March 03, 2005

BUSINESS IS A CONVERSATION

I think I sort of know what Cluetrain is getting at with the 95 theses in its manifesto. In fact, I agree wholeheartedly with a lot of it. I've been preaching some of it for years.

Or at least the ones I think I understand.

Such as:

6. The Internet is enabling conversations among human beings that were simply not possible in the era of mass media.

7. Hyperlinks subvert hierarchy.

8. In both internetworked markets and among intranetworked employees, people are speaking to each other in a powerful new way.

9. These networked conversations are enabling powerful new forms of social organization and knowledge exchange to emerge.

10. As a result, markets are getting smarter, more informed, more organized. Participation in a networked market changes people fundamentally.

11. People in networked markets have figured out that they get far better information and support from one another than from vendors. So much for corporate rhetoric about adding value to commoditized products.

20. Companies need to realize their markets are often laughing. At them.

21. Companies need to lighten up and take themselves less seriously. They need to get a sense of humor.

22. Getting a sense of humor does not mean putting some jokes on the corporate web site. Rather, it requires big values, a little humility, straight talk, and a genuine point of view.

23. Companies attempting to "position" themselves need to take a position. Optimally, it should relate to something their market actually cares about.

24. Bombastic boastsó"We are positioned to become the preeminent provider of XYZ"ódo not constitute a position.

26. Public Relations does not relate to the public. Companies are deeply afraid of their markets.

27. By speaking in language that is distant, uninviting, arrogant, they build walls to keep markets at bay.

28. Most marketing programs are based on the fear that the market might see what's really going on inside the company.

If you're up for a longer swim in the deep-thinking market construct pool, here you go.

Posted by Jeff at March 3, 2005 08:01 AM
Comments