Part of an ongoing series dedicated to small businesses
As you read this, the business landscape is shifting right under your company’s foundation. How customers make decisions, how they discover, communicate, and share, how they influence and are influenced, is evolving considerably. In fact, customer behavior is not only changing, it’s fragmenting and opening the door to new touch points. Your business will now have to compete for the customers you know and additionally, a new breed of customers that you need to know. And, to earn their attention and ultimately their loyalty, you will need to better understand the top technology trends and how they’re impacting customer behavior.
The future of government isn’t just created, it’s co-created
Technology is disrupting everything it touches, from arts to government. But with disruption comes an opportunity to innovate. And of all the places where innovation is overdue, government takes the top spot.
This episode of Revolution features Jay Nath, who serves as chief innovation officer for the City of San Francisco. Nath works with Mayor Ed Lee to embrace the city’s vast pool of technology startups and entrepreneurs in order to drive more innovation within the government.
I’ve always admired TED’s approach to presentations. More importantly, I appreciate how this approach inspires its presenters to in turn inspire audiences in the room and around the web. This evokes the concept of having an “audience with an audience of audiences” where those on stage break through the fourth wall to speak to and through audiences to extend engagement to social networks. TED stimulates the sharing of inspired experiences and it’s the nature of those experiences that foster greater dialogue in and around each event.
It’s not every day you have Jesse James Garrett stop by to talk about the state of user experience (UX) and its role in the future of business. But, we were fortunate to have him visit the set of Revolution to talk about the importance of people and experiences and how UX deserves the attention of the c-suite.
Jon Swartz is a veteran technology reporter based in Silicon Valley currently covering emerging and disruptive tech at USA Today. This is the second time we’ve invited him to Revolution. His take on news trends is less about hype and more about how technology impacts everyday business and society. Sometimes technology is the solution as much as it is part of the problem. For consumers, the ability to use mobile, social and the web is not only enlivening real-time experiences, it’s also delivering immediacy to e-commerce and social commerce.
The Pew Internet and American Life Project recently published a study that found 50% of cellphone owners use their phones while watching TV. Connected viewers are not only driving the rise of Social TV, their activities are opening new windows for real-time multi-screen experiences that require design.
Social media changes everything. Marketing, sales, customer service, they’re no longer departments, engagement is now a way of business.
As the impact of social spreads through organizations, questions arise about the role social ultimately plays in customer service and overall customer experiences. For the past three years, good friend Brent Leary and the folks at Social Media Today have produced The Social Customer Engagement Index. It examines how companies are using social tools for customer service and, more importantly, how customers are responding.
Mark Zuckerberg announced in a short and sweet post today that Facebook is now home to one billion digital denizens. I’m not going to focus on the impact this news will have on its stock. Instead, I would like to focus on how this significant milestone aligns with his vision, a vision that was clearly communicated in the company’s S-1.
After re-reading Zuckerberg’s letter to investors, here are a few themes that resonate with me in light of this news…
All eyes are on innovation hot spots around the world. But it’s not just about hot startups, soaring investments, and mind-blowing exits, it’s about the series of common traits that inspire entrepreneurialism. Vision, determination, creativity, salesmanship and the relentless pursuit of communities is something that not only applies to entrepreneurs but also intrapreneurs within small and large organizations. The truth is that in times of innovation, everyone must think about what we do today and how it can be done differently tomorrow.
As you’ll no doubt read here over and over again, social media is important to your business. If you don’t engage on Twitter, Facebook, or Youtube, you’ll eventually go out of business. At least that’s what the experts will have you believe. Fear tactics are not so much as effective in business or defining customer relationships as they are at creating a sense of [contrived] controversy. I must be honest with you however. While social media is indeed a game changer, it is not the magnum opus of your legacy. I would like to introduce you to what really is important…your customers. Allow me to be a bit more specific. This isn’t just about your customers. This is about how a growing number of your customers are changing how they influence and are influenced, how they communicate and connect, how they learn, discover and share, how they make decisions and how they take action.
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.