The end of the Conversation Manager?
Last week Mobile Vikings announced the end of their Conversation Manager. Their message is very positive: “We are evolving from a Conversation Manager to a Conversation Company”. I have to admit, that I loved this sentence right away :-).
Their announcement made me think: will a successful Conversation Manager become redundant after a while. Well, there are two sides of the story.
In a company where the client is really part of the company’s philosophy and the company culture is strong, the need for an operational Conversation Manager is limited. However, the reason why this company has such a position is because the top management lives the brand. In a company like Mobile Vikings, everybody is convinced that top customer service and transparency are crucial to become a true Conversation Company. In a company like Mobile Vikings, the Conversation Manager is probably the CEO. If I think about companies like Zappos, I guess the CEO is Conversation Manager as well. In the theory of American social media expert Jeremiah Owyang, these companies are called holistic companies. These companies don’t need a Conversation Manager, because they are a Conversation Company. Only 2% of the companies is in this situation.
Most other companies need a Conversation Manager who is responsible for the Conversation strategy and to facilitate other departments with the organizational change. The Conversation Manager is not necessarily responsible for the participation in the online conversation (it can be part of the job), but the role is more strategic than operational.
In 98% of the companies this role will always exist. There will always be a need to facilitate change about new media and new expectations of consumers.