Web 2.0. Do Something. Even if it is Wrong!

A friend of mine was once the CEO of a major pharmaceutical firm. He used to tell his managers to "do something, even if it is wrong". What he meant by this was don't sit around talking about stuff - execute. He hated complacency. He is often referred to as one of the company's best CEOs ever.

Prior to founding HRmarketer, I was responsible for marketing at one of the largest privately held employee benefit firms in America. Our CEO had a similar attitude and in the mid 1990's we began experimenting with the Internet when most of our competitors sat around talking about it. We started off by doing little things like allowing employees of our client companies to use the Internet to access information about their benefits, submit questions, search for information, etc. None of this stuff made us money, In fact, it costs us a lot of money. But we quickly earned a reputation as a forward thinking and innovative firm. Soon, all the technology companies wanted to work with us. We were building a powerful brand and getting a lot of positive media attention. And we were learning. Many things we did failed but a few worked and eventually we started to show real returns on our Internet investments and today, the web-based service of this firm is one of the leading benefit applications in the employee benefit marketplace. And many of the company's competitors - the ones who sat around talking about stuff - are no longer around or relevant today. They never were able to figure out the Internet and when they finally did it was too late.

I see the same thing happening today with Web 2.0. Many human resource suppliers are sitting around trying to figure out how to use Web 2.0 features. They talk about it a lot but don't do anything. We've been trying to get one client we work with to do a blog. They would be perfect for it and I'm convinced the blog would pay enormous dividends for them by bringing increased traffic to their site, engaging customers, etc. But they are worried about the time it may take to make posts, who would make postings, if the postings would hurt the brand, etc. So they do nothing. Other companies we speak with still send press releases in the traditional way and refuse to do any social media releases. They don't understand the technology so turn a blind eye to it. "It's not the way we do things" they will tell me. Sadly, even some major PR firms - the ones who advise these companies - also refuse to change or experiment with Web 2.0. Why? I really don't know.

The point is that now is the time to do something. Even if it is wrong. Get your feet wet. Experiment with Web 2.0. I just got through reading the book Groundswell from Forrester. For companies who are already using Web 2.0 technologies this book will probably be nothing more than a validation of what you already know but for companies still sitting around talking about how they may or may not use Web 2.0 this book is a good read. The book introduces strategies on how to get your company started with social technology (hint - take small steps first like creating a blog) and how to find the strategy that works best for your company.

But again, do something. Even if it is wrong. Now is the time.

Another great read is our eBook "How to Reach and Engage Human Resource Buyers and Convert Them to Leads". This free download (no registration required) is a 29-page, three-step marketing guide to achieve increased publicity, web site traffic, improved SEO and more HR sales leads by using Web 2.0 tactics.

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