"Cluetrain Manifesto: The End of Business As Usual" for class. The book was published a decade ago but the essence of the book remains current and applicable to this day. Cluetrain Manifesto has 95 Theses that serves as the "golden rules" a company should live but in order to be succesful in their business. But the theses can be summed up into three main points: (1) Market are conversations; (2) the internet is about giving the public a voice; and (3) understanding and engaging in the conversation can lead to results organizations want.
The market have evolved into more than just "target consumers" and "audiences." Instead of numbers and demographics, the market are now made up of voices. Conversation of people who seek one another to share common interests without filters or interuptions from the media or any corporate entity. Organizations are no longer in full control of their brands. Simply broadcasting a message to the market is obsolete and no longer an effective way of mass communications.
The internet gave people the podium to speak their voice loud. Cluetrain noted a powerful conversation has begun. Through the internet, people are discovering and inventing new ways to share relevant knowledge with blinding speed. As a direct result, markets are getting smarter and getting smarter faster than most companies. People want to talk. Its a common need of human beings that want to connect and be free to express oneself. People will tend to move towards the direction where they know their voices are welcome and will quickly abandon organization that don't meet those needs. The game has changed and companies who want to be successful in their business must learn to adapt.
An organization should learn to navigate the sea of conversations taking place online. The kind of conversations are very social and personal; diverse and interconnected; focused and unpredictable. Understanding voices that echos thought the web enables the company to stay informed and on top of their business. Companies are required to approach their brand with a new business model that not only provide superior products and services but also listens and dialogue with the consumers. It's a new perspective companies must learn to embrace. Consumers are now co-creator of brands and the by-product of the company's engagement to the conversations are well-satisfied and loyal communities of consumers.
(Cartoon image from Blending the Mix)