Read this post in: French
Trying to reconcile marketing social media success stories with an Enterprise 2.0 vision looks apparently like a daunting task, but, behind all the bells and whistles, examining the mechanisms of successful customers service and marketing initiatives may give us important clues on the cultural change needed in most companies.
How trustful is trust?
Trust is a key feature of success. This has been underlined, written and proven so many times that it seems obvious. Engaging with customers, leveraging positive sentiment and leveraging conversations inside a community is based on trust. Free trust, the one marketers have to earn through interaction and authenticity.
Most companies and managers consider trust as acquired between coworkers. But this doesn’t take into account the fact that trust is mainly a cultural construct. The pressure of hierarchy, the balance between power and autonomy, all play a different role in different countries. Bertand Duperrin recently published an interesting post about national (notably French) specificities regarding to working behaviors. Seeing trust as a priori given might lead to misunderstanding the complex relationships existing inside a working team, from Japanese giri to Indian deep sense of hierarchy. In most (maybe all) countries, Enterprise is a world of constrained trust.
In that context, “unboxing” the necessary trust to power the right dynamics is a key issue in managing a community-driven company. Less than ever, management is not community management, as this must be accomplished, not only at team or practice level, but at any dimension involved along the hierarchical path.
Successful marketing campaigns involve much more than empowering a community of good willing customers. Getting out of a brand’s comfort zone, turning bad sentiment into positive, pushing the envelope to trigger creative outcome, are common features of good social media practices. On the other hand, in Enterprise world, business processes and the need for raising a consensus often hide the heterogeneous aspects of collaboration. There is no wonder that innovation and co-creation, although the most promising outcomes from Enterprise 2.0, are so difficult to reach.
While being a challenge for most managers, introducing disturbance in communities’ behavior is a necessary step toward value creation. “Instability management” will become a crucial task for middle managers, as the levels of complexity and reactivity of the community-based enterprise will increase.