There’s a corporate America practice that has us flummoxed. 

It usually doesn’t work 100 percent of the time for 100 percent of the people. 

It requires lots of preparation and cajoling. 

And it truly needs a major support system, bolstered in part by human resources, policies and procedures, and heavy-duty communications.

The culprit:  Cascading information from managers and supervisors to staff and teams.  Somehow, many times, information gets stuck in the middle.

Our solution?  Straight from a Forrester Research survey, revealing (no surprise) that 66 percent of consumers trust recommendations from people they care about, while only 18 percent trust brand information found on Facebook, Instagram, and the like. 

Instead of labeling it in the same league as the somewhat tarnished multi-level marketing, think of it as the friends and family kind of swap, using employees to ‘sell’ to other employees (in this case, to exchange data and info).  Online and social media make it incredibly easy to sell to those you know; internally, most companies host communities and affinity groups on their intranets, encouraging conversations and collaboration.  And if we plot out a well-defined influencer network and map, so much the better.

[Yes, we know the downsides:  That kind of freedom makes brand and corporate messages so much harder to control.  And timing would be, to an extent, loosey-goosey.]

Yet the power and meaningfulness of direct connections overcomes, to us, any objections.  Your take, dear readers?