Clean, engaging interface Direct link between users and their team Flash video Delivering for a key brand in the Irish marketplace; sensitive treatment of the O2 brand Building on an existing relationship with O2
The 20th century was based on a model of mass production and mass consumption, epitomised by Henry Ford’s comment on his Model T “any colour you want, as long as its black”
An end to stable long term planning, an increased rate of change and more pressure on companies to perform
companies create value, then exchange it with customers for payment
Companies want “relationships” with their customers. Flows of information as well as goods. However, relationships are not always to the customer’s design (Fournier et al)
Value is created in the interaction between the company and its customers, and between customers themselves. The focus should therefore be on the quality of those interactions.
P&G adopt co-creation of value and see open innovation as key to competitive advantage
So if the fundamental change is from goods that are made and sold to a market that is now a conversation, what does this mean for companies?
Michael Porter: the overall effect of the Internet has been to reduce profitability for companies and industries
More widely available information benefits us as consumers in reduced costs. But only company in an industry can be a cost leader and compete mainly on price. For the rest of us, the challenge is how do we avoid price competition and use the web as part of a strategy that delivers sustainable competitive advantage.
Much as the printing press represented a shift from scribes to mass literacy, the web has given us all the tools to become publishers and journalists: we’re all writers now (Clay Shirky, 2008). The Irish blog awards represent a shift from broadcast media, where the message is transmitted in a stable manner, to interactive media where anyone can publish. Companies can therefore no longer expect to control the conversation.
Any PR is good PR? For Ryanair perhaps. But let’s face it, the reason that customers choose Ryanair is not for the experience they offer, but because they are cheapest. However, for the rest of us, this doesn’t work. Other companies (eg Sony) have made disastrous mstakes with social media.
So what do we do about all of this? Here are three practical ways that you can become more competitive using the web.
The key to success is delivering exceptional experiences.
This means starting with the question: what makes my organisation unique and distinctive? We work with a greeting cards brand in England and the challenge for that project is to carry through the experience of their physical product, onto the web. Carteblanchegreetings.com
Skittles.com – a brave – audacious? – move to replace their entire site with a view of the conversation around skittles on the social web. Will this approach for the long term? We’ll see.
Edelman: crawl, walk, run. Start with the basics – a website, a review of how you’re engaging with customers via the web. Then start to develop richer types of content, such as video blogging and podcasts. The last element is to build on this by having a genuine conversation online.
How the Japanese describe continuous improvement
Key is to understand that your presence on the web is not a snapshot of a point in time but that we are staging experiences for your audience that should develop over time. Cf Adaptivepath.com
How do you ensure that things get better and better and better? You can carry out observation-based testing using low cost tools like Silverback (from Clearleft) to understand how customers actually use your product and the improvements you can make
How did Toyota become the world’s most successful car manufacturer? Partly, by using root cause analysis to understand why things happen, and making decisions using data. There are lots of tools, like Google Analytics, (and Mint etc) that help you develop insight into how your customers behave and allow you to respond and develop better services as a result.
We are in the midst of a fundamental shift in what makes companies competitive: from mass markets and broadcast media, to markets made up of conversations. Active and engaged consumers are interested in what you have to say, but only if you talk to them in a way that is authentic and interesting.
Some of the sources used to prepare this presentation (and good further reading).
You can download these slides from designbyfront.com and leave feedback via http://www.speakerrate.com/events/49-bizcamp-dublin Contact me via @paulmckeever (twitter.com/paulmckeever)
Bizcamp Dublin: Competitive Advantage And The Web
& the Web
Paul McKeever, Design by FRONT