AI Marketing: The Next Big Thing

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I recently had the opportunity to talk to SAS about a topic close to their heart and mine:  AI Marketing.  Why are we excited about this? Well, you can read more of our conversation here but in a nutshell AI has the power to revolutionize the way we market and how we shape the customer journey. In the Q&A I delve into the competitive benefits of AI marketing, the power AI has to reshape traditional marketing, the changes it will bring to roles and expertise requirements and how to get started with AI marketing, right now, today. AI Marketing has the power to be a catalyst for change.  The technology is
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AI Marketing: The Next Big Thing

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Dear Feedburner Readers, we'll soon be shutting down our feedburner plugin. If you'd still like to receive news from Brian Solis, please scroll to the bottom of www.briansolis.com and subscribe to the newsletter.

I recently had the opportunity to talk to SAS about a topic close to their heart and mine:  AI Marketing.  Why are we excited about this? Well, you can read more of our conversation here but in a nutshell AI has the power to revolutionize the way we market and how we shape the customer journey. In the Q&A I delve into the competitive benefits of AI marketing, the power AI has to reshape traditional marketing, the changes it will bring to roles and expertise requirements and how to get started with AI marketing, right now, today. AI Marketing has the power to be a catalyst for change.  The technology is
Continue reading "AI Marketing: The Next Big Thing"

How true storytelling can save marketing (and more…)

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Dear Feedburner Readers, we'll soon be shutting down our feedburner plugin. If you'd still like to receive news from Brian Solis, please scroll to the bottom of www.briansolis.com and subscribe to the newsletter.

I recently had the privilege to work on a very special project with my friends at GapingVoid and LinkedIn. We set out on a creative endeavor to explore the intersection of story, art, humor and candor as a means of fostering self-reflection and inspiring personal and professional change. The result is a something I’m very proud of…a new short and sweet but compelling ebook, Once Upon a Digital Time: How to be an amazing storyteller when everyone is a “storyteller.” To help promote the release and further contemplate the power of story, I spent time with Megan Golden, Content Marketing Leader at LinkedIn. In our very candid and personal conversation, I
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How true storytelling can save marketing (and more…)

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Dear Feedburner Readers, we'll soon be shutting down our feedburner plugin. If you'd still like to receive news from Brian Solis, please scroll to the bottom of www.briansolis.com and subscribe to the newsletter.

I recently had the privilege to work on a very special project with my friends at GapingVoid and LinkedIn. We set out on a creative endeavor to explore the intersection of story, art, humor and candor as a means of fostering self-reflection and inspiring personal and professional change. The result is a something I’m very proud of…a new short and sweet but compelling ebook, Once Upon a Digital Time: How to be an amazing storyteller when everyone is a “storyteller.” To help promote the release and further contemplate the power of story, I spent time with Megan Golden, Content Marketing Leader at LinkedIn. In our very candid and personal conversation, I
Continue reading "How true storytelling can save marketing (and more…)"

The Importance of Experience Design and the Future of Brand

Customers today are accidental narcissists. Tomorrow is an entirely new game brands, CX strategists and marketers. Disruption is a gift either given to you or by you. Knowing this, we are still making mistakes in creating meanignful experiences to a new generation of connected, impatient and demanding customers. We get stuck in legacy thinking, playbooks and metrics rather than innovate and disrupt to fully capitalize on new digital opportunities. Following my presentation at Adobe Summit, I had the opportunity to join my dear friend Giselle Abramovich of CMO.com for an extensive conversation about the importance of experience design and the future of brand in a digital economy. Giselle has a way of bringing out the best in someone. In our discussion, I share my latest research, work and ideas about how every company should re-imagine brand for an era of digital Darwinism. The questions and answers cover a
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Silicon Valley Uncovered: The evolution of tech, media and its impact on society

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In 2010, my dear friend Hermione Way invited me as the first-ever guest on her then new show, “Silicon Valley Uncovered” for TheNextWeb. It aired on January 18th, 2011. I share this with you because the conversation, while several years old now, is strangely better suited for today and the modern times in which we live and work. I’m not even sure how I stumbled across this interview. To be honest, I’m taken aback by how prescient and philosophical this conversation was in explaining what’s happening now. I found myself reacting in disbelief, “Wow. Did I really say that!?” At the time of this interview, I was in the 11th
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Silicon Valley Uncovered: The evolution of tech, media and society

In 2010, my dear friend Hermoine Way invited me as the first-ever guest on her then new show, “Silicon Valley Uncovered” for TheNextWeb. It aired on January 18th, 2011. I share this with you because the conversation, while several years old now, is strangely better suited for today and the modern times in which we live and work. I’m not even sure how I stumbled across this interview. To be honest, I’m taken aback by how prescient and philosophical this conversation was in explaining what’s happening now. I found myself reacting in disbelief, “Wow. Did I really say that!?” At the time of this interview, I was in the 11th year (of 12) running a digital lab I had founded in 1999. Shortly thereafter, I would join Altimeter in 2012, which was then acquired by Prophet in 2015. It’s not a short interview. But if you can spare
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To innovate or advance digital transformation, look outside your industry

