Guest post by Greg Narain (@gregarious) co-founder of Chute, a company that helps brands discover or collect relevant photos from social networks and incorporate the visuals into their websites and apps
Brands finds themselves at a challenging crossroads in their evolution. For decades, companies have utilized a command and control model as it pertains to their brands. Billions of dollars have been spent to carefully craft specific messages and deliver them via campaigns. However, as consumers continue to create and promote their own stories, brands now must decide how to integrate that content into their own stories.
Employee empowerment is about creating brand advocates to scale customer relationships and effectively compete in new digital markets. Organizations can no longer rely on inbound and outbound sales reps, people willing to jump through hoops and obstacles via call centers, or traditional marketing to boost awareness and demand. Customers demand engagement, in real time, and that takes human beings, training, and support.
Connected, empowered consumers—also known as of Generation C—have come to expect businesses to know them, to understand them, and to deliver what they want, where, when and how they want it.
I recently published an ebook with IBM, The Connected Consumer and the New Decision-Making Cycle, that explores the new decision making cycle of connected customers. You can download it for free here. Thanks IBM!
As editorial director and conference producer of The Pivot Conference, I have the privilege to meet with the people who are bringing about real change inside organizations. During the 2013 conference, I had the chance to interview Dr. Rebecca Harris (@RebeccaHarrisDr), who leads the Social Media Center of Expertise at General Motors in Detroit. Her role is all about transformation and integration as she works across brands and around the world on social strategy, social tools, social processes, points-of-view on multiple social topics, and overall integration between brands, divisions and countries.
Happy New Year!
2014 is upon us and it’s once again time to share our (Altimeter Group) predictions for the year ahead. Except this time, predictions are moved aside in favor of important trends that are on the horizon. Let’s use this time together wisely in the hopes of prioritizing our investments in relevant strategies and the time and resources necessary to bring them to life this year and next.
Guest post by Lisa Arthur, CMO of Teradata Applications and author of the new book Big Data Marketing (Wiley). Follow her on Twitter @LisaArthur.
Special guest post by Peter Guber, noted business leader and author of best-seller, Tell to Win
While everyone’s talking about social media, professional motivation, or the need for change in business, people who are actually looking for answers to bring about change are left to draw upon the classic treatises of Peter Drucker, Dale Carnegie, Geoffrey Moore, Tom Peters, et al. Yet, what those pundits don’t provide is the “how to” shape your role and opportunity in this evolving landscape of consumerism. There’s an old saw, “technology changes, people don’t.” The tsunami of social, mobile, real-time, technology is disrupting everything; this means that for success one must make the change of how one influences. What changes is how people influence, are influenced, along with how, when and where they make decisions.
This year has been particularly busy yet productive for Charlene Li and me having published two reports that detail the six stages of social business evolution and the true state of social business in 2013, an ebook on how successful social businesses are evolving, and an image-rich slide deck complete with all the graphs and charts you need to benchmark where you are compared to other social businesses.
In recent times, I’ve noticed a rise in discussions around the “death of social business” and also an increase in alternative “fill in the blank but don’t use the word social” businesses. Some of those discussions have been hosted here recently. There’s strong merit to the discussions of course, especially those I’ve hosted (be sure to read the comments). But as an analyst tracking the evolution of social businesses and equally the cause and effect of digital transformation overall, I’m learning that the most advanced organizations see social not as a technology movement but instead one of culture and philosophy. Openness, collaboration, transparency, communication…these aren’t buzz words. Among those leading change, these words represent a way of business and it all starts with vision and the ability to see how relationships and experiences with customers and employees can improve or accomplish new and greater goals.
Guest post by Roland Deiser and Sylvain Newton
Twenty years ago, on November 18th, 1993, the music band Nirvana agreed to an unplugged performance at the Sony Music Studios in New York City. It was part of a television series called “MTV Unplugged”, which invited popular music groups to perform their songs “naturally”. Unlike in a studio, the sound of instruments would not be electronically amplified and engineered; the artists had rather to rely on the “raw” performance of a piano, a cello, or a guitar. The recording became a milestone of musical history: The album “MTV Unplugged in New York” went on to become number 1 on the Billboard 200, and Rolling Stone magazine ranked it as one of the “Greatest Albums of all Time”.
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.