Have you ever wondered how long you will be able to do what you are currently doing and get away with it? I mean, really get away with it? The business world of today needs to consider what they are doing and balance that with the consequences of their actions – or inaction.
Nationwide Insurance, led by PR officer Joe Case, is taking action with Web 2.0 and has engaged the social networking circles with its “Have The Talk” Campaign.
“I think we’re seeing a shift from a transaction-based economy to a dialogue-based economy,” says Case, who contends that competitive advantage in the financial services industry will go to companies that engage in a dialogue with customers. “If you ignore the opportunities that social media and Web 2.0 offer, you ignore an opportunity for real dialogue with the customer base.” Another phrase Case could have used for “dialogue-based economy” is Relationship Economy, which social strategist Jay Deragon has seen for quite some time.
Case “gets it.” The others don’t seem to. By using Web 2.0 and creating cascading conversations, Nationwide Insurance is generating talk about important issues – and they’re going to see a boost in the bottom-line as a result. Case and Nationwide are on the forefront of the movement of The Relationship Economy: They are creating buzz around themselves and are getting people to talk about important issues. And an important point is that they are not trying to tell people about themselves or what they sell. How many people are turned off by some pushy salesman who just comes to tell what he offers, without knowing if you, the potential customer, have any need of it?
If others in the industry don’t keep up with what Nationwide is doing, they will lose the clients they currently have, and probably won’t gain any new ones.
Other industries will soon follow suit. Realtors, mortgage brokers, doctors, mechanics, tanning salons, and caterers will all soon begin to search for new customers and clients via the social web – if they haven’t already done so.
No longer will an entire section in the Sunday paper be enough to keep a real estate office afloat. Radio spots aren’t going to be as lucrative for the premier caterers as will a few minutes online each day building relationships. Will YOUR business be on the crest of the social networking tidal wave?
You’ve nailed it. I preach this daily to many of my colleagues and they just don’t get it. Works great for me, but makes me wonder how they’ll ever catch up once they open their eyes. All the businesses you mentioned are about building relationships and, as you mentioned, you don’t do that by talking about what you’re selling. You do that by building trust and showing that you have something to offer, without being pushy or salesy.