Dell's Bob Pearson on the Future of Communities: Tips for the Fortune 500
The best community builders will be students of this emerging field.
Why is engaging with customers online critical? About 500,000 people go online every day for the first time in their lives. Why is internet literacy in multiple languages critical? Most of them come from outside the US.
Only 12% of the Fortune 500 is blogging. Small business is blogging 3x faster.
You'll encounter1 million reasons in your firm to not blog
"What if customers ask for what we don't have? What will we do with
But there are 1.45 billion reasons TO blog. 75% of those "reasons" trust their peers, not advertising.
- Get the best monitoring software in the world. You need to understand how
your brand is being redefined every day by customers. There are about 600m
conversations going on every day online.
- 78% rank customer recommendations as the most credible form of
advertising Most companies are not thinking about how they can leverage
- Old marketing: how do we create great content? Then send it out. New
marketing: listen to what's being said by customers.
- Customers want to speak with us in their language of choice. English
reaches only 1/3 of the world's population, on a good day. You need to be
fluent in 10 languages to reach 90% of the world. How many is your firm
- Facebook has 100 million members, or more. If that was a country, you'd
be planning to engage its members, big time. What are you doing to reach out to the Facebook community?
- The world's greatest brain is the web.
- People spend less than 1% of their time online buying stuff. They are
doing other things.
- Know where conversations about your firm are going. Use tag cloud to do
- Know where your first impression is formed. Your home page is really the
Google page people land on. Customers will help "design" the landing page.
Are you in touch with them.
- Customers are unbelievably willing to help other customers. Not you. Your
customers. Partner with them. Listen to them.
- Why get involved with Twitter? It's not that widely used. But look at it
strategically. There are about 65 Dell related Twitter groups. They might
have members who want to be informed about new products.
- Innovation. Would you rather do a focus group with 10 people for a day?
Or listen to 100,000 people debate ideas for months and ask them questions
throughout the whole process?
- Check out Latitude, a customer generated laptop. Dell engineers became
obsessed with Dell's IdeaStorm community during design phase.
- Your fans are often the unofficial leaders of their communities. Treat
them like family.