Thursday, July 17, 2008

Take a fresh look at your 'resources' (read human beings)

Dave Armano has another corking post at Logic + Emotion
He describes the growing impact of quality real-live human interactions as effective marketing in mediums such as twitter.
One line really rang my bells:

"We’ve become so starved for authentic live human contact that when it’s offered up to us we are all too happy to rejoice and tell the world."
I commented on Dave's blog, but I wanted to expland a little here.

Real live human one-to-one (or many-to-many in a community setting) interaction has a really positive impact on us. And then we take that and have really positive impacts on each other (we do the marketing). Just look at my experience with Qik for example.

This need for the human voice and human interaction is often kind of understood by senior company types. But the response I most often hear is:
"But how can we afford to have all the people this would take?"
That kind of misses the point. It assumes you have to have specialised team who 'do' customer service.

But human interaction is much more than customer service. Human interaction should be what we all do. Hell, it IS what we all do.

So instead of thinking about the cost of additional people in additional new silos, think about unleashing the staff - the humans - you already have.

Marketing, advertising, customer service, promotions, new product development, M&A etc etc it can all come spilling out of its silos and beyond the company firewall where people can interact with people. And as Dave points out digital stuff helps make this more effective than ever.

Too often we make helping customers some 'ones' responsibility, or some department's, - By sealing that responsibility into a specialised department we sign it off as 'job done'. The impact is to either explictly or implicitly make everyone else ignore and 'get on with their day jobs'.

It's a side effect of the specialisation mass production forced on us - together with an unhealthy dose of scientific management techniques.

But as we rediscover that humans aren't made more efficient by being made more machine-like, the silo walls will dissolve and we'll be allowed to get on with being human. More forward thinking management techniques and companies are already applying them.

And, as Dave points out, being human makes an awful lot of sense when you want to sell to other humans.

The rate of change is so rapid it's difficult for one person to keep up to speed. Let's pool our thoughts, share our reactions and, who knows, even reach some shared conclusions worth arriving at?