My good friend and journalist Dan Tynan wrote two exceptional pieces on digital transformation in Adweek, “5 Steps for Digitally Transforming Your Marketing to Be More Responsive to Customer Needs” and “Why Old-School Brands Like Gap Need to Learn New Tricks to Survive in the Digital Age.” If you’re not in marketing, please don’t stop reading yet! This is bigger than marketing. This is about organizational innovation and transformation. Dan and I spent time together talking through what digital transformation means and explored its promise for modernizing organizations at large. That discussion spilled over into his two recent Adweek articles. Although a portion of what I’ll share with you made the article, the rest is meant to help you in your efforts. I assembled some of the key points for you here in the hopes that it helps you.

Digital Transformation in an Era of Digital Darwinism

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The Next Round of Modern Commerce Disruption

The evolution of modern commerce is underway. Every day, we are introduced to new, niche players that introduce new personalized product and business models. At the same time, traditional retailers are learning how to innovate and also acquire innovative startups to introduce new capabilities, expertise and leadership into the fold. And of course, Amazon only continues to disrupt on all fronts. At the heart of this rapid evolution and revolution is emergent technology such as AI, machine learning, mobile, conversational commerce, et al. But technology isn’t in of itself the driver of modern commerce disruption. It is more and more, becoming a facilitator of modern customer engagement. Customers too are evolving and as a result, their behaviors, expectations, preferences, values, et al., are shifting. The other catalyst is human. Disruptors are increasingly placing connected consumers at the center of everything. And the key to doing so effectively is extreme
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You are not a digital marketer…at least not yet

There are no shortage of books to help you become a modern or innovative marketer. At the same time, there is a scarcity of useful, actionable and thought-provoking content to actually help you excel. My good buddies Travis Wright and Chris J. Snook hope to change add value to your marketing ambition with their new book, “Digital Sense: The Common Sense Approach to Effectively Blending Social Business Strategy, Marketing Technology and Customer Experience.” The duo approached me to write the foreword and I happily agreed under one condition…I get to share the foreword with you online. With that said, I hope that this foreword helps you see and do things a little bit differently starting now.

You are not a digital marketer…at least not yet

I want to use this foreword to officially warn you. You’re in for a delightful experience. Normally books that teach you so much
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The Art of Storytelling in an Era of Connected Audiences

Once upon a time, brands and agencies set out to tell the most engaging, transparent and shareable stories the world had ever seen. Little did they know, the audience would become storytellers in their own right. That signal, that certain spark to break the fourth wall to connect with audiences had since extinguished. The world moved on. Now, everyone was connected and everyone not only had stories to tell and experiences to share, there were devices, platforms and channels to help them reach. But while the world turned, everyone, it seems, faced the same dilemma. If everyone is connected and everyone has a story to tell, who would be left to appreciate the stories and share them with audiences to come? This is where the magic lies? The audience of yore is alive. Storytellers must connect nowadays with connected audiences who have an audience with an audience of audiences. This
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Why Your Brand Needs Vidcon and the Rise of Creator Influence and Trust

For the last three years, I’ve made it a point to attend Vidcon, even if that meant missing the prestigious Cannes Lions. Why? Because the roots of shifting consumer behavior, trust and influence are evident to those paying attention. For those who are tracking what’s next, the future of entertainment and engagement is taking shape online and live in Anaheim every summer. Thousands upon thousands of young adults, children and supportive parents convene upon Vidcon every year in the hopes that they might meet, take a selfie with and learn from their favorite creator. Within minutes upon arriving,  even the most skeptical or uninitiated executive would have no choice but to appreciate and ponder the magnitude that is Vidcon. This year, I attended for two reasons. This is the third year, I’ve had the privilege to present on the main industry stage (thank you Jim Louderback!). Second, my TechSet
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It’s not the End of Retail, It’s the End of Retail As We Know It

Retail, like every industry, faces digital Darwinism as technology and markets evolve and disrupt. This isn’t new. But what is clear, executives are not prioritizing bold strategies and investments that save them from their “Kodak Moment,” that moment when consumer behaviors and values evolve beyond brand recognition. If you read about the state of retail today, you’ll see dramatic descriptors such as “apocalypse,” “the end…,” “dying,” you get the picture. While doom and gloom and disruption is inherent in every industry, not everything is lost or hopeless. Those who recognize the gap between today’s value proposition and the evolution of what consumers value and why, will learn exactly how to not only close it but also ways to innovate and introduce new value. I recently spent time with Hal Conick of the AMA (American Marketing Association) to explore the state and future of retail. He wrote an exceptional
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The CX Imperative and The Role You Play in Making Business Personal


