The Cluetrain Manifesto — A Recommended Read for Digital Strategists!
Digital strategies are crucial tools for mapping a brand’s journey in the online world, answering fundamental questions about brand identity, visibility, authority, and content creation and management, among other aspects of maintaining a consistent online presence.
If you are in the process of developing your digital strategy, it might be interesting for you to read the book called The Cluetrain Manifesto by Rick Levine, et al.
The book is an in-depth study and analysis of cluetrain.com, a website founded in 1999 and whose experiences have become a yardstick for assessing online strategies. The authors and contributors analyze various facets of Cluetrain’s decisions, business model, and business practices in the face of a new business reality — of maintaining their online presence.
Among the many insights they have shared throughout the book, I believe the following three remain important even today:
- “Companies need to come down from their Ivory Towers and talk to the people with whom they hope to create relationships”
- “We want access to your corporate information, to your plans and strategies, your best thinking, your genuine knowledge”
- “We have some ideas for you too: some new tools we need, some better service. Stuff we’d be willing to pay for. Got a minute?”
The Cluetrain Manifesto might be one of the best books written on the new reality in the digital age. The authors and contributors remind us that the purpose of business is to fulfill customer requirements and how important it is to leverage networks. It forces all digital strategists to ask themselves, “Do we really consider our customer requirements in our digital strategy?”
One opportunity highlighted is that leaders should lean more towards, and leverage, crowdsourcing to enhance the ability to innovate and to respond to customers’ requirements.
For further discussion of the topic, see my post on best practices for leveraging the crowd for idea creation, which offers insights for properly steering initiatives.