A few years ago, many people were talking about convergence. Not so much now. In February of last year, I read Converge: Transforming Business at the Intersection of Marketing and Technology (Affiliate link), to satisfy the requirement of the Read the World Extreme Reading Challenge to read a book that blends disciplines. This post is not a summary or review of the book per se. Converge by Bob Lord and Ray Velez has a lot of good information, but it’s appropriate for large organizations. Small businesses and entrepreneurs will find very little of the advice useful.
With that in mind, I am pulling some ideas from the book that is worth thinking about. In reviewing my notes, there are sections that I flagged in the book, that has relevance to me and my business. I think you might benefit from the information.
Note: All links are clickable!
Technological Convergence Definition: What is Convergence?
Convergence is the coming together of three irresistible forces – media, technology and creativity – to meet an immovable object. It brings together disparate disciplines and skills to drive business and marketing results. To achieve seamless customer service, you have to integrate marketing, operations and technology.
5 Principles of Convergence
I think the following information is useful because it gives you different ways of thinking, allowing you to approach your business differently. All the five principles lead you down a path where you place the customer first.
- Customer Centricity: Company structured around the customer journey, with individual accountability for each part of the journey. Strategy is based on actual data from consumer activity. The data dictates not only what experiences are served, but where, when, and how.
- Rejection of Silos: Marketing, technology, and creativity are no longer discrete problems converged enterprises are working toward enabling better collaboration among functions.
- Companies taking Advantage of Convergence Act like a Start Up: It’s an approach to technology and organizational structure. Organization experiments with cheap, fast, flexible tools like cloud computing, social media platforms and open APIs. Organizations use Agile methodology, rapid prototype new products, and services.
- Cross-Disciplinary Mindset: Looking for intersections where innovation can occur and removing barriers (associative).
- Your Brand as Service: This presents a mindset/culture change. You’re no longer selling stuff; you’re filling customers’ needs. You’re creating an always on ecosystem.
The next generation of storytelling is about expressing brands through technology. This is key to inspiring and engaging consumers and getting them to help tell your story. The next generation of storytelling is about three trends.
3 Major Trends: Next Generation of Storytelling
Stories are a great way to engage your customers. This book reminds me of Storyscaping: Stop Creating Ads, Start Creating Worlds (Affiliate link) by Gaston Legorburu and Darren McColl. In Storyscaping, the customer is the hero, the brand is the mentor, and your products and services are gifts that solve the consumers’ problems. Converge and Storyscaping complement each other.
- Democratization of creativity: When you don’t limit creativity and innovation, and give people tools to make things, it’s the greatest enabler to change.
- Rise of collaboration: Consumers are helping to create the marketing idea and amplify the message through social media channels and gamification.
- Reimagining of brands as service: Brands become services. How can you use your brand to help people to achieve their-goals? Brands are sources of data.
Storyscaping: Stop Creating Ads, Start Creating Worlds by Gaston Legorburu and Darren McColl
Converge: Ideas Worth Thinking About
- Customers come first. Put customers at the center of everything.
- Marketing is always on. How can you think ahead of the game?
- To effect real change, you need a narrative to tell stakeholders.
- Who are the new players who will upend everyone?
- What’s working for innovative companies? How can you adopt and adapt those lessons?
- Take an outward looking perspective.
- Adopt a product manager’s approach – constantly think about what’s good for the customer.
Think about the ideas from Converge: Transforming Business at the Intersection of Marketing and Technology that I present here, how can you use them? Which ideas can you use in your business.
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