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The Network Is Your Customer: Five Strategies to Thrive in a Digital Age Hardcover – January 11, 2011

4.9 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Level-headed advice for companies contemplating a leap into the digital arena."—Kirkus
(Kirkus)

About the Author

David L. Rogers is executive director of BRITE and faculty director of the Digital Marketing Strategy executive program at Columbia Business School.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press (January 11, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300165870
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300165876
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,972,230 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When I first picked up this book by David Rogers, (a pro­fes­sor at Colum­bia Busi­ness School), I thought it was yet another intro­duc­tion to social com­mu­ni­ca­tion tech­nolo­gies for wary cor­po­rate man­agers. Boy, was I wrong!

WHAT'S DIFFERENT...

Rather than orga­niz­ing the book around the use of spe­cific social com­mu­ni­ca­tion tools or an exam­i­na­tion of the gen­eral the­ory of dis­rup­tive social tech­nolo­gies, Rogers builds his book around the behav­iors and needs of cus­tomer net­works. The title is quite apt.

The writ­ing is acces­si­ble and the book is very well orga­nized and designed to be prac­ti­cal. The first two chap­ters explain the dynam­ics of cus­tomer net­works and social com­mu­ni­ca­tion tech­nolo­gies. Each of the 5 behav­iors he iden­ti­fies are exam­ined in their own chap­ters and mul­ti­ple strate­gies are pre­sented. Next, Rogers ded­i­cates a chap­ter to a spe­cific plan­ning and imple­men­ta­tion process that will help busi­nesses apply these ideas to their spe­cific sit­u­a­tions. He then asks the ques­tions, "What will the orga­ni­za­tion of the future look like?"and "How do we cre­ate an orga­ni­za­tion that is not just customer-focused, but customer-network focused?" Finally, he sys­tem­at­i­cally reviews each of the strate­gies in the book, by ask­ing a series of ques­tions in a `Self-Assessment Quiz'. Inquiry is a pow­er­ful tech­nique for self-reflection, per­son­al­iz­ing the ideas pre­sented here.

There are well over 100 case stud­ies spread through­out the book. Com­pa­nies are listed in an Appen­dix, sorted by indus­try. Each case study specif­i­cally illus­trates the strat­egy Rogers is describ­ing. This is an effec­tive approach that makes it very easy to `try on' tech­niques with your orga­ni­za­tion.
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Format: Hardcover
I am a natural networker and connector. It is natural for me to try to connect people with other people who might be of interest.

I believe in nurturing a network and have taken time to deliberately do that. See my blog entry on ways to network easily.

So I was interested when a book The Network is your Customer - 5 Strategies to Thrive in a Digital Age came across my desk it piqued my interest. But -that is not what the book is about. It is about how business thrives in the network age.

It starts by talking about the network effect. How the larger the network, the more valuable it it and at the same time, the more power the network has if your business lacks perfection. It then goes on to share 5 practical Strategies for thriving:

1 - Access - be instant, be everywhere, be accessible from any device all the time. Speed in the digital age wins. I have long ascribed to "sense of urgency wins" in business but in the digital age, it is even more critical.

2 - Engage. Be there in all forms of social media, Twitter, blogs, Pinterest, HonestlyNow, Linkedin etc.

3 - Customize. Make your offerings match customer needs. I see a need for a bit of mass customization simply from a time management viewpoint. Social media can be time consuming so devising ways to systematize it makes sense.

4 - Connect. Of course reach out digitally to your customers and prospect.

5 - Collaborate. Respond to what the network is saying and work with them to constantly improve. Now more than ever, Kaizen applies.

Interesting and thought provoking book.

Social media can be an endless task and create guilt if not approached well. As with any endless task, goals need to be finite in order to get fulfillment.
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Format: Hardcover
I am grateful to Thomas Kuhn and then to Joel Barker for filling one of my several knowledge gaps, in this instance the dual concepts of paradigm and paradigm shift. They have prepared me well for books such as this one in which David L. Rogers observes, "Today, business needs a new paradigm: the customer network. In customer networks, customers are no longer viewed as isolated individuals but are seen as dynamic and interactive participants in a network...To succeed, businesses, nonprofits, and organizations of all kinds need new strategies that match the behavior of customer networks. But first we need to rethink our image of customers, from individuals to networks. We need to stop thinking about the bees and focus on the hive."

After identifying and briefly discussing four basic mistakes to avoid (Page 11), he shifts his attention to "Five Customer Network Behaviors" (12-15) and "Five Customer Network Strategies (15-20), then alerts his reader to 10 of the examples customer network strategies that are featured within the remaining narrative. They include a few of the usual suspects (Apple, Nike, Dell, Cisco, and Ford) but also a few unexpected exemplars such as author Stephanie Meyer (the "Twilight" series) and the 2008 Obama presidential campaign. All this is included in the first chapter (!) and by then, Rogers has begun to generate some serious momentum that carries him (and his eager reader) through more than 100 mini-case studies in Part II: Five Strategies to Thrive with Customer Networks, previously introduced. Briefly:

1. ACCESS: Be faster, easier, everywhere, "and always on."
2. ENGAGE: Become a source of valued, preferably indispensable "content" [e.g. information, advice, constructive criticism].
3.
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