OK, so the title of this post grabbed your attention. Regular readers will know that we ran the first Influence Scorecard workshop in New York last week, and I took the action to diagrammatically represent the journey we've embarked on. And here it is. And you can track its progress, indeed join our team, at http://influencescorecard.wikispaces.com.
This is a first stab, and at a guess represents a three-year journey, at least for the early adopters most aggressively seeking competitive advantage via their approach to all six influence flows.
That's contingent of course upon the leading social Web analytics vendors quickly picking up this approach and developing their products and services accordingly.
Of course, the vendors really don't have a choice. Google's entry into social media monitoring next year will eat the lunch of the plain vanilla "I've got some servers and some crawlers and some pretty graphs" brigade. Only those vendors that have lifted their game up along the lines identified by the Influence Scorecard approach will survive. Moreover, they will have set themselves up to offer a level of service that will never, imho, be of interest to Google.
The Influence Scorecard vision and methodology encompasses many changes to the way in which marketing and PR is conducted. Indeed, I would go so far as to say that the differences we should expect between the state of the profession in ten years' time versus today will be greater than the changes over the last ten. If I was partial to hyperbole, I'd say we haven't yet scratched the surface, but I'm not and we have been doing a lot of scratching. But here's a selection of some of the changes in brief.
A place at the board table for the Chief Influence Officer
The Chief Influence Officer is a different beast to the CMO. The most adaptable CMOs will morph into Chief Influence Officers, and let's face it the title may not actually change but the role most certainly will.
The advent of the Chief Influence Officer marks the death of John Wanamaker's adage "I know that half of my advertising doesn't work... the problem is, I don't know which half". The encumbent knows precisely the state of all six influence flows at any point in time. She is sensitised to her organisation's environment in a way that makes most CMOs today look like they work in little bubbles where they had no choice but to "make stuff up".
The Chief Influence Officer is as much a scientist and engineer as the CMO was an artist. The marketer of the tens (or whatever the next decade is called) is in information technology, with a slant towards the "information" over "technology".
Business Intelligence and Business Performance Management
BI (Business Intelligence) is her bread and butter, and her BI extends beyond the four walls of her organisation and its supply chain, the domain of today's BI, courtesy of the integration of social Web analytics.
Social Web analytics, via BI, is integrated into Enterprise Resource Planning; what I call (given the current mode to 'verbize' nouns!) the ERP'ing of social Web analytics.
Similarly, the system is integrated into Business Performance Management for the transformation of information into knowledge and knowledge into wisdom and action.
I have found that I have sometimes confused people when I talk to them about influence (marketing and PR) becoming more of an engineering discipline or science than an art. So let me correct a too common misperception by stating with the authority of a Chartered Engineer that engineers and scientists need inspiration and creativity as much as the artist or free-think-stylee marketer. There's as much rigor and discipline as inspiration and genius at such highly regarded companies as Crispin Porter + Bogusky.
Unfortunately, Hollywood likes to portray deep IT or science expertise by having reams of numbers flying up or down a screen. I've never seen such a screen in real life. Engineers, scientists, and soon marketers, need IT to help them visualise their environment, to comprehend it, to wield it. I'm not going to write about data visualisation further here as I've posted enough about that in the past, and here's a couple of those posts:
- Can you see it? Making influence visible, Aug 2008
- Visualising content to improve your understanding of the conversation, Mar 2009
From the Social Web Analytics eBook 2008:
The ramifications for organisations of this Social Web reality were first considered and presented by the authors of the seminal Cluetrain Manifesto in 1999.
The Cluetrain Manifesto asserts that the Internet allows markets to revert back to the days when a market was defined by people gathering and talking amongst themselves about buyer reputation, seller reputation, product quality and prices. This was lost for a while as the scale of organisations and markets outstripped the facility for consumers to coalesce. The consumers’ conversation is now reignited.
In other words, the balance of power shifted somewhat from the massive dominance of large organisations at the end of the 20th Century back towards the individual. This rebalancing will continue during the next decade. It will give rise to something I call buyer marketing; similar to what Doc Searl's VRM initiative refers to as "personal RFP" and most recently what Scott Adams has labelled "broadcast shopping".
This marks the point at which individuals can market their needs or desires to organisations interested in meeting that need or desire, either directly or anonymously via an intermediary or broker. Whilst many of us have developed the remarkable ability to block the majority of adverts today from our conciousness, this ability will be taken up a notch once each of us feels happy to have the ability to pull marketing to us on demand. Anyone who tries to push stuff at us can quite simply be ignored, totally, end of.
Why the slightly different turns of phrase? Well, I'm happier that a buyer marketing his or her need leaves it a little more open ended as to the speed or indeed inevitability of a purchase; where perhaps “procurement” (in RFP) conveys a pre-determined course of action and timeline.
Second, “broadcast” doesn’t quite sit well with my protocol obsessed perspective. Buyer marketing is more of a Web service (a pubsub for the geeks out there).
But I'm not that hung up on the semantics, it's the possibility and inevitability that matters.
Lastly, you might be interested in knowing that whilst the idea of “buyer marketing” reverses the normal marketing mechanism, one thing does not necessarily get flipped… identity. The prospect can elect to remain completely anonymous to you... it's then your job as a marketer (influencer) to persuade them through the provision of some great post-sales benefits to declare their identify to you upon purchase.