A few themes emerged at Conversation Agent this year. This year we explored how to organize online experiences to experiment, learn, adapt, and evolve brand stories through interactions with audiences.
The point of any experience whether in real life or digital proxies, including social networks, is to learn and pay off the need and desire to connect with others. We are inhrently social creatures and will invest our time (or spend it, depending on how you look at it) doing things that give us something in return.
Articles that resonated most this year
While the content business is a long game, most brands are not in the content-as-business-model business. They are in the business of selling advice, services, products, expertise, and so on.
Content is not an end in itself, it's a beginning -- the new door opener, a basis for attracting, connecting, and converting. By storytelling in another form, showcasing enough expertise and research to start a conversation, being useful, providing value and entertainment, teaching, learning, and so on.
Providing an experience through content is a proxy for providing and experience through service and product.
Those who fail in social, do so because they fail to see that the opportunity to create value is in the eyes and experience of the person taking advantage of it. You have the honor of building a platform, or joining one, creating the context or making a situation possible to empower people to do things with it.
If you want to understand which words work in a quasi real time commercial environment, all you have to do is head over to Kickstarter and analyze the commonalities and patterns in the termonology used for projected that achieved funding status.
Success follows a pattern.
There is a fundamental gap between what people choose to do with their time and tools and what they should be welcoming as part of the deal. There is a time for every purpose, or so the song used to say. How to know which time is appropriate?
Businesses still mostly fund the stalking part of being online, easier to outsource at scale.
People are complex, and we live in complex times. Collaboration might be a desirable trait, it is however still an aspirational goal rather than a reality.
As behavioral economics teaches us, to design tools and programs that help them do what they already want to do, we need to deal with people (and organizations) as they are, rather than as we would like them to be.
Because of its ability to capture and track customers’ buying preferences and past purchase history, technology has been moving closer to the store front and to customer-facing applications, and it has shifted from “nice to have” to necessity for marketers.
I see the role of strategy as the motivating element for what's next in execution and innovation.
I am also seeing something else, and that is the power of commitment to ignite the first step and every other step after that.
Technology has accelerated the pace of change, with related impact to the need to become more effective and not just supremely efficient. This means embracing transformation acceleratd mostly by digital connections and interactions.
We refer to this movement as “digital transformation.” Every industry and discipline is being affected. As strategists and business leaders, our charter is to make sense of what is going on, identify what needs to change, and prioritize how we go about making it happen.
I don't agree, as some say, that urgent tasks have a deadline and important ones don't. Time management is a balancing act, you will probably never be able to push aside urgent for important. You do need to push for important -- for yourself and for making a difference. So let's break it down in manageable chunks.
The context in which marketers operate has changed dramatically from a short few years ago. Whether the business model of an organizations is through channel or direct to consumer, marketing technology -- that is technology developed to support customer experience -- is here to stay. For one, every employee now brings their own devices to work.
In fact, the array of products and tools available to marketers continues to grow.
While developers may think about authentication, professionals about representation and reputation, by and large most everyone thinks about how we communicate and personalize our experience.
When we take a social science angle, identity becomes a person's own idea of who they are and what their place in the world is. This is becoming more important for marketers because we make decisions based upon how we think about ourselves.
I continue to learn how influence works and what, where, and when it does in the digital strategies and action plans I execute.