A tenuous connection with customers

I have had a couple of really interesting conversations recently with people in big corporations who are beginning to realise that social media isn’t the sort of thing you can just hand over to agencies. You have to get hands on and have real connections between real people.

As a compete naif in terms of the marketing “industry” it has always fascinated me the way you used to be able to delegate your whole connection with your customers to others. If you combine “hands free” marketing with the fact that the most direct contact companies have with customers is an outsourced call centre you begin to realise just how tenuous the connection between companies and the people they take money from is.

Hopefully this is slowly beginning to change.

4 thoughts on “A tenuous connection with customers”

  1. Agreed to some extent. In consulting and freelancing with clients, I always endeavour to assist them in communicating directly, rather than introducing myself as a barrier between them and their customers etc.The only challenges can be time/resource etc, in which case I sometimes suggest that they take an alternative route, which would be to bring in the external resource as essentially 'one of the team', achieving the same effect by flipping it around!

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  2. Everything is outsourced…I always have to snicker when people talk about the horrors of work being outsourced over seas — there is a LOT that happens in most companies that is outsourced to people who talk the talk but are not by any means attached to that company at all — call centers are the classic example.But there is a long history of this. While most companies might have a marketing department, the real work (what most of the mktg budget is spent on) is done via contract outside of the company. Working at EDS, I got a rude awakening as to how many billions of dollars were spent by major corporations to turn all of their technology/data/processes over to another company. Indeed, it was the issue of call center management (and a pitch I was directly involved in) to HP that started the wheels turning and ended up with HP buying EDS.It is only now that some companies who have their own web sites are transitioning to internal teams to update and manage them.It is this whole meme for which I have mulled over the possibility that 'there is no enterprise': http://www.fastforwardblog.com/2009/07/14/need-more-innova-ting-less-innova-tions/

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  3. It has fascinated me since leaving the cosy confines of the BBC how few people in business actually do something other than arrange for other people to do things. In fact it is an issue for my approach to social media. People get spooked when I suggest that it will take more than recruiting an agency to do it for them!

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