I’ve been reading Brian Solis’s blog for a long time. It’s always full of great analytical information that challenges your way of thinking and presents what seem like common sense ways of approaching marketing in the social media age. It was for this reason that I was keen to pick up a copy of his latest book ‘The End Of Business As Usual’ and I wasn’t disappointed.
I’m a big believer that whatever applies to big business can be translated to the way smaller businesses work and this book is full mind changing ideas that can be applied to us all. It can be quite a heavy read in places but if you persist there are huge takeaways.
Social media marketers will tell you that you need to know and understand your customers and present them with what they want. This seems like common sense but it’s often harder to do than it sounds. Brian shows us how to segment our audience so that we can really understand them, he talks about connected consumers, those of us who rely on technology and social tools to make our purchasing decisions, it is clear that these people will be the most important consumers for businesses in the future. Most connected consumers are ‘Millenials’, also known as generation Y, these are people born between the mid 70’s and the late 90’s.
He takes a look at the way technology has changed the way we communicate. We must have all been at a table full of people who instead of communicating with each other are conversing online via smart phones or tablets, this is becoming a part of everyday life. As marketers instead of fighting this we need to understand and even embrace it.
The real message of the book is that if businesses are going to survive as the Millennials grow up we will need to adapt, we will need to look at the new tools that allow us to communicate with our customers and craft our marketing to serve these consumers. The book is packed with inspirational case studies demonstrating how companies are already adapting, already using tools and evolving with the connected consumers.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this, it took me a while to get through it but with each chapter I found there was something I could learn from and bring into my own marketing. It appealed to my inner nerd but I think you’d have to be a nerd or deeply interested in the psychology of marketing and social media to get into the book. It’s not an easy read and I found myself hiding away in my bedroom so as not to be distracted whilst delving in, maybe this is a sign of the short attention span common in the connected consumer!
Here’s my key takeaways from ‘The End Of Business As Usual’
1. Segment your customers, accept they might not all consume information the same way. Some will use social tools, some email, some you will need to make personal contact with via phone or face to face meetings.
2. Learn from your consumers, adapt and grow with them, find out what they need from you and use this to create valuable customer experiences.
3. Reward influencers and amplifiers as they will help carry your message further. Craft shareable experiences or social objects that will assist them.
4. Be willing to pull your entire business apart in order to better serve your customers, in the future the power of the customer is going to be huge, we need to adapt and change now in order to survive.
Have you read this book? What was your top takeaway?