IBM’s Smarter Planet campaign has been running for several years, and it makes the case that everything is getting smart, from cities to stadiums to heating systems and even your car.
We couldn’t agree more. The race is on to make dumb products – and systems – smart. If you’re not in this race, you won’t be able to compete much longer.
But how does marketing work on a smarter planet?
First, you have to know what victory means for your company, or as we say, you need to define your WIN. Are you trying to be the richest entrepreneur under 40, or do you wish to have a private company that benefits your descendants long after you are gone?
Once you know this, you need to design intelligence into the systems that connect you to your customers. Instead of selling harder, you need to serve harder. Your service needs to be good enough that customers find you, instead of the other way around. This means getting recommendations from every customer. That should be the standard of excellence at your firm.
You need to be able to listen to each customer, and to react to their feedback. Not in a “thanks for the feedback” lame sort of way, but by fundamentally changing the way you treat them, or the way your products work for them.
Smart products can do this. Dumb ones cannot.
Here’s what won’t keep working: running ads, offering discounts, hiring more aggressive salespeople, or praying.