Savvy Buyers won’t be bullied or buy the BS!

In 2009, when I wrote this piece, the Financial Services industry (as I know it) was still intent upon ignoring or, more accurately, failing to embrace the necessary lessons. Not much has changed!

This WILL prove to be a very costly mistake for some.

To execute a successful change of direction, from PUSH to PULL, is not as simple as it sounds. The environment in which “pull” can be created is very different to that of “push” and it is built by deed and action WITH customers NOT constructed like a “corporate facade”!

For FS, it requires change…

of focus: from REVENUE to CUSTOMER

of culture: from SALES to SERVICE


Savvy customers expect (perhaps demand) TRANSPARENCY! “Social business” requires a brand to live its marketing, be accessible and engage in two-way communication: to build TRUST. Read more of this post

Financial Sector: Stop selling [and start listening]…for success

I understand why there is a fear of transparency BUT if you have heard the name Warren Buffett you may already be aware of this, abridged, little “gem” from is considerable stock of ready wisdom in quip form:

“Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful”

The cost of social media is paid in a currency called transparency. But it is a price worth paying. Forming the basis for a strategy that can deliver, secure and sustain a strategy with competitive advantage through differentiated products and services.

How else is a financial institution ever going to cultivate 2 million “fans”?

Banking and financial

JPMorgan Chase went from an unpopulated community with little to no member activity to very active (more than 2 million fans) by using a tight focus, such as using the community to determine where to “invest” its charitable donations. The communities that do well tend to focus on a very specific segment, such as small businesses or support CSR initiatives.

Transparency and transformation:: Being Open Without Giving Away the Store

If you aren’t already aware of Alimeter Group, Charlene Li or Joseph Owyang it may already say all that needs said about your social media strategy!

Whether you dismiss social media as a fad or are waiting for the right time to consider or  implement an SM strategy is, to a certain extent, irrelevant because THE ISSUE is the…understandable…public clamour for TRANSPARENCY.

It is a word that strikes fear into the very heart of institutions so, if Warren Buffett knows anything (and I reckon he does!), there is a HUGE opportunity for those who can afford transparency to “get greedy”.

“What’s often missing when leaders try to decide how open they should be is a coherent open strategy, something I call ‘open-driven objectives.’ With an open strategy, decision shifts from if you should be open—because social technology demands a certain amount of openness—to how open you need to be to accomplish your overall strategic goals. In today’s world, organizations and their leaders must be open or suffer the consequences—distrust, leaks, resentment, and institutional sclerosis.”

via Change This – Being Open Without Giving Away the Store: The Secret Is a Sandbox Covenant.

The term “sandbox covenants” is a new one on me. I get it and I like it! Then again I am a fan of transparency. Primarily because of the number of firms to whom the concept is entirely alien and which, if they are delivering value to their customers, they should be in a position to adopt a strategy with wider market appeal. Of course there are also firms whose model cannot afford transparency and others whose outward appearance belies financial frailty. There are too many examples of collapsed companies whose financial standing has been independently rated &/or certified based upon “unreliable” or outdated information.

Put another way, the need is for more than a common language and platform. In turbulent economic times there  is a need for a reliable,  quantitative, objective and cost effective means of verifying the CURRENT financial credentials of “interested parties” without disclosing sensitive information.

Ontonix Complexity analysis and rating services offer, not only a “common language” but the means to build trust through mutual transparency.

Is YOUR business

Find out  ON-LINE! !cid_part2_01060409_08020107@ontonix

Information Overload, procrastination & "complexity paralysis"

As a follow-up to recent articles (see below) I thought it worth sharing this blog which, deals more with the sheer volume of information, rather than the IMPACT upon our ability to function effectively in home or work environments.

It doesn’t take too much thought to envisage the toll it takes when so much of the new “streaming” information requires to be, rapidly, deciphered, understood, interpreted and applied to enable you, your colleagues or your organisation to perform whatever task(s) you were undertaking before the tsunami of – distracting or confusing – new information struck!:

The problem is that people don’t have tools to filter information down to the most useful bits with minimal effort. The only choices we have right now are to take everything through our various media sources or shut ourselves off from potential opportunities. Of course that’s a false choice because when we let ourselves be inundated by information we miss things anyway–time is the ultimate arbiter of attention.

via Infographic: Is Information Overload Over-Hyped? | Fast Company.

Web 2.0: How to engage with your customers

Each is promoting their brand and goods that they would like you to spend your hard-earned cash on. They both want you to endorse their brand, to promote it to others and remain loyal to it.


Web 2.0 means the end of the……….

•The ‘read only’ Internet

•The ‘tell them how good’ we are Internet

•Traditional ‘push’ marketing strategies (declining effectiveness – nobody listens any more)

•The ‘Brand’ as we know it – People are becoming ‘cynical’ to brands and resistant to brand messages- -the ‘brand’ becomes the customer experience

•The end of the ‘About Us’ web site…..and the beginning of the ‘About You’ web site


Both offer the ability to buy items on-line, are bright, clear, informative and engaging but one offers the best means to listen to, engage with and retain your customers.

Thanks to Dr Jim Hamill (Strathclyde University) for the original insight!