By Mark Cameron
Even the terms “Customer Relationship Management” and “Business to Customer” seem out of place in today’s environment. They both clearly focus on the business being in control, the brand managing the relationship, owning the data and holding it in a central spot. This structure doesn’t work for today’s market. Facebook has given people the power to ‘unfriend’ the relationships that are not working for them.
The customer of today wants control and to feel like he/she is managing their own relationships. And this trend will accelerate. Every time a technology has given more power and freedom to the individual, the whole markets follow. Mobile phones, the Internet, search and social media have all played their part.
Now a new customer-focused disruption is underway, fueled by the data that all of us generate each and every day. Business leaders and smart observers know this already. Their conversations are focusing on becoming “customer-centric”, developing a cohesive customer experience strategy and allowing the customer to see their own data. It will soon become a clamour.
We are entering an age where the customer really does come first. We need to come to grips with the customer having more control and actually “managing” the relationship. So I propose using the term Customer to Business (C2B) to describe the technology and strategic frameworks that are evolving to deliver this new world order.
Let’s put the customer first. Focus not on spamming your customers but on providing real value. Don’t waste money on irrelevant marketing and more noise. Stop thinking about data ownership and spend more time on relationships. Put your customer first. Become C2B.
Mark Cameron is CEO and lead strategist of social media conversion and commercialization agency Working Three. While his agency is based in Melbourne, Australia, he works for some of the world’s most innovative and forward-thinking brands. As a regular speaker and writer on social media and digital strategy, Mark stays focused on customers and outcomes, not the technology, leading to simple strategic conclusions.