Brian Solis is the author of Engage and The end of business as usual. In my view, he is one of the best in social media and marketing. His latest book— What’s the future of business (#WTF ) — is an extension of his first two books and it expands on the constant feedback loop or what he now calls the experience loop or Dynamic Customer Journey (DCJ).
There is an unforgiving technology revolution, which is raising customer expectation to new heights. In the future, everything is experience. Not an experience, the experience.
The future is total recall. Your brand is the sum of the experiences. For an average purchase, ten sources (mostly online) are checked. Customer feedback is the most prominent source. Every experience is logged, communicated and shared by Generation C — the connected generation — not as a demographic, but as a way of life. How are they talking about your business?
Generation C will share their experiences on a wide range of channels and media. So you will need to engage. Engage across all those channels and along the dynamic customer journey. Within that there are what Solis calls “moments of truth”; not only when customers are buying but also when they decide that they are happy or not happy with the buy and during the period when they are using the product or service. In the future, the medium is not only the message, the medium is the experience.
The always-on moment of truth platform is your brand. That is where the marketers need to focus. Which makes #WTF a marketing book, not a social media book and in some ways is very similar to “The old rules of marketing are dead”.
We give marketers a lot of stick. A lot of them are useless. New marketers need to walk in the shoes of generation C and map out the experience loop across all technology, across all the communication channels, across all touch points. They need to embrace the new metrics — loyalty, positive endorsement, advocacy, reviews and referrals — and engage with their audience.
The dynamic customer journey must be consistent with the brand you want to project.
If you follow Solis’s advice you will still be the CEO, but also now the Chief Experience Officer. If not, you might be the Chief Executive Officer of a dying business.
I have been looking forward to Taleb’s new book, Anti-Fragile. And I was right. Having read it, I think it is a core book that touches on an enormous range of books we cover with our clients. Everything from Loose, Brand Washed, Thinking Fast and Slow and Future Babble to Poke the box and Blink.
The importance of soul for credibility
Taleb does not like academics, marketers, bankers, managers and futurologists. He distrusts statistics, doctors and medicine, large organisations and large systems. He believes in applied learning versus theory and universities, loves entrepreneurs, thinks that honour and soul in the game are essential for credibility and that small is beautiful. He loves books, reflection and slow flow.
Anti-Fragile will most definitely make you think.
Lessons for business
Businesses should study the barbell approach (the middle is for suckers, better to combine super safe with very high risk). They should question their approach to innovation, look at the way they train staff and beware of the Lindy effect.
What’s the Lindy effect?
Old is not necessarily bad, the longer something has been around, the longer it will be around. The chair (as in furniture) does not need to worry. However, if I was Facebook, I would be very concerned.
Taleb says that anything that is non-measurable and non-predictable will remain non-measurable and non-predictable, no matter how many PhDs you put on the job. There is a limit to knowledge that can be reached, no matter how much you rely on sophisticated statistical and risk management science.
Provided we have the right type of rigor, we need randomness, mess, adventures, uncertainty, self-discovery, near-traumatic episodes, all these things that make life worth living, compared to the structured, fake, and ineffective life of an empty-suit CEO with a preset schedule and an alarm clock.