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7 Keys to the Future of Digital and Business Success
By: Marcus Reese
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Change is constant, and when it comes to life experiences two plus two does not simply equal four. The digital world is the hottest thing right now because it quickly provides experiences; it effectively leverages the elements of human engagement. The art and process of engaging with people is the most important thing in the world. This is what businesses looking for continued success must learn, understand, and apply.
To create a future of success through digital, there are seven key elements.

Note: It’s important to first establish that a person’s life is an accumulation of experiences, a myriad of emotions, and the ability to leverage what we understand. For so many people, life has become exceedingly “digital.” This only highlights their receptiveness to the right type of experiences.

So with that said, let's kick off our list.
  1. Emotions
  2. Fascination
  3. Assistive Approach
  4. Platforms and Ecosystems
  5. “Unhide” and Seek
  6. The Pre-Cog Approach
  7. Basic Appreciation
Emotions. We all want to feel something. While these feelings can vary wildly, take some time and you will notice that every single action you take is based on an emotion. This is what drives us to get out of bed, dress the way we do, choose our meals, and make a million decisions throughout the day that result in purchases or spending our time with brands.

Fascination.1 A key trigger to interest, desire, and influence. This is part of what draws our attention to things we don’t even fully understand at the time. For example, the iPad created a lot of fascination, and through its first year of blockbuster sales many people did not know what to use it for. Its success was obviously not just because of the Apple fans or Steve Jobs' reality-distortion field.
Assistive Approach. You will increasingly come to recognize that in the future many aspects of our lives will be more assisted by the Cloud, other people, and seemingly invisible assets. The idea behind all of this is that there are many dormant “helpers” that can be leveraged to more efficiently help us achieve a desired result.
We are quickly learning to leverage unused servers, groups of people (crowdsourcing, fighting diseases) and of course energy in ways we never truly recognized before. Amazon’s new Silk web browser (only within the Kindle Fire Tablet) along with Opera’s iPhone browser are two good examples of this approach.

Interlude: Please realize that people want to feel, whether it's through a video game, a Happy Meal, a new car, the feeling of new clothes, purchasing a home, or the effective products that lead to the triumph of getting better after being sick. Regardless, you as a business or marketer must know feelings and constantly be of value to people. (P.S. You'll have to create it before or as soon as they know they need that value. Too little too late will equal little or no success for you and your business).

Now back to our list...

Platforms and Ecosystems. Strong elements that support the overall experience will bridge people and always provide value.

"UnHide" and Seek. Search is not only one of the most powerful aspects of the Internet; it's one of the most powerful aspects of the entire digital age. Just look at Google. It goes without saying that you should already know that we live in a world driven by the search for, well...everything. Make sure people can find you in the simplest and most direct ways possible. A good search strategy goes a long way.
The Pre-Cog Approach.2 Before you approach people, you will have to provide the core info and answers they will want to know. This is more than a simple FAQ; this means proactively providing the transparency and the ability to effectively engage with you. *Don’t worry, I will soon provide a guide with more detailed info and specific examples in a future post.
Basic appreciation. Before rewards, “thank yous” go a long way to creating appreciation, preference, advocacy, and ambassadors (A long, long way). Plus, think about it; when you thank people they often tell you things they appreciate and hint towards areas of opportunity. Saying "thank you" can proactively create a huge win-win situation.

Digital experiences naturally create dormant growth opportunities. Usage leads to data and reporting. That is not the end result; this information needs to be focused through analysis, giving rise to insights. These insights become the fuel for those with fluid minds and the potential to find or create disruptive growth opportunities. Thus, this list does not include “innovative thinking” or “disruptive innovation.” Too many companies are still trying to grasp those concepts, let alone understand how to achieve success with flawed company cultures and business mindsets.

1. Thank you, Sally Hogshead. Your book is a blueprint.
2. Obviously Minority Report continues to influence our thoughts on the future.

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About the Author
Marcus Reese is a Strategist and Futurist. He believes in the disruptive value of synchronizing strategy, technology, and creativity. By constantly leveraging insights and passion, he focuses on finding ways to create great experiences that bridge opportunities and success for clients big and small. You can connect with him via Linkedin here.
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