Someone who has regularly informed my learnings about Social Media since I first began to study it in 2008 is @BrianSolis. I've writen about his expertise here before. His books - The End of Business as Usual, Engage! and Putting the Public back into Public Relations - have done a lot to guide people's navigation of this fast emerging landscape.
So when I heard he was speaking at a LinkedIn event in Sydney I was quick to register. He ended his presentation quoting Maya Angelou: "People will forget what you said but will never forget how you made them feel." I felt excited by the future picture of business Brian painted, but to make sure I didn't forget what he said I thought I'd blog it here:
Solis began by delivering a couple of home truths that set the scene very well. First, he made it very clear that "engagement" was widely misunderstood. Many brands when they break out engagement, they point to various vanity data - how many followers or likes etc. "Engagement is not a number, it is when your business and customer connect," he said, expanding that it is comments, dialogue and conversation that represents true engagement with customers, not a mere click of the mouse button.
Next, he detailed a key Perception Gap he had identified with Marketeers: "76 per cent of marketers think they know what their customer want; however only 36 per cent of marketers had asked their customer what they want." Community strategy has to align with what customers want from you.
"Not B2C or B2B but P2P - people to people. You must now Think. Like. The. Customer."
With that reality now in place, Mr Solis then began to reveal the new landscape for Marketers in a Social Era - the arrival of The Experience Architect. Social is about shared experience. Marketing strategy should be based on what experience a brand wants customers to share with them and with each other. A Marketeer has to be an Experience Architect that designs the customer journey so that it is engaging, worth sharing, and unified regardless of what platform.
He broke out a classic - and very illustrative example - of companies that invest a great deal in a QR code that takes people to a web site that isn't optimised for a mobile phone. The marketeer will most likely say "web site is not my department". Solis's emphatic point was that it was Marketing's Department. Every touch point with the customer is Marketing's Department.
He talked about the Generation C - The Connected Generation
. The Traditional Customer read newspapers and watched TV. The Digital Customer uses the web. However, the Connected Customer
will go to their network - taking their main direction on brands from their peers, or from blogs. Marketing cannot control the message that customers get from these networks - except to ensure that the experience enjoyed and shared by everyone is consistent. That the promised experience is delivered upon.
Finally he spoke of the Moment of Truth. That moment of truth is not one that Marketers can control anymore. Customer queries are no longer about keywords but about questions - you can't predict the question, only define a shared experience that drives the answer you want. That person will then share the ultimate moment of truth and it will become someone else's zero moment of truth. People rely on 10+ sources before making a purchasing decision.
Do you know what those sources are?