According to Jerry O, Gen Y is using corporate sites only after they have heard about a company and made significant decisions about it elsewhere. Namely, on:
1 social networks
2 rating sites
3 chat rooms
5 Instant Messaging
He claims, therefore, that in the future, rather than allow frank conversations to go on beyond their purview, companies will be wise to incorporate them into their own sites and learn from them.
This means that corporate sites will include customer social networking platforms which enable a great degree unfiltered comment about the company's offerings.
These will have to be addressed by the firm via its employees which will create a great degree of transparency.
You might remember that Chevy allowed users of its site to create their own commercials for the Tahoe. The result was the domination of the site by anti-SUV environmentalists.
Charlene Li insisted that this was good and that the successful online marketers of the future will have to be willing to lose control of their brands. I had trouble understanding it, then, but now Jerry has explained the logic behind this point of view.
Jerry (Jeremiah Owyang) has some interesting exchanges with commenters on Dell's move into social media with IdeaStorm.
And, the trick, he says here, is to apply these tools across the product and customer life cycle.