Monday, March 19, 2012

Who wins with your social solution?

Domino's have become quite famous for their 'social'. Nice apps. Happy twitter campaigns, gathering Facebook fans.
Which is why I'm so surprised at the weakness of its latest work in Australia.
In short, they are crowd-sourcing the next pizza to go on the menu with Facebook fans.
Which sounds on the face of it ok... until you dig into the benefits for the end user.

This from the blog of Online PR/Social outfit Simply Zesty (it's not them that's the blame, they are just reporting on it):

Now in Australia, they’re ... creating ‘the social pizza’ which will harness their 488,000 Facebook fans in creating the pizza they want to see. Starting March 19th and spanning the next seven days, fans will be able to vote on a wide range of factors such as the type of base used, the sauces used, the toppings and even its name.  the most popular choices will be then added onto the new pizza which will be added onto Domino’s.
It’s almost like being able to custom make your own pizza to your taste… no wait… it’s exactly like that except you have to go along with the lowest common denominator verdict.

Hell – at least I’ll feel like it’s my pizza in a way I wouldn’t have done if I’d made all the decisions myself… no wait…

This mass crowd-sourcing only ever delivers a mass production outcome ticking the lowest common denominator boxes.

Individuals are already innovating better-fit solutions each time they customise their toppings and crust choices. The long tail solution already exists. Do it with a friend? That's a half-and-half then.

This social solution smacks of an old broadcast model being forced into a network. Always an uncomfortable fit.

It seems to me more to me about the PR message this will generate and less about a best-fit outcome.

If you're treating customers as partners, would this be the best solution for them? An Open Business approach would ask exactly that. An Open Business approach would ask those partners if this was actually the solution they seek before foisting it on them.

I'm thinking the principles of Open Business did not apply here.

A reminder of those principles:

1. It's not about the tools - it is about Behaviours:
Often social business conversations focus on implementing software. Open Business urges you to think Behaviours first. What are people doing, what can and will they do? If you are starting with tools you'll likely starting in the wrong place.

2. Think less about messages and more about products.
Open Business urges you to consider ways of making things with the people for whom they are intended; for the best possible fit with real need; for efficiency; for results people care about. Messages are an outcome of this process - not its purpose. Talk 'social' and all roads will lead you back to messages.

3. Ditch the customer.

No, really. Stop thinking about customers. Customers are people you intend to do things to. Open Business urges you to think about the long-suffering customer as partners to work with instead. It pushes those people deep into the production process - right to the start, to join with and be supported by the org in delivering the things all parties want - all partners want. 

In a nutshell, Open Business is the art of making partners of customers.

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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?