it can appear that it's about "volume" but it's about "value" of readers and new colleagues/customers made.

    And I like how you've focused him on a small number of highly relevant blogs.
  • Posted by MANSING on Accepted
    Dear Christina Kerley
    CK (Book Club Host),

    It is been nice to meet you on this forum. It is very important for teach customers what they want and how they want So that any sector can find out what will be there planning and strategy to implement in this busy environment from farming to air space.

    I work for public sector but we manage thousand of customers on daily basis. To make them more understanding to our services we work day and night. This is not just designing any brochure or having meetings on daily basis. But it is some thing to contributed different community by involving them to contribute there self.

    Recently, we had project called diversity in community. The education guideline or learning points described – how to be social; it helped many people outside and inside the community to involve directly and indirectly what they are actually search in their life and outside life.

    All these things contribute for the growth of understanding, confidence and it benefits to the society by all mean. Investing in people makes other business to develop their strategies to attract in many ways.


    Regards,

    M Bhor

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