Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Intention Economy: When Customers Take Charge By Doc Searls

The Intention Economy: When Customers Take Charge

The Intention Economy: When Customers Take Charge By Doc Searls

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Product Description

Caveat venditor—let the seller beware

While marketers look for more ways to get personal with customers, including new tricks with "big data," customers are about to get personal in their own ways, with their own tools. Soon consumers will be able to:

• Control the flow and use of personal data
• Build their own loyalty programs
• Dictate their own terms of service
• Tell whole markets what they want, how they want it, where and when they should be able to get it, and how much it should cost

And they will do all of this outside of any one vendor's silo.

This new landscape we're entering is what Doc Searls calls The Intention Economy—one in which demand will drive supply far more directly, efficiently, and compellingly than ever before. In this book he describes an economy driven by consumer intent, where vendors must respond to the actual intentions of customers instead of vying for the attention of many.

New customer tools will provide the engine, with VRM (Vendor Relationship Management) providing the consumer counterpart to vendors' CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems. For example, imagine being able to change your address once for every company you deal with, or combining services from multiple companies in real time, in your own ways—all while keeping an auditable accounting of every one of your interactions in the marketplace. These tantalizing possibilities and many others are introduced in this book.

As customers become more independent and powerful, and the Intention Economy emerges, only vendors and organizations that are ready for the change will survive, and thrive. Where do you stand?

Product Details
  • Amazon Sales Rank: #25450 in Books
  • Published on: 2012-05-01
  • Original language: English
  • Number of items: 1
  • Dimensions: .0" h x .0" w x .0" l, .0 pounds
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • 320 pages
Editorial Reviews


"Finally a thoughtful, hype free book worth reading about digital marketing, the relationships we have with vendors, and a vision for a better future where we have greater control of our personal data." — ZDNet

"'Consumers have a right to exercise control over what personal data companies collect from them and how they use it.' That's the way the draft of the US Government's planned Privacy Bill of Rights begins. If you want to understand what this really means, then Doc's book is the place to start. In fact, if you want to understand anything about what's really happening with customers, this book is for you. An excellent read." — JP Rangaswami, Chief Scientist,

"Profound, far-reaching, and one of those books people will be bragging about having read five or ten years from now." — Seth Godin, author, We Are All Weird

"This book provides a much-needed road map for a profound shift in global markets. Vendor Relationship Management will turn markets as we know them inside out. Searls, as the key architect of this new movement, provides a compelling view of both why and how these changes will occur. You cannot afford to ignore this book." — John Hagel, Co-Director, Center for the Edge; coauthor, The Power of Pull

"From Doc's mouth to vendors' ears! Doc Searls describes the economy the way it should be, with vendors paying attention to individuals' wants and needs. I see a few such business models emerging, and I hope Searls's book will incite a rush of them." — Esther Dyson, angel investor

"Deliciously skeptical of today's business models, Searls paints a compelling picture of the future. And if you're a business manager, The Intention Economy is essential reading. Think of it as an API for dealing with empowered customers. " — Don Peppers and Martha Rogers, Ph.D., co-authors of Extreme Trust: Honesty as a Competitive Advantage

"No one has a better sense of the changing relationship between vendors and the rest of us than Doc Searls. In The Intention Economy, he explains the networked economy and your place in it, whoever you are—buyer, seller, advertiser, user." — Clay Shirky, author, Here Comes Everybody and Cognitive Surplus

About the Author

Doc Searls is senior editor of Linux Journal, coauthor of The Cluetrain Manifesto, and one of the world's most widely read bloggers. In The World is Flat, Thomas L. Friedman calls him "one of the most respected technology writers in America." Searls is a fellow at the Center for Information Technology & Society (CITS) at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and an alumnus fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, where he continues to run ProjectVRM.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful.
5Redefines commerce for the Social Web
By Karel M. Baloun
This seminal book redefines commerce on the social/mobile web. Individual customers are now in charge, and despite the increasing sophistication of big data targeted advertising, a new wave of technologies and Apps will power sophisticated shopping that gets each person what they need, often something even better than what they thought they wanted. This area of the economy will see huge innovation in the next 5 years, and Doc Searls continues to passionately lead the charge for open standards, proper privacy and the public commons.

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful.
5Pay attention to intention economy
By milofox
A must read book for anyone who is concerned about the arrogance of social media and its expropriation and sale of our personal information. Doc Searl's exhortations that the customer can and should be empowered, if heeded, will transform the internet into a vehicle for liberation and make it truly consumer centric. Hopefully, thinkers like Doc, will allow us to realize our personal and collective power and rights as consumers and true relationship to the web. His novel concept that, in the new economy, our personal data is currency that we own and control should strike fear into both Google and Facebook. Doc's arguments are compelling. By asserting our rights as customers, we can create vendor relationship that serve our interests rather than exploit and manipulate us for marketing purposes. The alternative is impoverishment and a disconcertingly bleak future. We cannot afford to ignore his message.

Dr. Milo Pulde
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Harvard Medical School

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful.
5Good advice for customers and the companies they keep
By Daniel N. Miller
Customer Care is at a crossroads. Doc, in his highly conversational writing style, provides rapid-fire, highly personalized insights into both how things are and how they ought to be. For enterprise executives, he exposes many of the common promotional, marketing, sales and merchandising practices that help businesses achieve well-defined "KPIs (key performance indicators) like customer retention, increased marketshare, mindshare and, ultimately sales. At the same time he shows (just as he and the originators of the Cluetrain Manifesto did at the turn of the century) how these practices show disdain for customers and prospects and often make it impossible for them to recognize what their customers and prospects are trying to get across in real time.

As the originator of the "Vendor Relationship Management" (VRM) concept, Doc used his tenure at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet & Society, to foster several development initiatives designed to provide individuals with tools, resources, and fourth-party agents to help them ("us" actually) do a better job of acting on our own behalf while carrying out everyday commerce. In this book, he takes stock of many of those efforts and also gives credit to a handful of retailers, public broadcasters and other businesses who actively seek to serve their customers without gimmicks, deception of sleight of hand.

Doc recently pointed out that IT and CRM specialists think they are solving "the problems of the future" when they are, in fact, just stuck in the "now." Today they address specific problems that arise as social networks foment a groundswell of criticism, smartphones have become the personal shopping tools of the mobile masses and "The Cloud" has become the repository for voluminous amounts of data along with enough compute power to generate a never-ending stream of marketing reports and analytics.

Data aggregation and analytics are activities that big companies do to a fault and it makes it increasingly difficult for customers to carry out genuine conversations in real time with the community individuals within the firm or without, who can support good decisionmaking and, ultimately, a sense of satisfaction.

While he sounds critical of today's practices, Doc is (with hope) initiating a dialog (dare I say a conversation) among members of a community that spans corporate executives, CRM aficianados, social media mavens, interactive agencies, contact center agents and managers, and (oh yeah) customers. All of whom are vested in the current way of doing things, but moving inexorably and unavoidably into the connected world.


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