Attention is a currency. We spend it. We earn it. And, sometimes we waste it.
Experience is something special. It’s all the rage at the moment, yet, we often talk about it as is if it’s a thing. But, as we know, deep down, the best things in life aren’t things, they’re experiences. One of things that makes it so hard to make experience a strategic and actionable part of our work is that the word “experience” means so many things to so many different people across so many aspects of the organization.
After I presented at the ClickZ Live event in Chicago, I went back stage to share highlights of my talk with those who couldn’t be there. Among the many different topics I speak about at conferences, ClickZ asked me to focus on the future of marketing.
At the time, I was still writing X and wanted to share complete concepts that served as its foundation. In this short 2 minute video, I share my ideas around experience architecture, the A.R.T. of engagement and the role of you and me in the future of marketing.
There’s this wonderful magazine, yes a print magazine, in France called INfluencia. While it’s also equally lovely online, I thoroughly enjoy the intricate design work that goes into each page. When INfluencia reached out to talk about X and the future of experience design, I jumped at the chance. If you speak French, it’s online here. Below is the translated version if you prefer English.
INFluencia: Les start-up, l’avenir de l’expérience client ?
Each year, my good friend Bryan Kramer assembles an incredible group of experts across several sectors to share their marketing predictions for the next year. The diversity of forecasts and observations is really worth exploring. I’ll share mine with you here…
Quite honestly, we’ll see more of the same patterns we’ve seen in previous predictions…new platforms, new ways to engage, new data sources and tools to improve accuracy, metrics, frequency and reach. My prediction is more of a clarion call for marketers to take a step back and learn more about the role marketing can play in shaping the customer experience in every moment of truth.
You see the headlines everywhere – 2016 will be the year of customer experience; marketers need to make customer experience count; millennials demand an authentic customer experience. The bottom line is the stakes have never been higher in today’s modern, connected world. Every second of the business-to-customer interaction represents a key moment of opportunity and truth, each step carrying the potential to make or break that relationship, and ultimately your business. And, it all comes down to experience.
A few weeks ago, I had a very interesting conversation with Fortune’s Sarah Silbert, one that’s still resonating with me. Silbert was exploring Uber’s marketing partnerships and how they might be different than what we see from Lyft and others. Her hunch was that Uber not only amplifies “the on-demand economy—it’s also setting the pace for a new generation of brand marketing.” The story was prompted by Uber’s many partnerships with brands, specifically the promotion to launch the new BMW 7 Series. But that’s just one of many examples. Whether it’s AMEX or Uber for Kittens/Puppies, the company is exploring with many marketing models that I’m sure generate revenue in new and interesting ways.
Marketers often confuse content marketing with engagement. Just because you get someone’s attention doesn’t mean your audience actually cares. You spend all of this time following the work of others, listening to experts who preach soundbites and executing against a programmatic calendar only to miss the very thing that connects with people…relevance.
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.
The title is credited to Max Beerbohm, English essayist, parodist, and caricaturist best known today for his 1911 novel Zuleika Dobson. Taken from his 1918 work, Hosts and Guests, I interpret his work for a new era of hospitality. We live in a connected society now and as such, guests and the experiences they have and share, form the foundation of marketing and service. If we try to scale experiences for the sake of doing so, we miss the essence of true engagement. Instead, we connect with guests, customers, at an emotional level.
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.