Brilliant Reads: customer journeys, big strategy, Zuckerberg’s blushes and zettabytes.

Welcome to this week’s Brilliant Reads, where we’re looking at customer journeys, the death of big strategy and Mark Zuckerberg’s blushes.

How brands should design customer experiences (PSFK)

This interview with Brian Solis on customer experience in the digital era is recommended by Jason.

Solis says that many businesses are making a mistake by failing to link up the customer experience: customer service doesn’t speak to product development, sales and marketing doesn’t speak to customer experience, user experience doesn’t speak to executives, and leaders are out of touch with how tech is affecting society and behaviour.

He argues that the future of a positive end-to-end customer experience lies in experience architecture: ‘Businesses must assess what the true experience related to their brand, products, and people is as it is shared not solely in the blur of metrics such as NPS that do not measure impressions (feelings, not views) and in turn, expressions.’

Technology (and social networks in particular) gives brands the opportunity to get a better window into customers’ worlds, but Solis says that they need to invest in a ‘human algorithm’ that allows them to process this data and humanise it.

Image credit: Brian Solis & JESS3

The constant consideration purchase path (Google Think Insights) 

Following on from Jason’s theme, Rachael brings us this article on consumer behaviour in the car industry, which has plenty of insights for other sectors too.

The article by Google’s Michelle Morris says that consumer behaviour has changed, but it’s an opportunity not a cause for despair. The car industry has seen a shift from seeing customers as shoppers to seeing them as owners with strong ideas about brands based on their past experience.

In this ‘constant consideration’ model, the purchase journey begins long before the customer is actually in the market for a new car, and carries on after they buy one.

Morris uses three key stats to illustrate her article:

  1. 63% of new vehicle purchasers begin their search with a specific brand in mind.
  2. Only 20% of shoppers buy the vehicle they first researched online, while 73% of in-market search activity involves cross-shopping.
  3. 87% of new owners say they’re likely to buy the same brand next time, but only 56% end up as repeat purchasers.

Image credit: fraureid

Killing big strategy (teehan+lax)

Lauren’s pick for Brilliant Reads is this article by teehan+lax’s Eric Portelance.

It calls for an end to the ‘old’ approach to strategy, where agencies listen to their client, go away and do research and look for insight, then plan and create a campaign, which goes live months later, whereupon you realise that you haven’t hit on quite the right idea, but it’s too late to change anything.

Instead, Portlance argues for a new agile approach to strategy. He suggests looking for the ‘minimum viable strategy’ (“What is the minimum amount of work we need to do up front to get to an informed working backlog?”) and starting to make things as soon as possible. In this approach you start small, experiment, test and if you’re going to fail, you fail fast.

(Antony also recommends reading this interview with Cynthia Montgomery as a counterpoint.)

Zuckerberg hacked to expose security flaw (Graham Cluley)

Maša found this article about Khalil Shreateh, a researchers who found a security vulnerability in Facebook.

After trying to alert Facebook to the security flaw, and feeling that his concerns weren’t taken seriously, he exploited to make an (excruciatingly embarrassing) post about it about on Mark Zuckerberg’s own FB page.

And finally, we’ll wrap up this week with a Brilliant Number…

1 zettabyte = the amount of data internet traffic will equal by the end of 2015. If one gigabyte is equivalent to the volume of a cup of coffee, a zettabyte is the volume of the Great Wall of China. (This stat comes from this Cisco infographic.)