Getting to Know You

September 2, 2008 at 9:33 pm Leave a comment

By John Wilkinson

Have you seen the commercials?  Chemistry.com says that more than a million people have been rejected by eHarmony.  Seems a shame, doesn’t it?   (And a nice revenue opportunity for Chemistry.com to boot!)

But why were all those nice folks shown the door?   I suspect it’s got to have something to do with a pretty rigorous profiling process, which is one of my favorite bugaboos.

Having been in technology channels for more than 20 years now, I’m firmly convinced that having solid, validated and up-to-date partner profiles is the key to any successful recruitment  and on-boarding process.   I’ve seen too many (well funded) recruitment efforts deliver disappointing results because vendors aren’t focused on specific (but flexible) partner profiles.  By specific, I mean profiles that focus on both where a prospect partner does business (their market or industry), as well as how they do that business (their business model attributes).   Consequently, nets are cast too wide (or focus on the wrong characteristics), and recruitment campaigns never achieve the anticipated return.   All too often, it’s a waste of time and money.

So – back to my social networking theme.   I’d be surprised if you’re not on LinkedIn, that insidious Plaxo, or even Facebook.   From the LinkedIn update I just received, my contacts are getting more and more active, joining affinity groups, and making recommendations.  I bet you are too.  There’s a reason why all that cool stuff is free, and getting more and more feature rich – it’s because we’re all doing such a great job populating the (increasingly detailed) profiles that underpin that snazzy front-end.

Clearly, social networking technology is hot, and its value as a business tool is growing.   We’re starting to see companies like Sun and IBM, get creative and use it for partner-to partner interaction, and more… If you ask me, it’s only a matter of time before we see social networking take on a major role in partner recruitment as well.  Why? Because of the buzz?  No, I believe it’s because of the profiles.  What do you think?

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Entry filed under: Industry Perspective. Tags: , , , , , .

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