Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Corporate Participation Ladder

Anyone who works in the digital industry can see in practice that the Corporate public engagement paradigm is changing. Many clients are not only looking to increase their overall use of digital communications within their marketing mix from a campaign perspective, but they are looking at how social media is impacting their relationships with their customers on a much more fundamental level.

Strategies of engagement, the extension of their brand voice within social media conversations, as well as governance models with their employees are all within the new realm that crosses customer service, marketing and PR (talked about here)

After reading Jeremiah Owyang's post on the new job market for roles such as 'community manager' it made me think about Charlene Li's social media ladder needing an internal counter part. So I attempted to create one - a Corporate Participation Ladder (apologies to all those who can actually design diagrams outside of power point in advance).

Enjoy and as usual, all 'how to make it better'suggestions welcome.


Mark said...

First quick thought - what jumped right out at me - is that problematic cliche "feedback." At that level of involvement, a better choice would be "engagement." Feedback is transactional - I ask, you talk, I (presumably) listen. By the time we're up at your trademarked-name-marked-up-by-suitably-placed-apostrophes, we're actually in the realm of what we social scientists (har, har) call action research, or better yet, its critical-theory cousin, participatory action research.

Which brings me to another minor rant: B-schools and conventional marketing programs (read: contemporary marketeers) typically avoid or minimize qualitative methods. At best, they stick with the tried and true post-positivist paradigm that can be sort of passed off as scientific. You know the one: free-form answer boxes for direct questions on a survey that collectively would be considered ethnography to support the preconceived behavioural science hypothesis.

That's why the industry is entirely missing the point about the effects of social media. My observation of what's happening is that people's engagement with these various technologies, and especially their transformative effects, can only be completely studied using constructivist and critical/radical approaches. Anything less is cynical pandering and opportunism.

Thanks for the use of the soapbox.

Leigh said...

Hi Mark,

Thanks as always for your insightful comments -

Regarding your rant, sociologists and anthropologists are making a come back in communciations - seeing a greater acceptance by 'marketeers' for different type of research that looks at cultural shifts and insights vs. statistics. Just a trend? Hopefully not. As the market moves faster and faster (and so to adoption patterns and cultural change) quant studies are often becoming rear view mirror approaches because as soon as you get the data, it's already passe.

Hum...maybe i should write a post about that. I'll put it on my to do list!


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