The Social Customer has been discussed in great detail across countless blogs and web sites. In my opinion, no one has done a better job of providing a more complete definition than that provided by Jacob Morgan’s Chess Media Group, with Attensity, at the end of June, 2010. With Jacob’s permission I am including his Slideshare below, along with a link to a free white paper that was created as part of this effort.
Before watching this Slideshare I want to note:
- This work is outstanding.
- This work is focused primarily on the private sector. However, the definition of the Social Customer, as part of The Social Ecosystem, must work across sectors, geographies, languages. We get to that common definition after you view the Slideshare.
I know what you’re thinking…. Wow, awesome information… For the purpose of The Social Ecosystem:
The Social Customer is the receiver of value (services, products, etc..). The Social Customer could be an individual, a Social Unit, or an entire Social Organization.
This simple definition covers citizens voting in an election as well as customers buying groceries at a supermarket. It also covers the consumer buying the iPhone at Best Buy, Best Buy buying the iPhone from Apple, Apple Buying parts from a Factory. B2B, B2C, Local Governments, Politicians, Federal Agencies are all Social Customers as are each person living on this planet.
The Social Customer also has varying levels of access to basic freedoms, wealth, and technology. For example, in the United States 78% of citizens have access to the internet while in Ghana only 3% have internet access. In Ghana, 80% of citizens have access to SMS services, however; SMS is their primary “social” channel. What common attributes exist then?
- The Social Customer is influenced by friends and people like themselves. As noted in the presentation:
- 78% trust recommendations from social graph (E. Qualman)
- 90% of B2B buyers trust peer reviews & 70% trust online reviews
For a second, step back and review again the Slideshare above. This definition of the Social Customer is superb but is the Social Customer in the ideal form. A growing number of Social Customers meet this ideal but most share only some of those attributes, slowly evolving towards this ideal. Your job, as part of The Social Ecosystem, is to understand how far your Social Customers are along this path. Your strategies and tactics must match where your Social Customers are today and continue to evolve with them. Are you up for this challenge?