A Call to Collaborate

The president of Emerson’s Micro Motion Coriolis flow & density measurement business, Tom Moser, has a great article in the Jan/Feb edition of ISA’s Intech magazine. The executive corner article, Online collaboration: A win for all of us, is a strong call to action for process automation suppliers and process manufacturers to take advantage of social media (a.k.a. Web 2.0) to improve listening, research & development, and the way we learn and interact.

Tom frames the opportunity:

Today, as consumers, we have the opportunity to evaluate, share, research, and comment on any product or service online. Consumers can change the course of a new product introduction and influence what companies will develop and sell to us in the future. While this might put us outside of our traditional comfort zone, one thing is for certain–we all need to accept it and embrace it.

Through social media applications like Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, blogs, RSS searches, etc. companies can immediately improve their listening skills. Tom describes in an Aberdeen Group report on listening to online conversations, that organizations:

…realized a 93% improvement in their ability to capture consumer insight that drove a new product or service development. In addition to contributions to new product development, these organizations achieved an estimated 63% customer service cost reduction and 82% improvement in identifying and reducing risk to their brands.

With these types of ROI figures, it’s understandable how social media initiatives in business-to-business (B2B) companies have moved beyond the organizations’ grassroots levels into the executive management levels.

Tom notes that the tools themselves are not costly. What does consume resources is the organizational commitment to the time required to regularly track, participate, and use the flow of information that improved listening provides. Taking advantage of the insights that users of your products and services share can be the differentiation your company offers versus your competition to grow your business.

Beyond better listening, Tom enumerates other benefits such as closer connections, tapping ideas/solutions more easily, better best practice sharing, faster access to information, improved personal development, and more.

I highlighted in an earlier post, Join the Micro Motion Online Community, how the Micro Motion team is fully embracing Tom’s ideas with an on-line community around Coriolis flow and density measurement. If you have these measurement devices or have the interest to learn more about the technology, this community is a great place to ask questions and learn from experts.

In the article, I couldn’t agree more with Tom’s closing thought:

Social media is dramatically changing our behavior as end consumers. In the B2B world, it is time to fully leverage the capabilities that Web 2.0 enables. We will all win.

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Update: Welcome, readers of the What’s Working in Marketing blog! We appreciate any thoughts you have on collaboration.

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Posted Thursday, February 11th, 2010 under Communities, Measurement.

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