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Every now and then, I am asked to write the foreword for a great book. And, every now and then, I say yes. The deal is always the same. Once the book is released, I ask that I’m able to publish the foreword in full to share with you here. My friends Lars Birkholm Petersen, Ron Person and Christopher Nash wrote a book, Connect: How to use data and experience marketing to create lifetime customers. As they describe, marketing is going through a revolution that rivals the impact of Gutenberg’s printing press. Customers are in control and marketers have become an unnecessary annoyance. It’s more important than ever to have connected marketing that is relevant to customers’ needs across myriad channels. Connect is written as a hands-on guide for succeeding in the new age of marketing as connected customers demand world-class, relevant, and personalized customer experiences.

Foreword:
The CX Imperative
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Deepening Customer Relationships with Contextual Content

Guest post by Rebecca Lieb and Jaimy Szymanski, Content: The Atomic Particle of Marketing In the “phygital” world that marries our physical and digital presences, content is ubiquitous. Only by offering content through the lens of context can marketers achieve relevancy to today’s uber-connected consumer. Beacons, sensors and the Internet of Things (IoT) are moving marketing past the screen to the objects, places, and even the conditions (weather, holidays, sales) we occupy and experience in the real world. Contextual marketing will soon be an essential tool for keeping track of customers across devices, locations, and purchase cycle. Brands must begin experimenting now. Contextual campaigns go well beyond “the right message to the right person at the right time.” Location, for example, often plays a role. Automotive dealerships are using beacons to determine which customers visit the showroom versus the service department, enabling them to connect contextually, with the right
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Why your website sucks and how to better engage with digitally-savvy consumers

I recently had an opportunity to speak with Juliet Stott of Content Magazine about the impact digital has had on marketing, how customer experiences can help marketers differentiate their brands, and why websites in general, suck. It was such a fun and revealing conversation, that I wanted to share it with you here. I hope it helps you! Content: What has been the greatest disruption to marketing, and what impact has it had on the industry? Brian: Social is one of the disruptions, but it is not the most disruptive. Social democratized information and gave power to the consumers to take control of their own customer journey, and from there everything has snowballed. I think the greatest disruption in marketing has been the industry’s inability to disrupt itself. Since the inception of the web – marketers have not changed their approach with emerging technology. And that’s the challenge. Each technological disruption has
Continue reading "Why your website sucks and how to better engage with digitally-savvy consumers"

Why your website sucks and how to better engage with digitally-savvy consumers

I recently had an opportunity to speak with Juliet Stott of Content Magazine about the impact digital has had on marketing, how customer experiences can help marketers differentiate their brands, and why websites in general, suck. It was such a fun and revealing conversation, that I wanted to share it with you here. I hope it helps you! Content: What has been the greatest disruption to marketing, and what impact has it had on the industry? Brian: Social is one of the disruptions, but it is not the most disruptive. Social democratized information and gave power to the consumers to take control of their own customer journey, and from there everything has snowballed. I think the greatest disruption in marketing has been the industry’s inability to disrupt itself. Since the inception of the web – marketers have not changed their approach with emerging technology. And that’s the challenge. Each technological disruption has
Continue reading "Why your website sucks and how to better engage with digitally-savvy consumers"

Why the future of corporate marketing may hang on the personal brand

Guest post by Mark W. Schaefer (@markwschaefer) I hate the term “personal branding.” And yet, personal branding may be the salvation of corporate marketing. Allow me to explain today why both statements are true! For the past few years I’ve been immersed in the world of personal branding as I wrote my new book KNOWN: The Handbook for Building and Unleashing Your Personal Brand in the Digital Age. I started the process by exploring what the experts thought it meant to build a brand — and what I found was pretty disappointing. I found a lot of hype like:
  • “If you can dream it, you can be it.”
  • “Find your passion, find your life.”
  • “Nothing is more important than hustle.”
In other words, there’s a lot of fluff out there, which is why I had always detested the word “personal branding.” It’s
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Is Your Marketing Strategy Aimed at the Present or the Future?

If you’ve designed your marketing strategy around what your market expects today, you may want to revisit it. Why? Your market will expect something different in the future. And that future is starting to arrive now. When I’m not deep in the weeds studying Digital Transformation, Innovation, Experience Design and Culture, I’m incessantly thinking about brands of tomorrow and what it takes to be relevant to an evolving society. I recently spent some time with Qlutch CEO Jim Sagar to explore how the role of experience is shaping the new marketing landscape. That conversation turned into a podcast and I wanted to share it with you here.

Transcript:

JIM: Brian welcome, it’s great to have you here today! BRIAN: It’s great to be here, thank you. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to share more about the book. JIM: Brian, in your book X: The Experience When Business Meets Design
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