What’s the Secret to the Next-Big-Thing? Anticipation.
Every organization, no matter what they do or whom they serve, is constantly watching for ways to increase the value of what they offer. Anticipation and being anticipatory is a very powerful strategy with which you can boost your overall value. That comes from understanding your customers’ present and future needs more thoroughly to leveraging the enormous impact of new technology and market disruption.
Know Your Customers Better
Ever since the dawn of commerce, individuals and organizations have searched for more effective and timely ways to know what their customers are thinking and wanting—and, from there, to better gauge the sorts of products and services that would best resonate with their shifting interests and tastes.
Fortunately, there are now more powerful tools besides customer feedback surveys and mere word of mouth that can be leveraged to meet this challenge. With technology such as connected devices, embedded software, predictive analytics and social media, organizations can see in a timely manner how customers are actually using their products, what they like and don’t like and other essential information and insight.
That boosts customer knowledge and insights in a number of ways. For one thing, product research and development can gain a better focus on what will truly connect with users at the moment of need. Accordingly, new products and services become less of an educated guess. Agility can also improve, as businesses can quickly update features or adjust future models to better match customer desires and behavior.
Likewise, marketing and advertising also benefit. More comprehensive and real-time information allows organizations to hone outreach efforts to target individual segments of their customer base. Instead of flooding their market with the same offer, marketing teams can create personalized offers geared to attract particular customers. That provides even more value.
One of the bedrock principles of my Anticipatory Organization Model
is the predictable impact of disruption—not merely updates or wrinkles to existing products and services but game-changing ideas, technology and devices that can stand entire industries on their ear. More importantly, when you learn to anticipate game-changers, you can become the game-changer in your own industry. After all, if you don’t do it, someone else will.
Consider some of the truly innovative services or products that have completely changed how we live every day. Need to do some fast research on an executive or his or her company you are about to meet with? Your smartphone is the go-to option. If you want to get somewhere fast once you’re off the subway and back on the street, Uber can get you there. And the list goes on and on.
Those examples and many others like them are telling in several ways. First off, none of them were simple variants on an existing theme—they were new, utterly revolutionary and predictable in terms of identifying the Hard Trends that are shaping the future as a way to see game-changing opportunities. Moreover, the marketplace value they afford the people and organizations behind their development and introduction is almost impossible to calculate. That means, the more disruption you can introduce into your market, the greater the value of what you offer.
Another anticipatory principle is the idea that, if the disruption is inevitable, far better to be the disruptor rather than the disrupted. And, with that choice in mind, what greater value can you bring to the marketplace than something so utterly new and innovative that it inevitably betters the life of anyone who buys or uses it?
ABOUT DANIEL BURRUS
Daniel Burrus is considered one of the World’s Leading Futurists on Global Trends and Innovation. The New York Times has referred to him as one of the top three business gurus in the highest demand as a speaker.