Curation: The Next Web Revolution Part 3 - Product
What do companies really make? Comments received after Curation Part 2 got me thinking. If all business models must include curation then curation is a product. Curation, as Goojet President Marc Rougier suggested in an excellent comment on my original post, is a thing unto itself. Businesses curate therefore they are.
Product” changed for me after reading Dov Seidman’s book How: How we do anything means everything. The only thing companies own in fast, furious, connected times is process and some previously built brand equity. When anyone can do anything then how we do things matters. Who a company is expressed via process and curated on search engines and social networks may matter most.
Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh understands process, in our new curation revolution tribal marketing world, is product. The right customer-centric processes, free shipping out and back for example, creates brand advocates faster than traditional advertising. Advertising moved to the back of the bus only working forward once brand advocates were recruited. A company's processes must recruit an advocate army, empower the army, listen to the army, and include the army. Seth Godin’s 1999 book Permission Marketing helped define a new build as you earn business model we now know well.
Every company, brand, product and not-for-profit depends on advocates. Brand advocates generate word-of-mouth, the best advertising you can’t buy. They link, tweet and Facebook information to friends and friends of friends. Brand advocates are digital sherpas. No company climbs our new marketing Everest without a sherpa army. You can’t buy advocates. Companies earn advocates through curation. As marketing guru Faith Popcorn says, “People don’t buy brands they join them.”
Maybe curation is any businesses most important product? We fire up Google, listen to buzz on social networks and check in with friends long before we test-drive the new Ford Escape. We “curate” Escape’s feeds. Ford’s curation drives us (sorry couldn’t resist :). Ford is an information curator BEFORE they are car makers. Processes and web curation come first making Curation Is The Next Web Revolution.
Photo Credit: Tornado by Jmos on Flickr