The Rise of Vendor Relationship Management | Edge Perspectives with John Hagel

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Doc Searls, the key architect of the VRM movement and a co-author of “The Cluetrain Manifesto,” has written a powerful new book, “The Intention Economy,” analyzing the reasons for this shift and its implications for companies that want to continue to create economic value. His book is a graphic demonstration of the shift from push to pull that is disrupting our business world (not to mention all of our other institutions).

Most of us think of markets in conventional terms – it is about vendors seeking out customers and persuading them to buy more of their products and services. A reverse market flips this dynamic – it’s about customers seeking out the most relevant vendors and extracting more and more value at lower and lower cost. It’s a fundamentally different mindset. It turns much of what we know about business on its head. Framing it in these terms can create a zero sum view – either vendors win or customers win. As Doc persuasively argues, though, a customer driven market actually generates significant growth in demand that will serve both vendors and customers well.

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