The fundamental rules of effective marketing are being rewritten. The rapid evolution of social networking technologies is making it easier for customers to get more precise information. It’s making it easier for them to consult one another, and it’s fundamentally impacting the way they make purchase decisions.

Customer experiences have never been more important. Word of mouth has been put on steroids.

So what does it mean to marketers? It’s the arrival of a new era, where engagement is the new currency that drives customer loyalty. But engagement must be defined as a true exchange of value and not just the act of pushing information. Getting someone to visit your web site is not engagement.

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Originally Published PR Week, February 12, 2010

The impact of social media on how business is run is just starting to mainstream in corporate America. I'm not talking about online promotional campaigns; I'm taking about the very heart of how business is conducted.

The consequence is a redefinition and reframing of how a company and its various stakeholders relate to one another and the impact each has on one another.

Call it “The Engaged Enterprise.” Engagement is the new currency. It suggests an authentic, dynamic, deeper relationship in which conversation and business ideas are shared up, down, and sideways.

In the Engaged Enterprise, stakeholders have deeper relationships with the company. Stakeholders actually talk to one another. Their voices are heard, respected, even acted upon in exchange for their loyalty. The result: The enterprise is smarter and more engaged with their constituents leading to better decisions and deeper, longer-lasting relationships.

Some examples? Consider these three:

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