What’s the Future of Business? An Interview with Brian Solis

Murray Newlands (@murraynewlands), Deputy Editor of Search Engine Journal (SEJ), caught up with Brian Solis in San Francisco to talk about what the future holds for businesses and why it is so difficult for executives to do something about it.

Despite all of the wonders of technology and the loads of cash that brands are sinking into it, there seems to be a disconnect between the advertisers’ practices and consumers’ online purchase behavior. This is a growing problem in today’s business world and one that Brian Solis’ new book “What’s the Future of Business” sets out to solve.

What’s the Future of Business” takes an analytical and practical approach to the cause-and-effect relationship that lies at the heart of online marketing. It takes a look at the emerging trends and patterns of online advertisers, looks at their successes and failures, and provides a tactical and actionable path for improvement and success. The ultimate goal of the book is to help businesses transform their existing online models by taking the user experience into account and optimizing their efforts to provide a mutually positive outcome.

Watch the video interview below. Read the post here.

These are some key takeaways from the video:

  • In the interview, Brian explains that the name of the book itself was inspired by a certain “WTF” feeling that he was experiencing during most business meetings. He says that this sentiment resulted from the fact that technology is rapidly changing the ways in which business is conducted, but despite the fact that most brands are dumping money into tech channels, they seem to be doing it without a sense of purpose. “What I was trying to do was empower readers to see exactly, at a very approachable level, what is changing and what you need to do about it,” Solis said.
  • In the interview and the book, Solis discusses to the concept of “4 distinct moments of truth” customers experience throughout their “life cycle or their journey” of an online purchase. He contrasts these “moments of truth” with where brands are spending their advertising dollars in order to show readers that there is a disconnect between the customer experience and where the advertisers’ are putting their money. By doing this, Solis hopes to provide guidance for businesses to more effectively appropriate their ad dollars in order to get the best results.
  • Brian claims that this disconnect is occurring because we are constantly using technology and constantly investing in it, but we’re not understanding how technology is affecting behaviors and therefore not matching investments with the right solutions. “We invest in search, we invest in website design, we invest in social media, mobile marketing, we invest in email marketing…across the gamut we have a multichannel approach, but for the most part none of those departments talk to one another,” Solis says. “None of those departments share customer insights or behavioral insights, maybe they don’t even have those insights, so they’re basically making investments for the sake of technology…Because there’s no integration, there’s no integrated experience and as consumers become much more mobile and social, much more informed, much more connected, there’s a real disconnect in what people expect and what people value, versus what we think they value and what we think they expect.”
  • In the end, Solis argues that the best way to connect all of these technologies with consumer behaviors is to think about yourself as a consumer rather than a marketer and to make sure if you are providing a product or service it’s valuable to your audience.
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ABOUT ME

Brian Solis is a digital analyst, anthropologist, and also a futurist. In his work at Altimeter Group, Solis studies the effects of disruptive technology on business and society. He is an avid keynote speaker and award-winning author who is globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders in digital transformation.

His most recent book, What's the Future of Business: Changing the Way Businesses Create Experiences (WTF), explores the landscape of connected consumerism and how business and customer relationships unfold in four distinct moments of truth. His previous book, The End of Business as Usual, explores the emergence of Generation-C, a new generation of customers and employees and how businesses must adapt to reach them. In 2009, Solis released Engage, which is regarded as the industry reference guide for businesses to market, sell and service in the social web.

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