Relationships Drive Business

Strengthening Customer Engagement to Propel Your Business

The Path Ahead January 10, 2011

Filed under: Ideas — Carla Bobka @ 1:58 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Welcome to 2011.  It doesn’t seem right to start the new year with out talking about trends. As fast as things are changing, there’s no doubt I’ll be wrong about at least some things, so here’s what I see coming at us.

  1. Mobile
  2. Facebook commerce
  3. Facebook customization
  4. Terminology change away from social
  5. Refined crowd-sourcing


According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, in 2010 more than 89 million Americans accessed the web via smartphones. Add on those using wi-fi enabled devices like tablets, iPod Touches and the number grows bigger. We are shifting away from our PC based web use, even migrating away from our laptops. Culturally we are getting the info we want in the palm of our hand, at the moment it is useful. The trend will accelerate. Imagine going to Olive Garden and there are no menus. We all just look up the menu on our phone. Maybe we even order by punching “Alfredo” on the screen.

To-Do now:

  • make sure your site looks good on every device you can think of.
  • Figure out what info your company has that people want frequently, at their fingertips. Consider budgeting for a custom mobile app to make access to the info simple and fast.

Facebook Commerce

Target sold Facebook gift cards this holiday. Did you see them in the check-out line? 12 year-olds could convert cash into online currency. And many of them gifted that card to Gramma so she could play Farmville. Soon, you’ll be able to use them to buy a t-shirt. Or jeans. Or have your Facebook Page customized by a designer. It’s coming, and Facebook will take a cut of the transaction, just like Visa does when you buy something at Amazon. Except when the transaction happens inside Facebook Visa won’t be part of the pie.

To-Do now:

  • Decide what you can transact over the web. Put your plan in place so you’re ready.
  • Sell your Visa stock.

Facebook Customization

Flipping through Pages on Facebook can be pretty monotonous. There’s so much sameness. Giving your business presence personality will become commonplace. You need programming knowledge to install it. I’m told its quirky, but doable. Or hire someone, that’s what I did. It’s $400-700 depending on what you want done. By the end of the year we will see some Pages transform with the seasons.

To-do now:

  • Do it, differentiation is a good thing.

Terminology Change

The phrase “social media” will evaporate. Communicating with customers is an action not a thing. We’ll come up with a better way to say it.

Refined Crowd-sourcing

Q&A sites are coming. They are an iteration of researching info via Twitter. Quora is an example. Pose a question and other users answer and frequently attach the reference article link. I used it today to learn about Xanga. I had an answer in an hour with no surfing. I used that hour to work on a client project. A multi-tasking/delegation win-win.

Those are the big things I see.

What do you see coming in your world?


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