“Businesses today must invest in experiences because that’s what people want.” – Brian Solis
So says Brian in this recent post. He goes on to qualify this statement further, saying people today simply don’t care about products, services or offers. What they desire and what they respond to with regularity are superior experiences. I don’t think this is limited to Millennials either – we are all being conditioned to have affinities for businesses that deliver superior customer experiences.
I recently had the opportunity to co-host an event in San Francisco with Jonathan Wolf of Criteo to discuss the past and future of retail and mobile commerce. That evening celebrated the release of the company’s quarterly State of Mobile Commerce Report, based on its pool of online shopping data covering more than a billion transactions totaling over $130Bn of annual sales.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is so much more than smart refrigerator that tell you when you need to go to the grocery store, wearables that track your steps or the smart watches you’re thinking about not getting. It’s the nervous system that sends and tracks important information between things, places and people.
As my friend Brian Solis says, “This is a time to question everything.”
Let’s start with marketing, because it’s overdue for a revolution.
Today’s customers are in the driver’s seat – it’s a buyer’s market and the buyers are better informed than ever. Prior to making a purchase today, customers research and compare products assiduously while tapping into both the opinions of people they know directly and reviews from online communities they trust. In fact, by the time a customer engages with an organization, they may well already be 70 percent of the way along a traditional sales cycle.
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.
After I presented at the Digital Media Summit in Toronto, Sylvia Ng, VP of Growth and Analytics at ScribbleLive, asked for an interview to discuss challenges and opportunities ahead for digital marketers. Following is her summary of our conversation. I wanted to share it with you here…
In the midst of endless blogs, podcasts, tweets, instagrams, and snapchats, how does a brand or business get noticed? Creating a truly effective marketing campaign is about understanding your brand, and more importantly, your audience. Sylvia turned the conversation into five actionable tips that will help you improve your marketing strategy.
No one will remember your failures, but everyone will remember your success. If they do bring up your failures and not your successes, question the value they bring into your world and move forward.
We live in a time when disruption is happening to us or it can happen because of us. Sometimes the past holds us back and sometimes we let fear undermine our ideal future. But, this is the time to change the future. Think about it…what would your future self tell you today? I believe that now’s the time to question everything. As such, rules can be broken giving way for iteration to evolve into innovation.
The biggest challenge is not in the understanding or expertise associated with new technology. We can learn that. The biggest problem is our inability to recognize that the experience we have today is not the experience we need going forward.
A notable separation exists between the expertise people have or are learning and the jobs companies need to hire for in an increasingly digital economy. This means that current employees possess expertise to perform jobs that are losing prominence in business while new jobs openings (or the need to create them) are becoming increasingly difficult to fill.
The concept of bringing people together in groups, tribes, or organizations is based on the fundamental premise that human beings can do more collectively than they can in isolation. Hundreds of years ago, people banded together for the sake of sharing food and shelter and keeping their family safe. The basic assumption was that the association gained by joining a group would benefit individuals and their loved ones. As a species, humans are better off together than they are apart. Simple enough.
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.
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. More so, he humanizes technology’s causal effect to help people see people differently and understand what to do about it. He is an award-winning author and avid keynote speaker who is globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders in digital transformation and innovation.