Insight-driven Action and Customer-Centric Operatives

Insight-driven action in a data-flooded age must be heart-centered. The most important segment of the customer-experience cycle is post-conversion (something was bought), pre-evangelization (the customer tells his/her friends). In that sweet spot, brands must engage the user in dialogue, be open to education BY the customer and take action based on opportunity occurring in the present.

A core list of key influencers drops one very quickly into mine-able territory for content, business connections, tools, and relationship. Useable social intelligence delivers punchy actions with targeted influencer graphs in which to carry out those actions. Chris Ramsey, EVP BizDev, Radian6, writes, “Social media is a two-way communication platform, not a broadcast platform, and it’s all about engagement and relationships.” Amber Naslund, Director of Strategy for Radian6 writes, “Social media marketing is contextually appropriate, just-in-time marketing where you find a chance to engage authentically, and you take it.”

Companies ought to consider the benefit of having in-house curators and/or relationships with 3rd party curators of vertical-specific content. In this way, they will own verticals and niches and be seen as authorities in both the internal development AND in listening to the customer of this niche. Those brands who rule niches through curation will be seen as thought-leaders. And the only way to be a true thought-leader is to spend plenty of time listening. We derive powerful insights and even more powerful action by listening.

Klout CEO and co-founder Joe Fernandez writes, “…target the few key influencers who have authority around a given topic and allow them to tell the story. The message is then amplified up through the network to reach a large engaged audience that trusts the message sender. We’ve basically flipped the funnel upside down.” The weaving of reflection AND action within such an approach is masterful and demonstrates the ideal ethos of actionable intelligence. Creativity around one conversation, one circle of influencers, one city can lead to immense opportunities. Product-centric thinkers are second to customer-centric action-agents. It is simply more practical to be relational vs. transactional in today’s business climate.

We live in times when independent operatives, moving swift and fast, have become more successful than giant entities, moving like cruise ships. Such operatives have an idea, angel-fund the idea and balloon the idea into a global community. Or such operatives provide specialized deliverables like comprehensive social intelligence reports (Business Intelligence), Community Manager training/supervision and Social-Action tools training.

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