By Xochi Adame | June 7, 2012
Yesterday, CDS Global co-sponsored Social: IRL’s first event in Des Moines. A packed house of more than 220 attendees representing five states and 70+ organizations came out for Social: IRL Des Moines – Beyond the Keynote with Brian Solis, from startups, small businesses and large corporations to nonprofits and universities.
Social: IRL’s founder Ben Smith came to Des Moines to strengthen the local attitude towards building and retaining talent in the Silicon Prairie, and to call professionals to rethink how we should approach adapting to an increasingly digital lifestyle.
Iowa-based speakers Geoff Wood, COO of Silicon Prairie News, Ken Miner, founder of #TeamKrisMiner and Liz Nead host of Life Dare TV highlighted the importance of localization and how inner passions can successfully drive social action. The hashtag #socialirl began trending worldwide on Twitter within the first half of the event, a testament to how deeply the messages resonated with the share-savvy crowd.
The highlight of the event was the eye-opening keynote from acclaimed digital author and analyst Brian Solis. He discussed the rapidly emerging connected consumer, how these connected consumers differ from traditional and online consumers, and why organizations need to carefully rethink their strategies for reaching this new, as Solis said, “audience with an audience of audiences.”
A few characteristics of the connected consumer:
- Depends on mobile devices for constant connectivity – now essential to everyday life
- Looks to peers among their social graph rather than experts for decision-making advice
- Values shared experiences
- Views privacy differently than their predecessors; they aren’t afraid of “Big Brother”
- Defines engagement very differently than most businesses do
According to Solis, the traditional sales funnel is now obsolete. The dynamic customer journey has emerged in its place. This new model illustrates drastic changes in buyer decision making, including an increased difficulty establishing brand loyalty. Businesses are now tasked with delivering “magical customer experiences,” if they wish to stay relevant.
The Dynamic Customer Decision Journey from BrianSolis.com:
Solis used Sephora as one example of brands creating magical, frictionless customer experiences:
Without a deeper, more-thoughtful understanding of new consumer behavior, businesses lack the necessary insight for building strategies that create the sorts of experiences consumers now demand. For more information on the rise of this new connected consumer, read Solis’ most recent book, The End of Business as Usual.