Big Data, or Big Disappointment?

The Web fosters a level of data democracy that we have never witnessed, which leads to transparency. That’s the bright side of democracy.

Then, there is the dark side. Anyone can call themselves an expert online. In fact, you can become a globally recognized blogger within days or weeks. This spells trouble and confusion for your customers.

As a marketing leader, what can you do about it?

First, you have to accept that the democratized Web is not stopping for anyone. Second, you have to consistently look for ways to earn and keep trust with your customers and prospects. Here are some ways to accomplish that:

  1. Diagnostics and surveys. For example, Symantec’s marketing team created a benchmarking tool called INFORM (INFOrmation assurance Risk Model) to help CIOs assess their IT risk and benchmark against their peers.
  2. Making your customer a star. Articulate, an online learning technology firm, has invented the “E-Learning Heroes” community where over 107,000 professionals gather to share templates, victories, and e-learning ideas.
  3. The Greater Good approach. The “triple bottom line,” socially responsible mantra that Seventh Generation, Tom’s Shoes, and Clif Bar have integrated into their operations shape their brand. These companies are committed to a purpose much greater than themselves, and want to create a better world.
  4. Customer wealth builder strategy. In my opinion, wealth is defined as discretionary time. If you can prove to your customer that you can streamline the time to they perform certain functions, you help them create white space on their calendar, and hence, more wealth. And as we know, free time is a precious commodity these days.

These five strategies will stretch your thinking on how you can stand out in a crowded, democratized customer universe.

Which strategy are you willing to implement now? Share your thoughts here.

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In my opinion, this issue isn’t just about time management. Sure, that is important. I believe we need to be fully aware of how we spend our time—and I talked about it extensively in
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