Web Theory: Japanese Culture and Community Marketing

Japanese Train Attendent Shows Respect to CustomersPhoto Above: Last month in Japan, I observed the deep respect and politeness this Japanese Train attendant (She cleans the train) gives to customers.  You should have seen the efficiency in how they worked.  Japanese thinking suggests this: Without customers, what do you have?

Colin who writes Bankwatch blog, (focuses on banking and the web lifestyle) draws upon his observations that Japanese culture is misrepresented by Westerners as being technology focused, but in reality, they are focused on customers. He suggests that:

“We all assume Japan is a technology culture. Wrong. Its a customer service culture. Advanced technology is merely a by-product of the true culture, and the high expectations that a customer service culture produces. Its not about companies listening to customers; it has to be employees who are listening. Very cluetrain – ish.

The modern day marketer must change. While in the past, marketers focused on message creation, which evolved inserting that message so it’s read, (sometimes disruptively). It evolved to making that message contextual within search results and relevant advertisements on a webpage

The new Marketer must learn to listen (social media monitoring is important to me) to what people are saying before even crafting a message. The new Marketer must realize it’s a two-way conversation, and sometimes that means they need to connect the technology knowledge holder in a company with customers using web tools.

Colin may be right, the Japanese culture may be more like cluetrain (customers first) and thinking of the greater whole (community) before thinking of profits for the corporation first.