Starting with the idea that persuadability can also be used to turn our users into allies of the company, the first objective is to get companies to change their point of view and to start to exploit this new and oh-so-valuable source of information.
Which lines of work do they need to interiorise and start to develop to face up to this challenge?
- Give the user tools to talk to us, even though he/she may say things which are corporately incorrect. Information needs to be credible and authentic, without too many filters. With the brand as the receiver, not the transmitter, e.g. the button ?tell us what you think? is not just a function, but the focus.
- Learn to listen. A form for the user to give his/her opinion is useless if the only thing it is used for is to elaborate a list of percentages. The user should be allowed to participate in the process with his/her opinions. e.g. metrics is no longer only a quantitative issue: the qualitative side is equally, if not more, important.
- Speak naturally; no more buzzwords or prefabricated phrases. e.g. A chatroom with a call centre is more valuable than a search engine with an infinite number of segmentation fields or an e-mail with an automatic response.
- Accept that ?I can only get back what I give?. e.g. if I do a mass promotion I will receive a mass response, but it will be a low-quality one; if I personalise, narrow it down and parameterise it I will get fewer results but they will be more valuable.
- Segment organically: it is no longer enough to define segments unilaterally and give each one the most appropriate content, according to all the analyses. We need to lean more towards organic segmentation, where the user will be the one to decide what he/she wants. Work on demand, not on supply. e.g. Open fields in search engines, which will help us know what the user is really interested in.
- Chatting, rather than informing. Site copy should be considered part of a conversation, not a ?question-answer? session. e.g. to get to know a user?s opinion about a product, a forum is a better way than drawing up a meticulous test.
- Leave brand image in the background. The website display should not be saturated with huge logos or mottos. The user needs to know exactly where he/she is, but this should not hinder browsing or ?steal? space which could be put to better use. e.g. the 15 second pre-homepage flash intro might get the user to recommend the site to a new shopper (so that the company does not need to invest as much in capturing clients).
- Create tools which will help save money for the company: Implementing MGM actions might result in joint purchases which will reduce distribution costs.