Klout, Influence, and the Future of Business

Klout helps companies better understand the influence of employees and customers, and this opens the firm more fully to the outside world. Despite its many problems, Klout not only symbolizes the growing importance of influence in marketing, but the increasingly permeable nature of the firm.


Excerpts from this new article:

"Customers increasingly expect to be able to reach right into the firm and quickly and easily get what they need. Sometimes that means using a website that’s tied to the company’s internal databases; sometimes that means communicating with exactly the right employee who can get them what they need. Sometimes it means both technology and people.

When employees understand how to use social media to engage customers personally and at scale, they become such valuable assets to an organization. And this is one of the main reasons why Klout is becoming so relevant to marketing recruiters."

"Today, ‘external stakeholders’ play an increasingly critical role creating economic value. I call this phenomenon “third-order engagement.”

Third-order engagement takes many forms. When you spend time posting information on Facebook, it makes the service more valuable to me. That’s third-order engagement. We engage one another on Facebook, and through those very acts of engagement, we build the service. The same thing happens when I share my “wish list” with friends on Amazon, and when I organize friends to gather at a local restaurant.

Third-order engagement isn’t just about customers engaging one another by using a company’s products or services though – it’s also about customers marketing to other customers on behalf of the business.

We all know that the public sentiments of customers are now greatly amplified by social networks. Happy, engaged customers with social media influence can now propagate powerful waves of objective, credible endorsement that can dwarf the impact of traditional marketing messages. Of course, these same customers can also badly hurt a brand’s reputation when they aren’t happy.

Knowing your customers’ capacity to influence social networks is obviously extremely valuable, and this is where Klout’s value as an economic signal expands beyond identifying influential marketers within the firm to now focus on ”third-order marketers” outside the firm."

So what does this say about the future of marketing? For one thing, it says that it’s going to get harder to market lack-luster products. More than that though, it says that it’s no longer good enough to simply satisfy customers.....

More: ➜ http://www.alchemyofchange.net/klout-future-business/
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