Who, tonight, is living in Southern California and paying no attention to the Santa Ana winds? Like wind moves fire; information moves people, prices and processes. And if you’re not paying attention and watching the information on and around your company flow, you’re being completely negligent and irresponsible.
Blowing bubbles into the wind…
The FUD around “Web 2.0″ is running higher than ever. Witness this article on the impending business bubble in the International Herald Tribune. And, speaking of bubbles, I’m starting to hear the Web 2.0 ROI argument bubbling up more and more.
Score! When the pundits and finance guys start discussing communications trends, I figure something is really taking off.
So let’s talk ROI. For companies who sell to consumers, we have Deloitte reporting that consumers are researching product reviews by their peers online like never before:
“To build their knowledge arsenals, consumers are turning to online reviews in large numbers â€“ and those reviews are having a considerable impact on purchase decisions. According to a recent survey by Deloitteâ€™s Consumer Products group, almost two-thirds (62 percent) of consumers read consumer-written product reviews on the Internet.
Of these, more than eight in 10 (82 percent) say their purchase decisions have been directly influenced by the reviews, either influencing them to buy a different product than the one they had originally been thinking about purchasing or confirming the original purchase intention.
Interestingly, while the percentages were slightly higher for the younger generations, all age groups are reading and acting on online reviews at significant rates. In addition, the reach of consumer reviews isnâ€™t limited to the online world; seven in 10 (69 percent) consumers who read reviews share them with friends, family or colleagues, thus amplifying their impact.”
\my emphasis throughout - jlj
Harnessing the power of information…
How do you know how your product is being reviewed by your consumers? Have you set up persistent searches on your product and company names yet? You’re doing your company a disservice if you haven’t - with those kinds of influencers and that kind of power of persuasion online.
Free RSS tools are available to watch for your product mentions, and any enterprise IT organization worth keeping should be looking into enterprise RSS solutions - like those from Attensa - to feed search results into their communications departments.
How is the wind blowing for Enterprise 2.0?
Forrester offers a more clinical study of Web 2.0 technology ROI in the enterprise, having recently interviewed 275 IT decision makers:
“Forrester surveyed 275 IT pros on their firms’ Web 2.0 implementations and found that Really Simple Syndication, or RSS, was the highest value technology, with nearly one in four reporting “substantial value.” RSS was most frequently used for corporate communications or content aggregation, while one in three respondents said it was used for external marketing.”
It seems the IT departments are so busy, they’re reluctant to look at any Web 2.0 project without a strong business case.
“We’ve got so many things we are asked to deliver for the organization right now … if you can’t put together a good business case that has some cost benefit justification, it’s difficult to get those types of efforts launched.”
I’ve written about the power of collaboration technologies before, and I wonder how many of these busy executives will feel when - like people in southern California watching the Santa Ana winds - they powerlessly witness something so very much out of their control sweep through their carefully crafted structures.
Firewalls only stand so long - nature is a truly awesome force.