Digital Sense

"A digital marketer is someone who understands that, to engage someone digitally, it must be done in a meaningful, personalized and contextually + culturally relevant manner."

- Brian Solis, Digital Sense, Kindle Locations 421-422

Travis Wright, CCP Global and Chris J. Snook, Columnist and Serial Entrepreneur, provide a common ‘digital’ sense playbook on how organizations need to act in the modern consumer, data-driven era. They remind the readers that technology amplifies the successes and blunders of digital engagement and relationships.

The authors cover how organizations adapt to the new business environment by blending social strategy, marketing technology and customer experience leveraging the Experience Marketing Framework (EMF).

Wright and Snook deliver on a deep walkthrough of how an organization realigns to meet the dynamic needs of buyers. The beginning includes a great story about the KC Chiefs, but leaps into some definitions which may seem disorienting at first. However, they bring it all together with a ‘pop’ and you begin to see how it coalesces. With some great humor, there is a tremendous number of blueprints, high-level steps, and resources. The book is a bit overwhelming, however, it is well organized and useful to revisit as a reference as your organization makes changes or evolves. As both a practitioner and analyst in the space, Digital Sense is a comprehensive read. This summary will truly provide only a taste of the many nuggets in the book.

The Big Idea

The Big Idea: The biggest takeaway from the book

Attention and Trust—Very Little Else Matters

"Organizations that align their total focus around optimizing their departments to provide the most seamless experience at each touch point in the journey will take home the lion's share of all rewards in the coming decade."
- Digital Sense, Kindle Locations 1030-1032

Attention and trust are the currency which is the most difficult to attain and retain, yet the most valuable assets to an organization.   

While some organizations still grapple with this in the traditional marketing capacity, adding the digital DNA into the mix makes it seem nearly impossible. To overcome this exponential explosion of changes, marketers and leaders must begin with a much deeper understanding of their customers and engagement with the brand.

Within your own organization, the authors discuss the four generic archetypes to better understand motivations and how to, if possible, unlock the potential of greater digital sense:

  1. Influencers (I) – Leaders, masters of human persuasion.
  2. Amplifiers (A) – Direct subordinates to influencers driving vision into a tangible reality.
  3. Motivatables (M) – Comfortable. 60% of the total populus. Wired to adapt and blend in.
  4. Zombies (Z) – Unmotivatable and drive to create other zombies.

Understanding your organization’s people is just as important as their engagement with the marketplace. Culture is a commonly and slightly overused word in business today. Yet data and customer-driven culture still serves as the most accurate focuses needed to improve attention and trust in the market. Gaining and understanding of what types of people make up your team will help you identify people who can drive and support change, as you adopt a more digital mindset.

Insight #1

An actionable way to implement the Big Idea into your life

Social Business Strategy Applies Everywhere!

"Customer Experience is the battleground we all compete on in a digital world, and where customer service historically takes a well-honed ‘common sense,’ customer experience requires a well-honed digital sense."
- Digital Sense, Kindle Locations 1290-1292

As the authors take us deeper into the EMF (Experience Marketing Framework), we learn that social strategies are not simply limited to marketing any more. It is a cohesive organizational effort.

Social Business for ______ (fill in the blank with one of the areas below):

  • Marketing: Campaign, Content and Outreach
  • Sales: Social Selling, Account-Based Marketing (ABM)
  • Influencers and Advocates: Discover, Connect, Engage, Recruit & Measure
  • HR: Recruiting, Culture, Hunting, Advertising
  • Customer Service (or Success): Best Practices, Education, Administration, Governance, Policies, Executive Buy-in

Specifically, sales can benefit by transitioning to the digital conversation by extending the relationship via social media. “Social selling” allows salespeople to better construct more relevant dialogue through leveraging the wealth of information about prospects, companies’ activities, and trends in social media. Also, by listening, sharing, and sales can engage sooner where the buyers are researching. The author describes some basic steps:

  1. Create or polish your Twitter/LinkedIn profiles
  2. Connect with everyone in the company
  3. Join 10-15 LinkedIn groups
  4. Ask for recommendations
  5. Interact once a day

Insight #2

An actionable way to implement the Big Idea into your life

Relationships Matters, B.R.O.

"It's all about who you know, what you know, and who knows that you know what you know."
- Digital Sense, Kindle Locations 4676-4677

Social connectivity provides a unique and rapid fire way to develop relationships outside of traditional circles. Wright dives into a story where he recognized that personal and professional growth meant sharing wisdom and knowledge on a larger scale. Business Relationship Optimization (BRO), as he has coined the term, relates to building a personal and business brand which hones in on a more methodical approach toward expanding and deepening relationships.

Wright shares an epiphany: “It’s all about who you know, what you know, and who knows that you know what you know.” In this journey of building his network, he begins the BRO process by determining to to get to know and list ways to add value to them. As relationships are likened to bank accounts, begin by making deposits with your network: engage on social media, share, help make connections/introductions, and offer solutions. On occasion, you would make a withdrawal, and like a FICO score, good credit(-ability) builds over time. However, be careful not to end up severely overdrawn, as then the relationship is over. Building more good credit opens more opportunities.

Return on investment is dictated by your engagement at the right time with the right information to generate a return on influence.

What results is a greater sense of purpose which turns into an energy that resonates both in-person and digitally.

According to the authors, 70% of learning happens at work, 20% via mentoring, and 10% in classroom settings. This means that learning equals doing and the status quo will remain if you don’t change the conditions. Travis and Chris want to remind us that even in a digital capacity, we are still humans interacting with humans (H2H). Acting with this kind of digital sense, customers will reward organizations who engage with them over social media by spending 20-40% more money with those companies than other customers. That’s material enough to start making a change today.

If you have more answers than questions about your digital sense, then you may not be driving hard enough.  

What is your weakest link to improve in your customer’s experience journey?

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Anand Thaker

ABOUT Anand Thaker

Anand truly enjoys uplifting and serving as a great promoter of others. In the mix and just below the surface, he does play the role of a Yoda by leveling-up and advising practitioners, thought leaders, investors, and entrepreneurs in marketing technology...
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