Engagement Economy - future of business
Four months into 2017, there is little question that digital transformation and innovation has changed the way companies conduct business forever. Both opportunity and interference in the shape of digital innovation can happen at any time. A consequence of the ever-changing digital landscape for business is the unfolding massive shift in the expectations of buyers. Today’s buyer, be they a consumer or a business, is more savvy, more informed and more exacting about the products and services they purchase than ever before. Consumers now demand products and services that show they share their values and demonstrate understanding of them as “me” on a personal level. For marketers, the number of digital channels to reach customers with are seemingly limitless, however there is a challenge in knowing when, why and how they want or can be engaged. More so now than ever before, the primary way to win customers’ hearts and minds is by consistently delivering experiences that are authentic and personalized.
The Engagement Economy
The concept of the “Engagement Economy” is clear-cut but profound — this is a new era—the digital future where everything and everyone is connected is here. The idea of the Engagement Economy typifies the major shift in buyer/seller relationships, but extends across the entire business organizational structure to include prospects, customers, partners and employees. Ultimately it is the marketer who, in this new era, needs to engage with all business stakeholders, not only customers, and deliver experiences with promise. The businesses that can do this will triumph—and those failing to adapt to the changes the Engagement Economy is undergoing, will fall by the wayside. It is a notion that is tacit, businesses that do not embrace the changes risk being overrun by newer, digital “native” companies which can deliver the customer the experiences they crave. For a textbook example look no further Blockbuster Video. The company had massive brand presence globally and thousands of physical outlets in just the US alone, then Netflix came along, a company founded over frustration born from late fees charged at a video store (although this story my just be that, a story), Blockbuster failed to adapt to this new model of distributing entertainment. It is seems fanciful to think that an internet based company with a warehouse that shipped DVDs to people by mail could send a giant like Blockbuster bust, yet in just 24 months, the company was practically irrelevant. Netflix had the better business model and it was because it provided the customer experience people actually wanted. Ten years on from that case and we are now living at a time when thousands of digital native companies are cropping up each year. Some of the most talked brands today are digital natives: think of Uber and AirBnB. However, not every business is digital native. Most are not in fact. If you are among the majority of companies, you are probably trying to put a digital infrastructure in place that allows you to learn form, listen to and engage better with customers. So how is it done?
Being successful in the Engagement Economy depends on engagement. Logical right? It means transforming your business from the ground up to create customer experiences that feel human, real and are founded on care and trust. In the era of the Engagement Economy, it is all about creating authentic, personalized relationships with customers and fostering the concept of wantedness. This is a concept based on research by advertising, marketing and consulting company Wunderman, and it measures the degree a brand proves its commitment to earning the business of a customer at every stage of a customer’s journey. In an increasing self-centered world, consumers expect marketers to communicate and understand them when and how they want at the right time and the right way. Want comes about as a result of driving an authentic and personalized buyer experience. Want to participate more fully in the Engagement Economy? The time to transform your organization and your marketing to drive success and win the hearts and minds of your customers.