Digital design is becoming more and more centered on the human, the customer, the person. It’s focusing less and less on the craft as an end in itself (the code, graphics, information architecture, navigation).
Organizations want customers to have relationships with their brands without the expense of the brands having actual relationships with customers.
From ‘campaigns’ to ‘conversions’ to ‘heroes’, marketing culture is about a religious war to acquire new customers and win new market share. But just like most wars, once the customer is ‘won’ the marketing troops leave for another campaign.
The more digital an organization becomes the more distant it becomes physically from its customers.
Over the years I’ve developed a survey technique that looks absolutely crazy and unworkable. Every time I present it to people their immediate gut instinct reaction is: “This won’t work! It’s horrible!!”
The challenge for writers of web content is that we think that people want to read our content. They don’t.
The irony of this period of Big Data is that many organizations are becoming even more disconnected from their customers.
Focusing on the needs of customers is a thankless job in most organizations. In fact, the customer champion is seen as annoying, irritating and a trouble maker. It is a career-limiting role.
Over the years, we have done a number of task identification projects for health organizations. Generally, the top task was checking symptoms. However, when we worked with Norwegian Hospitals, we found the top task was: “what happens before, during and after treatment.”
The millennial generation is rebalancing the relationship between the individual and the organization.
Technology is an enabler. What Web-based technology enables is networks. What networks enable are the broad and free flow of information and the democratization of the ability to freely and easily connect with other people.
We have a department of selling to the customer, a department of marketing to the customer, a department of communicating at the customer. We have a department of dealing with customer complaints. But we have no department OF the customer.
Are we reaching a point in society where advertising is being superseded by search engines and social media?
“Walmart is asking suppliers to cut back on advertising spending in its stores as it seeks lower prices on goods that it sells to its own customers,” according to the Associated Press in April 2015.
Employees are reaching a breaking point. They are exhausted and overwhelmed, alienated and disengaged. They are cynical and distrustful.