We referenced the Cluetrain Manifesto from 1999 in the Introduction, positing that the Internet equilibrates the balance of power between the megacorp and the little consumer. The social Web has indeed facilitated the rebalancing of the respective share of voice during the first decade of the century by helping consumers to come together to exchange perspectives and experiences. The collective voice is heard.
Sometimes the collective voice is sufficiently loud and assertive that organizations have no choice but to improve their standards or change course but, with the exception of greater pricing transparency and price comparison capabilities, the direction of marketing and commerce remains unchanged. The organization invests in helping you to understand why its products or service are worth buying (or point of view worth buying into) versus the competition, and the consumer navigates all the competing voices in making a purchase decision.
However, streams banks give rise to something I call buyer marketing, which is similar to what the VRM initiative refers to as a personal RFP132 (request for proposal) and what Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert, has recently labelled broadcast shopping.133 This marks the point at which individuals can market their needs or desires, either directly or anonymously, via a streams bank or other broker, to organizations interested in meeting that need or desire.
Why the slightly different turns of phrase? Well, I’m happier that a ...