There is a great interview of Mark Bonchek, SVP of Communities and Networks for Sears Holdings in Forbes.
Mark talks about the concept of Customer Gravity. Social Media is a revolution. The most significant revolution of our age, and of recent times. The rules of the game are changing for corporations.
- Broadcast is giving way to customized communication.
- Communication is shifting from broadcast to becoming a two-way conversation.
- Collaboration is occurring on a global scale.
Mark has developed the concept of customer orbits. Think of brands as planets, around which moons want to revolve. The web power houses such as Google, Amazon, eBay and Facebook are solar systems that comprise multiple constellations of planets.
The idea of a gravitational pull in a customer context is very relevant because customers are shifting from being the recipient of pushed communications towards a world where interests and networks of like minds are drawn in to a common orbit.
Push communications is like an exploding star - you want to avoid the debris as it hurtles towards you.
Pull is like the sun where we are drawn towards the warmth and energy that the sun creates.
Social is Strategic. It is a gravitational force that corporations can no longer ignore.
Think back to the era of the Gutenberg Press. It was a time when the prevailing view was that the world was flat and the planets revolved around the earth. We now know that is not true. Our planet revolves around the sun and the earth is round.
The era of Social Media is reminiscent of that transformative change in scientific thinking. Corporations have to come to terms with the idea that they are not the center of the universe. The world does not revolve around them. Push communication will still have a role, a diminished role, used to deliver personalized communication to those that have requested it. But Pull will continue to grow in importance and corporations will have to come to terms with how they can nurture personalized relationships with customers and other stakeholders that can effectively compete for the limited attention that those stakeholders have at their disposal.