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Brian Solis: Four Ways to Be the Future of Marketing

“Business as usual” no longer exists. Technology is changing business, and marketers are scrambling to keep up,” reports Brian Conlin of Vocus. He recently summarized a presentation given by Brian Solis to brands and agency around the world. Conlin distilled the presentation into four actionable takeaways….

What’s the Future of Business?” author Brian Solis analyzed how marketers can meet the future head-on at his October 30th Vocus webinar. Here are four key suggestions he makes:

Kodak - The Future of Marketing

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1. Compete for relevance

“At the end of the day you’re not competing for attention. You’re competing for relevance,” Brian says. “To earn relevance, you have to understand what the connected customer values.”

“If we don’t stop to figure this out now, we’re going to contribute to what I refer to as Digital Darwinism.”

Digital Darwinism occurs when the evolution of consumer behavior and technology evolve faster than marketers’ ability to adapt.

With advances in technology constantly accelerating, you can’t simply keep reacting to technology. What you can do is think about how you will use new and existing platforms to deliver a new, meaningful approach.

Even iconic brands Kodak have closed because they did not understand how their consumer evolved and how their management structure needed to change, Brian says.

“There are going to be people who change and lead better engagement. Those are going to be the people who win,” Brian says.

2. Understand the egosystem

Just as brands have become ‘people’, people have become brands.

People take selfies and share pictures of their meals. Their audience responds, Likes and comments.

“There’s a sense of inflated worth when someone builds these communities, and the communities reinforce that behavior,” Brian says.

“They create these ecosystems – or egosystems – around themselves that you have to try to penetrate. You actually have to try to get the attention of somebody. And once you have it, define what you want to do with it.”

The first part of any successful social media or content campaign starts by answering two questions.

A. What are you trying to do?

B. How will you measure value?

“What’s the ROI?” Brian asks. “It’s a hard question to answer when you never consider what you want to get in terms of a return.”

3. Accept that technology creates differences

“How the connected generation find you, what compels them to take the first step, is different than with your traditional customer,” Brian says.

It’s a product of their dependence on technology, not their age. A 55 year old who uses an iPad, Facebook, Pinterest and Yelp exhibits Millennial-like behavior, too.

Reaching this connected audience requires accepting what makes them different from less-connected consumers. They way they enter and progress through the sales funnel different from your traditional customer.

“Augment your traditional approach, your traditional philosophy, and find new ways to understand who you’re trying to reach and what pulls them through the funnel,” Brian says.

The Future of Marketing - Generation CThe only way to lead them, rather than react, is to learn from them, be inspired and find ways to grab their attention for productive outcomes.

This means marketers are responsible for more than grabbing attention. Marketers need to direct that attention to what they want their prospects to to do next.

4. Do more than engage in real time      

People celebrate Oreo’s ‘Dunk in the Dark‘ tweet because it demonstrates how brands can engage customers in real time based on an event.

But in the end, it’s only an advertisement for a cookie, Brian says.

Social media’s true potential is in analyzing conversations to identify sentiment, target opportunities, avert crises and understand and anticipate evolving needs to drive outcomes.

“Marketing has the ability to improve relationships, to put the social in social media, to be this resource, this utility, this value add to the experiences people have every single day,” Brian says.

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