Redefining the human-centred approach to marketing

Salesforce innovation evangelist Brian Solis defines the challenges and opportunities for brands grappling with the new Covid-impacted consumer

We’re living in a time of the ‘#noveleconomy’, a new and unusual time marked by the coronavirus, where the number one driver has to be customers and employees, Salesforce global innovation evangelist, Brian Solis, claims. 

“We have to learn, whether that's in retail or in brand, how to deliver a much more impactful experience, not just for someone who's connected, but for someone who's emotionally, subconsciously and intellectually moved because of a global pandemic,” Solis explained during this week’s Salesforce Live virtual event.

“And we have to give technology a sense of purpose so that we can thrive in an era of a global pandemic. It's not just about thriving now, but thriving in this interim normal, which is a world with COVID-19. And following that, when we’re living in a world without COVID-19."

For Solis, the key is to create experiences in the real world and online that are going to transcend the crisis. "It's about that sensation of creating great experiences, great sentiments, great relationships now and in the future because these times are anything but normal. This isn't a race to normalcy, it's a moment of transition. It's a moment of reflection to build the future,” he continued.

Solis said the #noveleconomy has three phases: Survive, Alive, Thrive. The Survive phase is about stabilisation and business continuity. The second phase is building, securing and operationalising for the transition state. It's also learning how to create the best experiences possible within the reality of operating in a world that is still coping with COVID-19. The third phase is about learning how to be innovative.

“It's [the third phase] about setting the next normal in business continuity and establishing the next normal with operational excellence," Solis explained. "It's defining what that next normal should be, so that everybody else has to compete to be where we are, or try to be where you are. It's really about this balance between innovating forward - future proofing - but also disruption proofing because COVID-19 isn't going to be our last disruptive event."

Another learning for brands in the #noveleconomy is they have to design for digital-first behaviours but also take a human-centred approach to the digital business model. “It’s about having data-driven empathy,” Solis explained.

“It's basically humanising data in a way that is cross-functional, which allows us to see what people really want and balancing between KPIs and customer performance indicators. Brands need to deliver experiences digitally and in physical environments that are what consumers expect, but also deliver to them what they didn't even know they wanted, and now they can't live without once they've experienced it,” he said.

“Imagination, hope, creativity - these are all things that will help us not only have a competitive advantage moving forward, but develop more human, meaningful and personalised human experiences.

“Nothing says human centered like putting the human front and centre, making them the very epicentre of why you do what you do every day. How they feel after you engage them is how you measure your work.”

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