Summary of What's the Future of Business?

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People talk about your business. In restaurants, on transcontinental flights and in the aisles of big-box retailers, customers share experiences on social media in real time. Depending on how they react to the experiences you offer, consumers can become your brand ambassadors or dangerous detractors. Cultivate more ambassadors by using social media platforms not as newfangled billboards, but as a way to connect with people, learn their priorities and values, and offer experiences they will praise. Digital strategist Brian Solis argues that you must engage in a new kind of 24-hour marketing to reach this new digitally “connected customer.” Transferring traditional marketing to interactive media isn’t enough. Instead, “design the experience” people have with your brand online so that every minute results in positive web commentary. Solis conveys the urgency of creating these encounters, though he doesn’t go into a lot of hands-on detail about how to do it. Most of his discussion stays on a theoretical level, and his few examples of best practices are short. Still, getAbstract recommends his conceptual arguments to marketers and customer service reps who aren’t digital natives as an excellent intro to a fresh marketing paradigm.

About the Author

A principal of the advisory firm Altimeter Group, Brian Solis is a digital analyst, sociologist and futurist. He also wrote Engage! and The End of Business as Usual; he blogs at




Customers are changing. How they make decisions, what sources they trust for guidance, the sales channels they prefer and what they expect from each transaction are all in transition. Firms that satisfy customers’ new expectations will thrive.

However, the factors that today’s customers value the most may surprise you. They want more than quality; they demand a positive experience at every step of the buying process, including the customer support you provide after the transaction.

With today’s technology, consumers have the clout to insist on getting their way. If they have a disappointing experience – if an airline loses their luggage, for instance – they share it in real time on Twitter or Facebook or describe their negative experience in a review on Yelp. The power of word-of-mouth is burgeoning, and companies ignore it at their peril.

Too many marketers focus on the technology itself and overlook how people use it. Sellers must engage with customers, understand the experience they want and design a digital strategy that delivers it at every “touch point” or “Moment of Truth” (MOT) in the buying process.

“Generation C”


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