McKinsey Quarterly had an interesting article this month that talked about how companies should prepare now for when web 2.0 transitions all the way to web 3.0. The article, Managing beyond Web2.0 pointed out that individuals are increasingly in a position of control on the Internet. They are demanding the type of information they want on websites and how that information is delivered. The net is that businesses need to adapt to disruption that the shift to digital media and social networks is causing in order to stay relevant and manage their brand.
McKinsey believes that the shift to the digital media will force marketers to evolve in order to survive. The article discusses a model McKinsey is promoting called LEAD (listen, experiment, apply, develop) as a way to create a road map to help companies survive this constant change in the online environment.
Here is a quick summary of the LEAD model
- Listen. Have a formal process to monitor and analyze what its customers are saying about the corporate brand and operations online and then use this information as an early-warning system.
- Experiment. Don’t just monitor social media — engage customers in conversations by using the novel tools of Web 2.0. As an example, try engaging customers through collaborative efforts in order to conceive new offerings and ad campaigns.
- Apply. Next take the experiments and apply them. To make it easier to reach out to customers, optimize your Web site so that it connects fluidly with online communities and social-media sites.
- Develop. Integrate the social media marketing into the company’s marketing mix. For example, rather than simply buying ads on MySpace or LinkedIn, make interactive Web 2.0 elements part of all marketing programs.
McKinsey says the key is to understand your customer’s online behaviors in order to take advantage of Web 2.0 and what’s beyond Web 2.0.
I like the LEAD model in concept, especially because it stresses Listening as the first step. I see too many experimental efforts being launched that have not been designed to take into account listening. The other point I feel gets lost is that there needs to be more of a focus on engaging external stakeholders in conversations. So while there needs to be a focus on listening, there should also be an equal focus on responding to what is being heard. The worst thing you can do is to listen and hear what is being said, but not respond. You need to engage in active conversations.
You can check out McKinsey’s article out at Managing beyond Web2.0 .