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Looks like most large companies now developing policies to control (or be ignored).
Not a choice. They never really had control. That's illusion. Now with most of human species wired, the conversation is controlled by them See Toyota hype storm of 2010. Only 2 cars proven to accelerate on own (floor mats, not electronics). But hype storm had real effect. Control is wasted energy in fantasy. Messaging should be be about listening. Use clear push message to stimulate response, then listen carefully to response.
Today it's about governing the flow of conversation, not controlling it
The whole idea of control was just an illusion in the first place. Marketers have never been in control. The messaging was crafted as best we could to send the message we wanted. Hopefully the customer saw the message we wanted them to see. The only difference now is that we have immediate feedback on how the customer actually interpreted our work.
You must maintain ownership of the message, but adjust it as you see fit after testing audience feedback.
Nothing is this black and white. Influence today comes from letting go to a certain degree.
It's the shift from "talking to" to "conversing with". There's no way any longer to "control" a conversation.
If you genuinely intend on real conversation with your user / customer then you have to surrender control of the conversation and just engage. Imagine what it's like when you try to control a conversation in real life - it's completely anti-social - do it enough and no one wants to talk to you. Just remember the same social rules apply online as off. Share, listen, be nice, don't lie and you'll be all set.
I agree with Ted, though I'd suggest that it's less about "surrendering" control, than about coping with the fact that the control that was baked into traditional channel (and the traditional marketing that animated them) is being appropriated by users. The territories that ultimately made up the Mongul Empire weren't so much surrendered to, as taken by Genghis Khan. In that same way-- to Ted's point-- marketers need to rethink deeply and quickly: control of the communication we call "messaging" isn't theirs' to give in a world in which it's being taken by users in their own ways, for their own purposes, and at their own paces.
i agree that it's a shift, but i think it's about framing that shift in terms marketers understand. particularly in b2b, marketing is becoming more and more comfortable with the concept of alignment with and enablement of sales (particularly when you get to the field/product level). if this shift is framed as another level of enablement, i think marketers will more quickly embrace the power to influence and stop white-knuckling the brand reigns.
This will be a tough one for marketers to swallow, as it requires rethinking fundamental roles. When a CMO really embraces this idea, s/he moves from a primary role of gatekeeper to more of a facilitator. And the strategy becomes less about consistency and more about inspiration and engagement.