Welcome to another New Year! While everyone else is busy thinking about or already breaking their New Year resolutions, it’s time for us to take a moment to rethink what it is we can really do better now and over the next 12 months.
I’m sure you heard it everywhere last year. Experts found the highest blog mountains and social network skyscrapers to Tweet in concert, “You need a Facebook brand page! Why are you not on Twitter yet? Have you checked-in on Foursquare? Hurry up and get set up on Google+. If you don’t get on social media, you’re going to go out of business!”
During Blogworld Expo in Los Angeles, I was given the opportunity to interview Jim Farley, Ford’s Group Vice President, Global Marketing, Sales and Service live on stage. The discussion was focused on a powerful theme, putting your brand in the hands of customers. Certainly for any business, large and small, the idea of empowering customers to shape and steer your brand can be perceived as both frightening and dangerous. But here, Farley brings a refreshing perspective on why businesses, including Ford, need to engage customers in a more human and genuine manner. He looks beyond marketing to bring executives, employees and customers together in building a stronger brand, more relevant products and services, and investing in meaningful relationships to ultimately create a remarkable business…a business that matters beyond its goods.
As I think about disruptive technology, it’s clear that as an industry, we often get stuck in conversations about products, services, and features. In social media for example, we are enamored with Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, and the like. At the same time, we tend to confuse emerging with disruptive technologies and overly invest in rising stars such as Instagram, Quora and to some extent Google+ before we understand the impact they have on our world and the impact we can have within each network.
The new, new Twitter is upon us and while some of you already have access to it, others will have to wait up to three weeks. I’m not one to write about new features or products as they’re released. But I would like to take some time to review why this version of Twitter is important to you and your business.
Jon Swartz is a veteran journalist who has covered Silicon Valley’s highs and lows over the years. As Swartz says, he’s seen it all and along the way, he’s chronicled not only the events but its impact on business, culture, and society. Jon joins us on (R)evolution to discuss disruptive technology, what it means and what’s next.
Please take a moment to watch and let us know your thoughts…
These days, customer service seems to be a contradiction of words and intentions. Year after year, customers are appealing for attention, efficiency and a communicated sense of being appreciated. After all, what is the value of customer acquisition if retention itself isn’t valued? Now with social networks becoming the preferred channel of communication among connected consumers, businesses are losing ground and faith. The reality is that customers will share their experiences whether positive or negative and they will influence the decisions of others. The question is, how are you changing your service model to shape and steer experiences that deliver value to customers and also back to your business?
There are those who believe social media is the catalyst for a new genre of business and that it will ultimately change how companies engage with customers. Others believe that for the organization to truly matter, it must adopt a culture of customer and employee centricity. Then there are those who study the evolution of consumer behavior and market shifts to develop informed strategies for the business overall and in some cases, demonstrate the need for organizational transformation. To successfully compete for the future, you must unite these internal fronts and lead a concerted effort for meaningful change.
Brian Solis is principal at Altimeter Group, a research firm focused on disruptive technology. A digital analyst, anthropologist, and futurist, Solis has studied and influenced the effects of emerging technology on business, marketing, and culture. Solis is also globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders and published authors in new media. His new book, What's the Future of Business (WTF), explores the landscape of connected consumerism and how business and customer relationships unfold and flourish 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. Prior to End of Business, Solis released Engage, which is regarded as the industry reference guide for businesses to market, sell and service in the social web.