Business has been forced to open their doors and invite the customer into their business by social media, although this has been huge for social marketing, it has been a communication shift which has seen more cultural challenges than structural problems for the business model.
Business is now on the verge of of having the customer not just as an invited guest but as the host, meaning that business will need to be invited to the customer's party....and people only get invites to parties if they are respected and/or fun. This is never more evident than with the emerging ability to manufacture at home. In a recent article for an upcoming publication, I concluded
"The transformation needs to put the customer at the heart of the value creation model..... Business needs to rethink the added value model.. not necessarily taking raw materials, manufacturing and delivering. The added value may come in supporting the customer, in developing new ideas for the customer to use, in developing niche expertise that the customer cannot possibly attain."
I am still being asked by companies and brands whether social media is a fad, whether the time investment is work it.....for me, social media is not the answer, social media isn't the end goal...that was the warm up act for the main event.
A main event of truly social business....a world in which the customer can create, collaborate, share and make ......the 'make' angle is going to be revolutionary. There are three questions that social leaders need to ask themselves now...
1) If our customers can make exactly what they want in the future....then why will they need us?
2) If we embrace that social business model now, can we provide a service which means that the customer doesn't have to go round us?
3) Social means more than communication. Social means doing things together....are we seeing the customer as our social partner?