We live in an era of what I refer to as Digital Darwinism, a time when technology and society are evolving faster than the ability of many organizations to adapt.
Over the years, I’ve studied how disruptive technology affects consumer behavior and decision-making. I’ve also researched how businesses react (or don’t) to these changes. What I’ve learned is that barring a few exceptional instances of complete ignorance, organizations are open to adaptation if there’s indeed a case made for it and a path outlined to safely and cost-effectively navigate change.
Social media represents a new frontier in customer engagement. Not only can companies participate in conversations, a dizzying array of tools now help them listen to conversations as well. This isn’t news though. Everyone understands the importance of social media in business right? We all know that customers are demanding that businesses use social media to listen to ideas, engage them in conversations, and also solve their problems when in need. As I’ve often said, the best listeners often make the most engaging conversationalists.
If you follow my work, you’ve probably learned that I’m becoming increasingly fond of web video. As an author, I am fascinated by the different channels and new media opportunities that have been thrust upon the world of book marketing. Over the years, I often considered how to create book-related videos that provided viewers with something beyond a traditional promo or standard author introduction. While important, they weren’t necessarily conducive for social sharing.
I often share my thoughts to help global brands and enterprise organizations. But with this article, I would like to talk to the broader group of business professionals without reference to the size and shape of your company. Here and in many other media outlets, networks, and blogs around the web, social media is one of the most prevalent subjects in business today. While advice is everywhere, advice is becoming a commodity. Insight however, is precious.
It is with great pleasure that I share with you the details of my next book published again by Wiley, What’s the Future of Business: Changing the way businesses create experiences. The book debut at SXSW on March 8th and will be officially available in stores on March 11th.
What’s the Future of Business is not a question. It’s an answer.
Guest post by Ian Greenleigh, author of The Social Media Side Door (Fall 2013) and social strategist with Bazaarvoice. Follow him on Twitter @be3d
Products were once contained by physical ownership and access. To experience a product, you had to buy it or try it. Brands extended beyond the idea of physical products into other types of consumer exposure to companies. Non-customers have always had access to brands outside of the ownership capacity, through advertising, word of mouth, and any other manifestation of a company that didn’t require ownership of their product. But this brand experience lacked depth—you may have seen an ad for something, but without having consumed it as a product, it would be hard to argue that you really experienced it in any meaningful way.
Facebook hit a billion users! Twitter is the new digital water cooler! Youtube is the future of TV! Ok, you get it right? Social media is transformative. So what? Every business that thinks about customer engagement through a technological lens will miss the very thing that will keep them in business for the long-term—the impact of technology on society and behavior and how it opens up new touch points and changes expectations as a result.
Guest post by Scott Forshay, creator and editor of mobi.luxe. Follow him on Twitter @scottforshay
There is no first, second, or third screen; there are only screens. Regardless of their uniqueness in form factor or function, these connected screens are simply humanized interfaces allowing us to communicate with and experience a digitally optimized world.
For years I’ve written about how the 4 Ps of Marketing, Product, Place, Pricing, and Promotion represented a dated perspective of customers and markets. In an era of connected consumerism, one could argue the merits of any of “Ps” and whether or not they’re still relevant. I suppose that’s a debate for another time. Instead, I’d like to introduce of two additional Ps that will propel a decades old concept and modernize it for a social economy.
Social media experts will tell you, and they’ll make a pretty good case too, that it is the golden key to unlocking meaningful customer relationships and the gateway to surprising and delighting them over time. So how does social media do this? Well all it takes is to listen, be part of the conversation, curate great content, run native advertisements, and oh yeah, be transparent and authentic. Done and done.
Well, wrong and wrong.
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.