This is my first blog post which reflects my understanding of the Cluetrain Manifesto’s theses. For those who are not familiar with the book, the Cluetrain Manifesto looks closely at the role of the Web and the way it reinforces a revolution in the business communication. It challenges the conventional way that businesses approach customers with their “one-to-many” generic messages by revealing some key concepts that companies should put in practice in order to earn credibility and be successful. The manifesto also confronts the commonly accepted perception of the Web as mainly being a place to buy and sell.
Out of the 95 theses incorporated in the book, I extracted the following, in my opinion, cardinal messages:
1. Markets are conversations. The first and foremost argument of the Cluetrain Manifesto. We glance back at the first markets where the process of buying products was a real conversation, later interrupted by the industrial revolution. Today, people are trying to rediscover this lost human touch, and using the Web as means to form “network markets” and create opportunities for interaction.
2. Companies must connect with customers directly and with a human voice. Companies should not communicate to the public with depersonalized corporate messages. They need to listen to people concerns and show that they care by responding openly and with a human voice.
3. Word of Mouth is the most powerful marketing. People talk about a company with or without its knowledge. In their urge for social interaction they connect with each other to share knowledge and experience. It is to company’s advantage to engage in these conversations and use the power of word-of-mouth.
4. Conversations are happening inside the company as well. Companies should remove control and empower its employees to speak. They also want to be heard, and they are whom markets want to hear from; not from a corporation without a face.
I would recommend this book to any company and organization. They should all learn how to listen to and respond to the voices of the online marketplace.