The modern business landscape is filled with once dominant companies that are now barely surviving in the new digital economy.While businesses like Google, Facebook and Amazon emerged from obscurity, former giants such as JC Penney, Best Buy and Blockbuster seem to be rushing to fill the void.

Businesses who have traditionally been leaders in observing changing consumer habits, are as a class generally lagging behind in figuring out how to leverage our behaviors to their advantage, according to a recent Huffington Post article. The solution to many problems, the article explains, may be for businesses to fully embrace social media.

The article asks, “It’s obvious that businesses will have to undertake a major transformation in consumer interaction, but how can this be accomplished when so many chief marketing officers have not taken the social media world to heart?” To answer this question, they point to the latest book by Brian Solis, What’s the Future of Business: Changing the Way Business Create Experiences.

Solis’ key takeaway is that the future of business comes down to relevance and the ability to understand how technology affects our decision making.

The article quotes Solis, “‘The future of business is about creating experiences, products, programs and processes that evoke splendor and rekindle meaningful and sincere interaction and growth. At the center of this evolution — or (r)evolution — is the experience.’ By learning to create experiences, businesses will be released from the current unproductive norm of simply responding to experiences.”

It is Solis’ opinion that social media and online interactions offer the best chance for businesses to create a positive customer experience. The article explains that, as “a principal analyst at the Altimeter Group, Solis knows the difference between online influence and online popularity, and understands that connected consumers expect and demand more from the companies they deal with and the products they buy. When dissatisfied, these empowered consumers are more than willing to share a negative experience, but it is much more difficult to create a positive experience that will be shared amongst their circles of influence.”

With that in mind, social media and email marketing may be the keys to sustaining any business today, and even more so in the future. What role do you see social media playing in determining your business’ future?

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