I watched a fascinating documentary last night called 'Most Likely to Succeed'. It was from made in the US and looked at the emerging world we live in, and how a different way of teaching our children can help them live and survive in this new world - we have gone from the industrial age to the information age - they said. Computers are taking our jobs in frightening numbers - they said, and our kids will have jobs that we haven't even invented yet. There was also the frightening statistic that by the time our kids get to secondary school in this country 90% of them have disengaged - sorry I digress, that is a whole new bag of monkeys - but the word disengagement caught my thinking line.
Engaging our people - how do we do this?
In a world where we are looking at a screen of some sort more and more, and we increasingly communicate technically, we still have a need to be engaged. The skills we need to teach our kids are the 'soft learning skills' like how to behave, how to relate, how to build relationships with other humans so they can survive. (work collaboratively, be worthwhile contributing citizens, communicate well, have a good life, have fun, be social, to engage with fellow humans - you see what I mean). Business is the same.
Put simply -your customers want to engage with you and you need to engage with them. They want to feel like they echo you, that they are aligned with your philosophies, they want to have a kind of ownership, they want to feel safe, they want to be proud of buying your stuff or service, - they want to match. And boy you had better do this - or they wander off into the mighty technical blue never to come by again.
As it gets harder to physically see and touch your customers, the more you need to be really clear about what and who you are. What are you selling, who to and why and what do you stand for. Communicate your values clearly so that your customers feel safe, identify with you and recognise your brand. This means whenever they interact with your website, your mail order, your product, your social media, your advertising, your staff ANYTHING about your brand, the experience will have the same feel. They then stay loyal- and whoa - even recommend you. This stuff is just plain simple marketing - it ain't new - what is different is you have less time to do it. Less time to hook your people and less time for people to recognise you and all because of how we are living. Know thyself in crystal vision and shine that personality out there in neon - its a worthwhile investment, your business will thank you in dollars and your customers will thank you in loyalty and numbers.
And of course if you have trouble focussing that lens, I have a beady eye and a really bright torch - give me a shout I can help.