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What is a Community Developer

What is the key approach to effectively market our products in Web2.0?

As I was sitting passively in a company meeting today, (yes not often), I was very impressed to hear various company staff voices bubbling with enthusiasm and knowledge for change. I was very impressed that these voices had an outlet, and a channel for open dialogue, and the approach needs commending for allowing this to take place, in an environment where this type of dialogue had not been common place.

Large corporations the world over are struggling with traditional forms of advertising, it is no surprise to find the branding and marketing conversation rampant in the online world, where large organisations are having to employ, consult, embrace, the currency of trust, which is of course transparency and Mr Penn stated some time ago.

Marketing is now a dialogue, a conversation, the product has to be engaged with from the point of view of the prospect, and there is now a NEED, an absolute requirement to have interaction with the prospects.

Web 2.0 is here to stay, and those who embrace it will win, those who ignore it will fall, without a shadow of doubt.

So what’s needed?

A few things…

1. SELL TO YOUR STAFF – senior management need to engage with their staff transparently, and lead the transparent and open dialogue, effectively leading by example and encouraging participation, (fuelling the conversation). Old school management cascades are typically one way, very old school, the conversation stops, immediately!

2. ENCOURAGE STAFF TO SELL FOR YOU– here this is where you actively support and promote the soldiers to champion and engage in representing the company in the online space, they sell for you, and you need to provide them with full authorisation to publish their views about the company, to open conversation in THEIR channels.

3. COMMUNITY TOOLS – you need tools in place which promote the above to take place, including, blogs, podcasts, videocasts, wikis, social networks, and not only, and methods for sharing how it works, a person, a motivator, don’t force it, let them want it.

4. COMMUNITY DEVELOPER – you need someone full-time working in and around the community (the staff), who not only brings people together with all of this technology, but more importantly documents, showcases, makes aware of all the wonderful activities going on and spreading that externally within the important spaces where the prospects are. You need this person popping in board meetings, nipping into workshops, R&D, filming activity and pumping it out on a channel to the internal and external community.

It’s no secret I have been community developing with my online businesses for some time and have always relished the environment of connecting people and extending the conversation. The point is as my friend Doug Haslam says, how to move mountains, how to mobilise a community to act and engage with the product.

What do you think, what have I missed, what needs adding to here?