Consuming ourselves

In considering the citizen versus consumer debate I was reading the latest entry in the online journal of the McKinsey consultancy, “The consumer decision journey“.

Initially, reading about how traditional marketing people had considered the touch points of influencing sales and from this developed the metaphor of a “funnel” seemed a mile away from electronic or any other government but of course this is not the case. Politicians are elected for good or evil, after wanting power for some reason of their own. How do they get elected but by convincing enough people that they can do the best job of running that part of government compared with their running mates.

How then might the “consumer decision journey” operate in a political context? In an ideal world, we would all have the government we deserved, and that government would be excellent. It would cost the minimum, do the most against the majority of citizens’ ideals and not get caught with its hands in the till. In the real world we have two or three parties battling against each other as to who tells the more truths, best balances budgets and gets the most bangs for bucks. How they make the citizens aware of this is that initial part of the journey, they have to have “good press” and lots of it, especially around election time.

How does this relate to electronic government? Well, it doesn’t unless the implementation of it had managed to save money or vastly improve services, which it hasn’t! It primarily relates to how multi-channel service delivery can be made to provide adequate and ethical service for the vast majority of those involved whether tax payers or service recipients. If we consider a job well done the politicians might survive, if not, shall we try somone else who offers a different approach and promises.

Of course, life isn’t that simple and between the citizen and the elected sit those whose job it is to actually deliver the service. The civil service, bureaucracy or local authority officers need to be convinced of the value of change by both or either partyto ensure a successful implementation.

So, how many funnels and which goes into which, and where?

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