The larger an organization is, the harder it is to get anything done. I learned that the hard way as I consulted with a number of very large organizations over the last few years, especially on SEO techniques. As you probably already know, large companies like to control their image and customers as much as possible. This has become much more difficult with social media but the point remains for the time being.
That said, it’s the corporate culture of maintaining the status quo that has lead to many missed opportunities.
If larger companies and especially Fortune 500 companies were forward thinking, they could have taken advantage of the potential of social media and other modern marketing communications channels. Here are some of those missed opportunities.
Zipcar/Communauto: These are for-profit, membership-based companies which rent cars to members on an hourly basis (usually called “car sharing” in these circumstances). Cars are often placed around neighbourhoods and not in a car lot, making it easy to access. The service currently has around 500,000 members. Why didn’t a car company introduce this concept? They could have used the opportunity to let people get to know the perks of using their vehicles. If users liked them, they could have generated increased sales. Not to mention the advertising potential.
Groupon: Groupon is currently valued at over $6 billion (although that figure may be over-rated) since Google tried to buy it for that amount. I think that it’s the fastest growing billion dollar company in history. Why wasn’t the concept developed by a coupon company or a giant retailer?
TV.com: I use this site a lot. Since the major networks still have no idea what they’re doing online (I’ll save that article for another day), they missed the chance to own/run TV.com. Yet, whenever I need episodic info, it’s one of 2 sites that I go to. The other being Wikipedia which is another missed opportunity (by an encyclopedia company).
I’m sure there are lots more out there. I would love to hear your own ideas below…