In this day and age, customer expectations are constantly changing, and it’s important to be able to deliver on them before consumers move on. We recently released an exciting set of new features that help brands deliver above and beyond what your customers expect. But what are the steps brands need to take to get there? Here are some of @RobT's thoughts.
Business as we knew it is gone forever. That sounds a bit dramatic, but think about the changes you've seen in the last five years in digital and social consumer behavior. They're dramatic. Organizations are striving to stay ahead of consumers' extreme expectations - though I would argue that extreme is now the "new normal" and we all need to realize that the old paradigm "change or die" is applicable to every industry, every organization. Not one of is exempt.
The problem is, as organizations we are slow to transform. We think we have more time. We assume that consumers are loyal. We want to believe that the reputations of our brands can carry us through this time of transition. We think we're doing a good enough job. But are we?
We often try to ignore the fact that consumers want more control over when, where and how they experience our brands. They are deciding where they give us attention and where they are not. Consider the fact that, in some cases, we are losing entire audiences by generation and medium - in a recent Forrester report, they estimate that of the 24% of people under age 32 who do not subscribe to cable, 18% never have and they expect these numbers to increase to 50% not subscribing and 35% never having done so by the year 2025. This means that a good chunk of Millennials will never have seen a single ad you paid for on a cable network. In addition, ad blockers are now emerging that allow consumers to block in-app ads, including on Facebook. Consumers are already firmly in control.
So what do we do? It's not about adapting, folks. It's about totally annihilating the old ways of thinking and being, so that we can embrace the mindset and expectations of our consumers. But how do we get there? Typically, organizations move through three phases: denial, experimentation and courage. In denial, you rely on old technology and old behaviors and pretend change isn't happening. In experimentation, you adopt new technology, but generally rely on the corporate mavericks to lead the way until it feels safe enough to follow. In courage, you make your own durable changes.
Phase three is where you want to be. It's all about embracing the reality of consumer expectations, being innovative in problem solving, and in some cases, completely redoing business processes from the ground up. So, how do you get to phase three?
Is it scary? Transformation from the known to the unknown always is. And maybe all of us need to remember that we can do hard things. But in the end, our transformation is the only way to meet our consumers where, how and when they want to be met and the key to our survival.
This article originally appeared in The Huffington Post.
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