Leon Benjamin reminded me recently that we are now in Business 3.0 and it’s all about you and me.

Leon defined Business 1.0 as the stage during which countries started to colonize and expand globally.

Business 2.0 was the stage during which companies and organizations started doing this. An international industrial revolution.

Business 3.0 marks a significant shift to C2C. It’s an environment in which organizations have ceded control to consumers and their brands’ success is increasingly dependent on the opinion of consumers and their propensity to share their good opinion.

Word of Mouth is nothing new of course but the comparative ease with which we can now share our ideas and opinions has had the effect of moving control away from brands to their consumers. It is now possible to wreck the reputation of a brand in less than an hour. I’m surprised we don’t see more attempts at Twitter Terrorism.

The numbers underline the trend:

94% of consumers trust word of mouth expressed over social networks (Forrester)

84% of B2B buyers say that word of mouth over social networks is the #1 purchase influencer.

According to the Harvard Business Review, generating positive sentiment in social networks is 15 times more cost-effective than traditional forms of marketing.

77% of marketers plan to increase levels of invest in social influence marketing. (eMarketer)

Mark

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