Sunday, April 1, 2012

Currency in the Digital Age: Users Not Customers

Today, businesses interact differently than they did in the pre-Internet era. No longer can they exist without an interactive website, social media presence, and if not now, possibly by the time you finish reading this post, mobile-enhanced sites and branded apps.

In the words of Aaron Shapiro, CEO of Huge, “The Internet will drive the majority of all consumer purchases…a figure that will only grow as young people who have never lived without the Internet increase their spending power. The result: there’s no longer such a thing as an offline business – every company must have an effective digital strategy to survive.”

In Shapiro’s book, Users Not Customers, this has resulted in a new business model, one in which companies focus on users first and foremost. Users are defined as employees, job candidates, business prospects and partners, brand fans, members of the media, and other influencers who interact with a business through digital media and technology. The hope is that by implementing a user-first strategy and creating a positive user experience, Users are then the engine for growing a customer base.

As a business evolves from the traditional model of interacting solely with customers to the larger universe of users, there can be a concern. According to Shapiro, “A culture of greatness includes one subtle component that is often missed in the world of innovation, and that’s delivery. Our goal is not to create the Mona Lisa, the perfect work of art that will stand the test of time. It’s to create the best user-first experience on time and with the resources available.”

Can your business adopt this new business model? Can all employees understand the importance of digital currency? And how can your leaders help employees to pay better attention to all audiences that fall under the umbrella known as users? 

Bottom line, how can your business focus on users rather than customers to stay one step ahead of the competition?

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Connect with Aaron on Twitter:!/amshap

1 comment:

  1. There's going to have to be a huge culture change, that's for sure, and the more companies delay managing the change, the more they fall behind competition. Great post Deb!


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