Social business: the importance of conversation inside and out the company
A few days ago we had the pleasure of interviewing Gianluca Diegoli, marketing expert and author of minimarketing.it. He gave us his insight about social commerce, companies and selling strategies.
First of all, in Gianluca's opinion social commerce is to be seen as the reintegration in ecommerce of social dynamics that influenced, motivated and incentivated offline purchase. It's about aggregative and socializing dynamics that already exist in traditional commerce and that were strangely absent during the first phase of ecommerce, which was modelled on the concept of self service, instead.
This is the way conversations are created among customers, who are also the people who know products best. The description of the product, of its functions and advantages is done by users much better than by the retailer.
Unfortunately many of the relevant decisions that involve ecommerce are taken based on guesswork. There is still a lot of rough aproximation, both in activities and in investments, but the most effective way would be to rely on user observation, measurements and data analysis. It is true that sometimes these are complicate procedures and in some cases also very expensive, which is the reason why they are seldom used.
The ROI of social implementations has been widely discussed, but until today it has not been possible to find a technique that would allow a really complete and reliable measurement. It is possible to make partial measurements, though, especially regarding analytics.
Even though the introduction of the figure of Chief Digital Officer is certainly desirable, Gianluca invites to be cautious: first of all it is a role that could work well inside an organized matrix structure, which, unfortunately, rarely works as it should.
Secondarily, if its bridge function among several company division works fine, then the result will be the digitalization and efficiency of all divisions. Otherwise the CDO would simply be confined to his area of expertise.
In short, what must change is the company culture. Technology is nothing more than a facilitator, but if an adequate company culture is lacking, not even a 500.000 dollar software will be able to incentivate conversation. We must be aware of the fact that the company should be social internally before being social externally, and that there are more efficient ways, outside hierarchy, to communicate. Hierarchy was a "necessary evil" when more adequate tools weren't available, but at this point we hope that the company-army parallelism is now definitely outmoded.
It seems that the ability to listen and accept compliments as well as criticism is crucial, both from employees and customers. Excluding these dynamics from ecommerce and commerce in general will become, in the future, more and more difficult.
If you want to see the full interview, you can find it here.