Sales and Marketing are operating in a land of bubbles. Shifts in society, culture, and demographics are signaling the end of core marketing tactics like content marketing and digital advertising as well as a collapse of marketing technology and big data programs.
As customer understanding becomes the most powerful sustainable competitive advantage, the comparative study of human societies and cultures and their development has become a core business competency. The ability to conduct qualitative ethnographic research, develop insights based on that research then translate those insights into business strategy is as important as the technology strategy the CTO is driving.
Our hyper-focus on the snippet, the blurb and the micro-moment is causing us to lose something. Entrepreneurs and companies quit trying to solve the hard problems. Solutions to hard problems are not easily communicated. They are not easily pitched. They are hard to sell. But those are the problems worth solving. They are complex. Likewise, the solutions are complex.
We are in the middle of massive business, political and societal shifts. The situation goes beyond mere change. Change implies evolution in a predictable direction that can planned for and adapted to. The shifts we are experiencing are volatile, full of rapid, explosive, and sometimes random shifts coming from often unexpected directions.
Automated full lifecycle customer engagement has become a necessity and not a luxury. Even small companies without the staff or money for a big enterprise system need the ability to monitor their brand and industry, automatically convert website visitors to email marketing candidates to sales opportunities and provide live, real-time sales support.
Almost every marketing related article I read over the last month focused on two key assertions:
- Technology is king and companies are investing heavily in technology in 2016
- Content is king and companies are investing heavily in content creation in 2016
Where is all that content going to come from?
If marketing organizations are staffing up with software developers and platform managers, who is going to develop the content?
As consumers, we are confronted by an overwhelming variety sameness. Similar (or even identical) products and services with differences that only the experts see or care about.
As companies, we face incredibly fierce competition. Barriers to getting new products to market are incredibly low. The cost to develop new products, both physical and digital, has never been lower. The advantages of new features are short-lived and quickly copied. The result is price or feature wars and rapid commoditization.
Google is making a tremendous push for companies to be present in a customers "micro-moments", the small moments where a customer either decides to buy or explores a possible buy, enabled by their mobile device. This concept is great for Google, they sell services that get companies to pay for snippets of attention at the moment when a search for product or service occurs. For companies, a near-sighted focus on micro-moments becomes a race to the bottom in terms of price, loyalty and long-term relationships.
What society values is shifting in fundamental ways. As a vehicle of value delivery, the business model needs to change to reflect these new value systems.
We tend to focus on the mechanics of the business model; the technology, manufacturing and distribution. On a deeper level, the business model is a system for creating and distributing value, not products or services. Underneath the mechanics of marketing automation, growth in connected devices and the proliferation of apps there are powerful socio-cultural shifts that are resetting realities.
In this talk, delivered at Denver Startup Week in September 2015, Jeremiah discusses the evolution of value systems and proposes a design method for developing new business models that meet the needs of those changing value systems.
According to Domo, every minute there are:
- 277,000 Tweets
- 2,460,000 Facebook Shares
- 216,000 Instagram photos posted
- 72 new hours of YoutTube videos uploaded
- 204,000,000 million emails sent
With all this noise, is it possible to get through to the right person at the right time?
Is your company spending more time trying to get content noticed than they are marketing your products and services?
If you don't understand your customers journey you don't know what they need. Or when they need it. Before the content, explore the journey and understand the context. Then build the content to serve the context.
According to a 2013 global survey of B2B buyers conducted by Avanade, decision makers buying products and services for their business are paying on average 30 percent more for an improved customer experience.
More than half of those surveyed paid more for a product because the customer experience was better.
Learn more about how to create and manage that kind of improved customer experience at Denver Startup Week.
Marketing and sales must evolve to become services that deliver value independent of a purchase. They must make the customer better at who they are attempting to be and what they are want to accomplish. Shifting to service based sales and marketing requires a disciplined program of customer research, journey analysis and insight development.