Saturday, May 16, 2009

Gov 2.0 and Un-marketing - How Far Can it Go?

On the topic of Gov 2.0 and un-marketing, a curious friend of mine, who works within DHS' Customs and Border Control, brings to light some good questions. If Gov 2.0 is to be an example of un-marketing, or even a leader in un-marketing, while solid examples exist already, how much can these examples scale up?

For a company or any entity to demonstrate more of an un-marketing approach, the company/entity has to first listen, engage, and not simply serve up and out. Yet, for this to happen, there first has to be "chatter" around the company/entity - something to be listened to!

With this, I raise two questions/comments.

First, considering the complexity of the entity, how easily do you get the "big picture" via this chatter, and how much chatter does it take to provide helpful insights to he who is listening (the goal of the un-marketing)?

Consider for a moment, how this "chatter" relates to a company with a finite product. Take Nike for example. Nike sells various athletic apparel and sports equipment. While these goods are significant, they are ultimately finite. They serve a purpose and provide the necessary functions to the owner. Not downplaying the significance of a running shoe, for example, it is a fairly straightforward offering and generally elicits fairly straightforward feedback.

To the contrary, the Government is an animal with hundreds of moving parts, the sum of which are extremely complex. In order for the Government to properly "listen" it needs to a) have chatterers with a means to be heard (social media for example) and b) have enough chatterers on a certain subject to get to the "big picture."

Of course, most Americans have some level of opinion on their views of the Government, but historically, there wasn't much of a platform for this openness to occur. In order for the chattering and listening to occur, can the adoption rate get to a level where the un-marketing can result in improved Government offerings and functionality? Hopefully the goal of transparency?

Something I'll be pondering...

And thanks to my friend for his probing questions.

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