Earlier in the year, I spent some time with Jason Ankeny. He was, at the time, writing an article for Entrepreneur on “the next five years” of business for the print edition. He assembled a pretty stellar cast to serve as his panel and I was more than excited to join in.
Ankeny set up the discussion this way…
Whether you realize it or not, when you share an experience you have, whether it’s through a post, review, video, image, rant, praise, etc., it helps a stranger make a decision about what to do next.
Customers aren’t following the customer journey you designed because they’re too busy hacking it. No matter how much journey work you do, no matter how creative your marketing, no matter how responsive your website is, no matter how much technology you invest in, customers trust the experiences of others over your words aka branding and the path you’ve laid out for them.
Digital Darwinism is forcing businesses to #AdaptorDie. Many realize that customers are different. At the same time, leaders understand that how employees want to work is also changing. Yet, they’re frozen in the past, undermining the future simply because they do not know what to do and how. After all that is known, it is the unknown and the fear of venturing into the unfamiliar that becomes paralyzing.
Experience is becoming more important than the product itself.
What is experience?
It’s not a thing, it’s everything. It’s an embrace and an emotional ecosystem that requires purpose, thoughtfulness and mastery. More so, experience requires architecture and a supporting ecosystem to deliver more than features, utility or capability. And, it starts here: <3
We must flip our everyday approach from brand-centricity to customer-centricity. Think beyond budgets, approvals and technology and creativity for the sake of technology and creativity. That’s what everybody else does.
Customer experience is meant to be evocative not reactive…
We are entering an era of customer-centricity, mostly because we have to. But also, because employing a customer focus is the right thing to do. I guess businesses lost their way at some point. Blame quarterly earnings. Blame technology. Blame politics. But over the years, we overlooked the importance of the “C” and “R” and instead scaled the “M” in CRM. It didn’t hurt that we found ways to save time and money in the process of promoting management, cost-control and efficiency over customer experiences.
You’ve heard it a million times, a happy customer tells a couple of people and an unhappy customer tells everyone. Yet to this day, executives tend to run business strategy with an emphasis on transactions over experiences. More so, business value is expressed in short-term performance metrics and reports to an audience of shareholders and stakeholders over the very people who keep them in business…your customers. It’s all a bit absurd when you think about it.
This is the story of when ZMOT met UMOT…
Search is a natural step in the discovery process. In a web world, search engines offer a lens into a qualified and structured view to help online consumers focus and make informed decisions. With Google dominating search, marketers concentrated on improving search ranking through tried and true techniques to ensure that what they were marketing earned a coveted position in the likely search results a customer might consider clicking.
I recently spent some time with PRNews editor Steve Goldstein. As part of a fireside chat we’re doing at the upcoming 20/20 Summit in San Francisco, Steve asked a few questions that lead to a pretty deep conversation. I wanted to share it with you here.
As Joe Pine and Jim Gilmore wrote in the Experience Economy: Work Is Theater & Every Business a Stage, the future of business is less about products and more about creating experiences. That’s right. You’re no longer in the product business. Products are a by-product of experiences you set out to create. Products are also social objects that spark desirable relationships between you and customers and also among customers.
The future of business is experiences.
Music is the one thing that accompanies me on my journeys, experiences, as well as my adventures in writing. While earbuds deliver sound, they do not deliver the essence of the song, the waves of sound, nor the soul of the artist. At the same time, I have a hard time justifying the need to buy overly expensive headphones just to enjoy music the way it was written or meant to be heard.
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.