Desk of Brad

Why should you care about CX?

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go do that. Because what the world needs are people who have come alive.”  

– Harold Whitman 

 My speech at the digital summit at Marquette University was very well received for those who followed the event or me on twitter yesterday, you got to see firsthand the enthusiasm we generated. There was a woman who was a digital sketch artist in attendance, and she drew some interesting summations of my speech- I asked her permission to include her artwork in this week’s edition of the company newsletter.  

I started the speech with a discussion around the value of experiences and how technology is allowing us to be in the moment but also transcend time. We now live in a world where not only do we have the pleasure of the moment but it can be recorded for all time. The ways in which we can capture the moments is ever increasing as well, we can use 140 characters, 6-second videos, or post it on Facebook to name a few. 

I then transitioned to a discussion around the value or the currency of sharing. In the experience, economic status is derived from the experiences you share. What matters most is not how much you have, but how good you have it. Spending money on a great experience will last you a lifetime. A recent study in the Journal of Positive Psychology Experiences said that experiences also lead to longer-term satisfaction. “Purchased experiences provide memory capital,” Howell said. “We don’t tend to get bored of happy memories like we do with a material object.

The rise of the sharing economy is being driven by the idea that renting is just as viable as owning. We see many new businesses leveraging idol inventory or assets, ZIP car, streaming music, or sites like bag, borrow, and steal as examples. This notion of use when you need it is much more efficient and has profound implications for global manufacturing. For each ZIP car in a major metropolitan area supplants 32 new cars. Over a 10 year period in the US, this has lead to approximately 500,000 fewer cars sold. 

I spoke about Tahzoo’s three truths for our new economy, Experiences must be shareable, authentic, and differentiated. To be shareable an experience, we must consider the variant of formats and contexts in which the experience would be shared. Providing readily available content that can be quickly appropriated for sharing is critical. Brands must be authentic, there are countless stories about how disappointed consumers are when they find out a seemingly spontaneous moment is planned marketing activating, I give the famous Selfie at the Oscars sponsored by Samsung as an example of this. Lastly, the experience needs to be differentiated, in this way it can be personalized, or at a minimum, it needs to be better than one size fits all. The days of the mass market model are over.

The Experience Economy is influencing every aspect of our life. As we engage with brands we are seeking to spend our money and make connections that are profoundly different than we have in the past. I spoke about how this confluence of technology and culture is impacting the way we buy, communicate, and do business. I gave an example of how Venmo is impacting what was once an awkward experience deciding how to pay a bill among friends has now been turned into a simple and easy process. How each of us is now a budding photographer, restaurant critic, and travel specialist, all of these new models are giving rise to a new type of company built on pleasant and seamless experiences; Uber, Airbnb, and Netflix to name a few.

Over the last five years, technology has made personalization at scale possible. We can now communicate with individuals delivering brand experiences that are tailored to be contextually relevant. We are using data to better understand the desires of each individual and recognize patterns of behavior that once understood can be utilized to deliver personalized experiences. 
Thanks to Andy Myers, Rhia Pumhirun, Gabi Macy, and John Kottcamp for all of their hard work and contribution to this speech. We have a white paper about the experience economy that we’ll be releasing in the coming weeks. As always feel free to share your thoughts or ideas about the new economy.