Jun 24, 2010

Businesses Need to Build Two Skills

Clay Shirky in his book "Here comes everybody" talks about how social tools are changing people and society. In it he makes the point that business will have to become media houses - as people will expect to see content from them. If businesses don't create content that is relevant and engaging for their audience (employees, stakeholders, customers) then they risk being left behind.

Creating content is never a businesses' core competence - hence traditionally it has been outsourced to PR agencies who interface and "pitch" story ideas to journalists. If you have interacted with either/all of them you know the amount of angst that is embedded in these networks.

However as "media" (the term comes from the word meaning "in-between") evaporates (slowly, ever so slowly) there will come a time when content will be created and shared in the space between businesses and their stakeholders.

But why should businesses bother?

One main reason - and we go back to the basic fundamentals - the purpose of the firm is to create customers (marketing) and to produce goods and services to meet their needs (innovation and production) as articulated by Peter Drucker.

Producing content - and managing a community of stakeholders - to co-create innovation will be what tomorrows' businesses will do to innovate and create customers.

Both are not skills that current organizations have.

So here is my short manifesto for businesses who want to remain relevant to how things are changing:

Learn and become good at:
  1. Identifying and creating content relevant to their stakeholder
  2. Building a community of people interested in content and willing to create content to the larger purpose of the organization.

Also do go through Gaurav's post on the new 360 degree marketing.

Thoughts? Comments? Share in the comments below.