Social media as a driving force….or how do they turn B2C into C2B and perhaps into P2P ?

Social media as a driving force….

or how  do  they   turn  B2C into C2B and perhaps into P2P ?


The expansion of social media forces  companies to consider themselves  being  an embedded ecosystem,  which means seeing  the  connections between the inside and  the outside of the company. They completely turn  around the traditional system of education and health care services  and accelerate the shift from B2C to C2B and P2P. On the top of that they also transform companies into an extended collaborating ecosystem   from customer to  supplier. A sort of  working community. That sounds much better, doesn’t it ? Customers play more a participative role within  business processes. That requires from you as a company a certain level of preparation. Social media change our attitudes and insights, they  shift  the power end force companies  by using  Review, Reputation and Ranking  to act  more transparent and do it with integrity .

All these processes are of course not new, they got started in the late 1980s.  Social media are however seen as a strong accelerator of the  process. Like the Web and  email they should change  companies in three steps. First, the operational part.  It is about short- term cost cut. The second step is an organizational part. New structures, processes,  employing  social media manager or chief meaning officer  and  chief listening officer, organization of a distributed team work through support by wiki’s; and as  the third  step- steering: strategy and business models are now in transition.

In the near future the concept “company” will undergo a huge change; companies will become more project based ecosystems, temporarily structures. Just like films are being made, a temporary team of pro’s does the job. Neue Kombinationen (new structures)  focused on flexibility instead of  continuity. The transition from  employer into a entrepreneur, increasing number of self-employed will be accompanying this process . The new entrepreneur  has to be aware of  his own capabilities, to pool, to  ally and to link-who’s your pal- and be able to  build giants with a particular and  clearly defined goal. TMC is successful  example of this process.

The new company, understood as an ecosystem, will also, more than in the past, reflect ‘weconomics’ and act on a smaller geographical area: community economics, reflecting nearonomics,  will be part of the business future I think.  Why searching globally if your neighbours have the answer? I’m very sure that with the internet we discover our neighbours again: the sharing economy arises. We use each others cars, appartments, buy vegetables from each other gardens and a lot more. P2P!


HRM 2.0 with the main focus on integrity based collaboration and payment  for performance, promotion for ability is essential to make this mechanism move. What is the truth behind  that ? Not collaborating  costs money and is no option today. It pulls you off the transparent market created by digital media.

Social media enable  the customers to find each other and to influence the companies through “group purchase ” or are examples of such combinations: buyer’s power in action!  On demand marketing as far as there still exists marketing in doing business in the digital age. Marketing basically becomes Sales, and the game is about timing and recognizing your window of opportunity. As a rule, the consumer uses prior to a big purchase to gain some information on the Internet. Who is not seen there is off!

A nice recent example is What I most like about this example is  that I predicted the transition “from line flight to charter”  already in 2001, but I was surely not the only one. If you are able to see the flight as a temporarily community, puzzle pieces  fall into  their place. If you see it once you will see it everywhere.  It’s likely to last shorter than  50 years ago, but still at least 10 years  or longer before   the business is about to realize the change. See it as a  sort of lesson. And how long do you think it’s going to take before it is really in the genes of the companies? Probably much longer. Today’s matchmaking is possible  not only through LinkedIn but also  on or the Estonia’s Bank of Happiness : you are fixing my garden, I am doing your income tax return. Barter is reborn!

Co-creation, like during  the development of Fiat 500 is another example. Fiat and BMW  involved their consumers into design co-creation processes , of course not limitlessly, but it contributes sufficiently to a certain form of mass customization, which didn’t fit within the scientific management models.  Dutch examples: developments of a new taste of  Lay chips and Pickwick tea. The same trend can be  seen  at Dell or Customize your  shirt. Crowdsourcing and open innovation are in the air.

Banking , insurance businesses  and crowdfunding are actually also a part of this process. Here some Dutch crowdfunding examples. Through  the artist can collect today the money needed.    The moneyskype is coming: P2P banking. If you have money surplus and I, let’s  assume, some  shortage, there are some eBay-like business opportunities for us available.   and are just few examples of P2P social banking with customer self-service. What consequences does it imply for an participative bank?  To arrange  the security and some sort eBay-like trust system implementation. But  as I have mentioned before, the  incubation time for the ideas of this format  takes at least 10 years.

The core message is that the consumer is on the move. The movements don’t come from inside- out but are like two ways- traffic- outside-in and inside- out: thus  a dialog. But as a company you may need a certain preparation. This  collaboration form can only succeed if you as a company have the ability and courage  to release where possible the control. Exactly the opposite from what we got used to and   what we have learned at school. Organize the communicational excellence. Listen to Ken Robinson. Do you recognize engagement as a main topic? The company,   no matter how big and complicated it might be, should be experienced  by its customer as a small sized enterprise, where everybody knows everybody. Sweep the complexity aside. The Enterprise, Health,  Higher professional Education should be organized in the way , enabling  them to see Human beings and recognize their needs.

The myth of the acting management is becoming step by step the creating reality of the empowered customers and courageous entrepreneurs.



Earlier work:

About an Analogous Life in a Digital World, Rotterdam 2005, p. 30

From Schedule Push to Reality Pull, European Retail Digest Issue 48, winter 2005, p 33-37


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