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The Operations and Marketing Connection

So far this chapter has covered two primary topics: The importance of understanding the mechanics of the Social Web and the Social Feedback Cycle, and the collaborative inflection-point within the larger social engagement process.

Engagement has been redefined for social business as a more active (participative) notion compared with the decidedly more passive definition of engagement—reading an ad or mechanically interacting with a microsite typically applied in traditional media.

Where terms like “Engagement Ad” literally means “an ad you can click on to see more promo copy.” That’s not what participants on the Social Web think of as “engaging,” as the Social Web is a distinctly participation-centric place.

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The final section ties the mechanical processes of the social technologies together with the acts of participation and collaboration, and establishes the foundational role of the entire business or organization in setting up for success on the Social Web.

The Social Feedback Cycle—the loop that connects the published experiences of current customers or other stakeholders with potential customers or other stakeholders—is powered by the organization and what it produces. This is a very different proposition from a traditional view of marketing where the message is controlled by an agency and the experience is controlled—in isolation—by the product or services teams and others.

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Marketing Connection

Figure 1.3 shows the alignment that needs to occur between what can be loosely be called “Operations” and the Marketing team in support of Customers. Included in “operations” are the functional areas that control product design and manufacturing, customer service and support policies, warranty services and similar.

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In other words, if Marketing is the discipline or function within an organization that defines and shapes the customer’s expectation, then Operations is the combined functional team that shapes and delivers the actual customer experience.

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