Book Review: Cluetrain Manifesto

The New Era of Business 

In “The Cluetrain Manifesto”, it illustrates how businesses, markets, way of communication, and sociology have changed dramatically since the emergence of the information technology. This book is meant to be a wake-up call to the future businesses if they want to lead the web, and if they don’t catch the train, their businesses will miss out big deal.

 

With no doubt, this book is written differently in terms of format. Throughout the book, I came across stories back in the day. The language used is quite very easy and comprehendible. In addition, the book’s ninety five theses, as the title of this book suggests (manifesto), serves as a good outline of what the book is all about; those theses are quite challenging arguing wise. In short, those ninety five theses are workable and very effective in almost all businesses. If companies considered those theses everyone will win (owners and customers).

In this book, you see how the emergence of the internet has changed the world. The most revolutionary technology, (up to date), information technology has changed almost every aspect of our lives; for example, the way we communicate is different now, we are pretty much connected remotely with each other, getting and sending instant messages through this unique medium. Also, some markets and businesses have evolved too throughout the years in terms of advertisement and distribution.

On the online world, consumers and markets have changed to become smarter and wiser than before. If businesses want to succeed, they have to tear down the barrier between them and the customers. We are in a new area of transparency and accessibility. Customers are totally aware of the surroundings; so, companies should pay more attention to the wisdom of the crowds.  

Also, this book argues that companies and institutions need to find a human voice in which to communicate with the masses. This is very important point that the authors have made about internet commerce in how companies can effectively communicate their mission, vision, customer service, even product descriptions to gain the customer. Make everything read like human conversation. They say that the most effective corporate messages have always come in the form of a conversation. For example, get a real person to describe the product, what it does and how to fix it when it breaks.

 

“Online markets will talk about companies whether companies like it or not. People will say whatever they like, without caring whether they’re overheard or quoted — in fact, having one’s views passed along is usually the whole point. Companies can’t stop customers from speaking up, and can’t stop employees from talking to customers. Their only choice is to start encouraging employees to talk to customers — and empowering them to act on what they hear. Freed from restrictions perceived as an unwelcome straitjacket, and are ultimately unenforceable anyway, workers can generate enormous goodwill as everyday evangelists for products and services they’ve crafted themselves, and thus take genuine pride in.” (Levine, Locke, Searls, & Weinberger, 1999).

 

This is one of the most interesting quotes in this book which simply says: online markets will talk about companies whether companies like it or not…Just think with me, the accessibility of this powerful tool allowed people to talk and to complain freely. Their complaints are strongly considered and their voice is absolutely heard.  With this new twist in businesse affairs, some businesses had to redefine who their best customers are. Long ago, it was known that people who spend lots of money are the best customers…But this has changed, the best customers now are the ones who complain first so businesses can fix those problems before it becomes a problem to the people who spend lots of money.

 

Marketing isn’t going to go away. Nor should it. But it needs to evolve, rapidly and thoroughly, for markets have become networked and now know more than business, learn faster than business, are more honest than business, and are a hell of a lot more fun than business. The voices are back, and voice brings craft: work by unique individuals motivated by passion.” (Levine, Locke, Searls, & Weinberger, 1999).

This quote clearly not only explains how the electronic commerce and the traditional commerce are alike but how they also differ. Although, online marketing and off-line marketing are indeed show vast similarities, it is understandable that old processes and strategies which worked off-line for some many years, need not apply here. While there are many similarities, online and offline marketing operate very differently. In fact, marketing on the web can be done with new ideas, fresh strategies, and most importantly, on a person-to-person level.  

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