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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

It's About Trust Damn it!

Sitecore is a vendor that provides companies with content management systems for web sites. CMS systems have been around since the early days of mass web marketing. Sitecore had contacted Redmond Media to determine if we could reach (and help sell) the senior IT decision maker. While in the midst of a sales call to Sitecore's Darren Guarnaccia, I decided to ask him how badly social networking had dented his sales. Without missing a beat, Darren went over the rationale of taking your existing web content management system and having the existing architecture contain all of the bells and whistles of the various technologies in current play; The ability to build a wiki, populate a linkedin, the strengths of listening to and monitoring dialogue both internally (site specific) and externally, etc.. It made sense and the logic follows the typical migration of say, an operating system. A newer version comes along and more functionality and efficiency is in play. Darren then explained that in order for a social network to truly succeed, you need "major trust". The entire premise of online social networking is the fact that individuals and their web needs/habits have evolved. We know, as marketers, that the web is now a two-way street. They are less inclined to come over for static controlled content. These individuals want to interact with their peers, listen to a voice of reason, credibility and expertise in a specific field, receive quick response that fosters further communication and also have the ability to give input. Most people are still readers or "inactives" at this point in time but those sideline viewers are spending more time and reading more content in the social network frame than in the traditional web site frame. Rewind chapter four in "Groundswell" and you've got the same premise. Incidentally, SiteCore’s sales are doing very well. Darren wrote an excellent white paper that covers seamless integration of your social networking needs with your current CMS provider (Redmond Media uses Sitecore). This paper also goes into detail about finding that elusive "do or die" trust element with your social networking audience vis-à-vis your best customers or even better, your company's top evangelists. After all, we don’t want to be road kill on the digital highway, do we? The link for the white paper is here -
I highly recommend Sitecore.
JD Holzgrefe

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