Rediscovering "The Shift"
April 10, 2012
With all the talk of customer experience and the growing impact of Pandora, I think it's appropriate to revisit something I touched upon last year. The SHIFT has been happening all along and it's time to be FULLY in the game, and not just on the sidelines any longer.
Yes, you've heard it before, but it's worth saying it again. It's time to look beyond the traditional model of programming, marketing and sales to find a new way of doing business.
The need to innovate is due to the fact that the consumer has been transformed into a much more active and interactive participant in a variety of locations, both real and virtual. It's no longer about segmenting customers and offering a differentiated product. It's a case of segmenting your brand from all the other providers and allowing the customer to gravitate to you rather than the alternatives.
This SHIFT will focus on relating, renewing and reinventing the experience a listener and/or customer has with the product across all the many touch points. The bull's-eye will be more on product and customer development and less on explicit promotion. It will communicate the product benefits so they deliver a real, meaningful and emotional attachment to create a long-term connection through community, co-operation and co-creation.
The SHIFT will ensure the brand is sociable because you can no longer control the conversation, but you can facilitate and, to some extent, host it in a way that allows you to build genuine relationships with customers rather than white-noise interruptions with anyone who can be bombarded with message after message.
The SHIFT will feature a combination of specialists leveraging their strengths and sense of individuality to exploit the brand niche and nail the job to be done. This will create an environment that adds character, conflict and uniqueness so it is possible to allow new approaches to content and new revenue streams, all while effectively managing the core business. It also ensures that customer needs are always met, consistently, and in real time.
This SHIFT will incorporate all of the assets and occupy every aspect and department of the organization to make communication and interaction a part of everyone's job.
By utilizing this approach, a brand will be more than results-driven. It will ensure there is a constant dialogue with the customer and that everything works to fulfill the brand promise and can instantly react to any problems, opportunities and challenges.
The SHIFT facilitators will understand that companies are much closer to the business than a customer is or cares to be, so the team will consist of internal and external specialists along with its customers working together in a creative collaboration model. Together, they will share an interest to discover and market to the functional and emotional considerations at the heart of the relationship with the product.
The SHIFT is risky for many, but the possibility is a new discipline where the brand is always centered on the moment and will achieve more because of a vision to always engage, connect, learn, collaborate and make progress with the human network.
Here's to your SHIFT.
Reprint from Sammy Simpson's article "Shift" posted to All Access Music Group on June 7, 2011.