On Mondays I always talk about Buying Facilitation™. But I was so blown away from a conversation with Vanessa DiMauro, a thought leader whose company Leader Networks does research and consulting specializing in harnessing the power of how new digital tools drive measurable business benefits, that I absolutely cannot think straight. She has stretched, expanded, confused, excited, and intrigued my brain so thoroughly, I feel like I’ve eaten a very satisfying gourmet dinner that had everything except the desert leaving me something more to anticipate.
Here are some thoughts swimming aroun my brain since my call with Vanessa. They are in no particular order, and have no conclusions or evaluations. This is straight out of the box and before I begin to make sense of them. Stay tuned for what these ideas morph into. And for those of you who haven’t been exposed to this woman, go directly to her site, and do not pass ‘go’. Vanessa is the innovator behind the intersection between decision making and social networking. Enjoy learning from her. I hope you end up as delightfully tingly as I am.
How can social networking influence decisions and create new forms of leadership? Not just the obvious “Try-this-new-software-I-loved-it” variety that is now filling our spam filters. But since folks are using content providers and social networking (with various levels of trust and weighted value) how can we get the most out of this influencing capability?
How do social media buddies know how to assign trust – i.e. who do they believe, why, when? When is a peer/buddy credible? Which peers are credible? How do you choose? How many people have to tell you the same thing before you believe?
Whatever problems sales and marketing had until now – even using the net to get data and references – are compounded because of the nature of social marketing + the numbers, locations, and variety of stakeholders making purchasing decisions. There is a wild card here re influencers from previously unknown sectors, who enter the decison makers data field from many industries and mind-sets. How does this influence how decisions get made in stakeholder groups?
With unfettered data available, how does a company go about ensuring that buyers have – and interpret – the right data and right resources? How does the buyer know that the data is reliable/accurate? How can a company manage any fallout given that conversations are between people and show up on tweets and facebook, etc?
How does the new information available through social networking go up the value chain? impact CRM systems? impact offerings, marketing efforts, marcom, and sales?
How much manipulation is a company willing to do to weight their presence in social media – and how does it pay off (or is it a waste of money/time)?
How do collaboration partners and peers on a Buying Decision Team know that any particular data is useful and useable? And do they have a decision making process, or specific criteria, in place amongst them to filter criteria?
At what point in the decision making process does social networking become important? Is there a bias (toward/against) a prospective supplier at different points in the ongoing peer review, or behind-the-scenes, or political aspects of the Buying Team’s decision making?
Just a few questions I’m pondering. Let me know your thoughts and ponders.
Check out Vanessa. She’s an academician that got let loose into business. Enjoy having your brain discombobulated.