In my previous blog post, I wrote about an On the Record podcast in which Eric Schwartzman interviewed Brian Solis, Principal of the Altimeter Group, author, speaker, and futurist to coincide with the launch of his new book, What’s the Future of Business?
In short, the book is about “shareable moments” in the context of marketing and how to identify when, what and how organizations can create intentional experiences.
The future of business is intentional experiences
Intentional experiences are about what you want people to feel, see, say, and share, what you want them to take away, and how that aligns with your business goals.
Because I took so many notes while I listened to the podcast, this blog post was divided into two parts. Here’s what I learned, part 2:
The traditional sales funnel doesn’t work anymore
Here’s how it works today: At the top of the sales funnel is really me trying to persuade you to do something. I’ll find a hook to pull you in, then there’s an exchange or transaction, and then … distance (aka, silence). I don’t check in on you and your experience until I need you again, like when I have a new product or service to sell to you.
The cluster funnel is the new model
While the cluster funnel is Solis’ cheeky way of showing the audacity of the traditional sales funnel, his premise is spot on: The customer experience needs to be an ongoing cycle that keeps you engaged. I’ll keep giving you a positive experience so you keep sharing it over time.
Technology both promotes and supports the intentional experience concept
A lot of companies map their customers’ journeys – you can see what they’re doing – and what used to be a finite set of touchpoints is becoming an infinite number of touchpoints. People have access to so many devices, networks and people now that those touchpoints are very distributed. You have to think about that customer journey and map it so you can create experiences where and when you want.
Companies who have reluctant customers will die off
Solis posits that 70% of Fortune 500 companies will be replaced in the next few decades. Those are the companies that are too big too fail and where poor performance is the status quo – and poor experiences will be their death knell.
For example, big telecommunications and cable companies are creating reluctant relationships with customers. “I don’t have a choice, I have to be your customer, I hate being your customer and I’m going to talk about how I hate it all the time.” Who wants to have a reluctant relationship with their customers? As Solis says, “That no one aspires to do better is absurd. I can’t wait for this to die off – it’s grotesque and a disgusting example of how an industry thinks it can be too big to fail.” These companies might deliver shareholder value, but they do it at the expense of the customer experience.
Companies that disrupt and create a great experience are the future
Every market is open to disruption. It’s going to start small and get bigger over time.
Look at Uber – it is completely upsetting the taxi ecosystem while delivering a wonderful experience for its customers. Obamacare is doing it with healthcare in this country, and Jet Blue, Virgin, and Southwest have done it with airline travel.
Back to the original point: intentional experiences are the future of business – build a company that creates those experiences, and you have a winning company on your hands.
So, do you agree or disagree with Solis’ premises? What resonates with you most?
Image courtesy of wtfbusiness.com