‘The self is not something ready-made, but something in continuous formation through choice of action.’

– John Dewey1

As social media is more ‘social’ than ‘media’ we must accept that ‘relationships’ are going to matter more than ‘message’. ‘Persuasive’ marketing has given way to ‘caring’ marketing.

Even if our jobs are more about marketing than customer service, or vice versa, the future is all about looking for customer problems and solving them.

I grew up in the Big Brand era. And while times are changing, the old way of doing things is still far from dead. I still see it all around me. As do I its culture where employees stay out of reach (and out of touch) of customers. It’s a culture that often tries to avoid the customer as much as possible.

One morning I headed down to my local Starbucks and arrived before they were officially open. Staff members were inside, busily preparing the place for business, and the door was unlocked. I went in and asked if there was any chance I could get a coffee. I knew this was asking a bit of a favour. But the staff looked at me as if I was trespassing. They said no, I would have to wait 20 minutes. So I went around the corner to the family run coffee place. They too were in the throes of pre-opening preparation. I made the same enquiry, but this time was met with a big smile. ‘Sure! Come in.’ I always go to them for coffee now.

The new culture is about winning relationships. Socialeaders seek to ...

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