Why is it that as smart consumers we subconsciously know that we are empowered to engage with the brands that satisfy our wants or needs and ignore those don’t. And yet, as business people what is deeply engrained in us flies out the window the minute we walk into the office.
The past ten years has provided us with the tools to find brands (search) before they find us, to reach out to others for feedback (social, WOM) before we spend one dime and to share our experiences (social, WOM). It’s obvious that we are still very far from a convergence of the two experiences and it’s time to recognize the empowered customer in ourselves and in others and to close the Grand Canyon sized-gap.
1. TEDxKC: John Gerzema on ‘The Great Rewind’ [Video]
We need to move from mindless to mindful consumption. John shares that “…the consumer has moved from savvy about marketing in the 90s to gathering all of these amazing social and search tools in this decade. But the one thing that has been holding them back is the ability to discriminate. By restricting their demand, consumers can actually align their values with their spending and drive capitalism in business to not just be about more, but about better.”
When you think about this statement, how does this affect your marketing (including product or service development), branding and loyalty? My friend John Gerzema, author of The Brand Bubble, explains the shift in spending and gives a glimpse into the findings he shares in his new book ‘Spend Shift: How The Post-Crisis Values Revolution is Changing The Way We Buy, Sell and Live.’ (Release date 10/18)
2. The Forrester Blog: Empowered Customers Need Empowered Employees Need Empowered IT
“All this technology puts tremendous power directly into the hands of your customers. Your customers often have more information than your sales team — or medical staff — does. They can also whack your brand from their smartphone, with video even, while waiting impatiently in line.”
It’s time for companies to catch up to their customers and Forrester is taking the lead on sharing how to do just that. If you want to learn more about empowered customers, be sure to check out the upcoming FIR (For Immediate Release) podcast with Josh Bernoff and Ted Schadler, authors of the recently released book ‘Empowered: Unleash Your Employees, Energize Your Customers, and Transform Your Business.’
3. MyCustomer.com: Engaging with the empowered customer
“…organisations must increase the relevance of products, service and communications. They must identify the right channel, the right timing and the right messaging for each segment. And this inevitably means that your data is successfully managed.”
This statement is exactly why understanding where integrated marketing and communications is today (it’s no longer the ‘one sight and one sound’ of yesteryear) is crucial in business today. Customers are empowered and companies are not capturing and analyzing the requisite data to stay focused and, more importantly, to stay connected to customers in order to provide intangibles that customers are seeking from brands.
Enjoy your Saturday, happy reading (and watching)!