Archive for July, 2010

Where are we in the Social Business Maturity Spectrum?

July 30th, 2010

I posted a discussion thread last week in the Social Executive Council and contiued with a blog post that outlines my belief that we are seeing social saturation in many markets. Nukes aren’t valuable if everyone has them and isn’t afraid to use them. The same with tweets…

I an not complaining, rather I think this is a part of the normal evolution of technology lifecycles. If you look at the web, we saw the same evolution from:
* Pioneers
* Evangelists
* Adopters
*Adapters
* Commoditizers

I think we are seeing the end of “first mover advantage” for many markets and seeing the transition to the adopters phase. We have had to tell several CEOs that we cannot broadcast message our way to awareness in their market as there are too many players creating too much noise. We have to do a different approach.

The analogy is that you are in the back of a tradeshow with a 1000 booths and 100,000 attendees with a rented 10X10 booth. How do you get attention when the front booths have rented Bon Jovi for their booth. Screaming doesn’t work, flashy colors seems great until you realize that the 9 other guys in the back with you are copying you. It now looks like a wall of color versus eye appeal. What do you do? We work on making sure that awareness, credentialling, and a relationship happens prior to the prospective customer reaching the floor.

Different stages require different strategies. What worked last year may be commoditized this year in terms of marketing or customer expectations; especially in fast moving technology maturity cycles.

Think about the web: 1994 and 1995 was a hyuge explosion for consumers, but 1996-1997 was big for first mover wave of companies. By 1998 and 1999, companies we moving into niches and adapting the technology for their markets and innovating new unique technologies. This has continued through the last decade. But when you have $29.99 ecommerce ready store front website – much of the basic website development is now a commodity and nas been for a while. On the other end of the specturm, social media spawned out ot his wave and is nolw on its own arc.

What do you think? Am I too early to declare some markets saturated? If you believe that your market is saturated, what are you doing differently to break through the noise? How are you integrating this back into a larger corporate strategy around managing customers, employees, and partners?

Or are you wondering how I can declare something saturated when you haven’t even started? Well, my suggestion is that if you look at your market and see everyone else doing the same thing over and over again, think outside the box and don’t just do it too. You are contributing to the noise, not adding value…. from a customer’s perspective, which would I appreciate?