Users, not customers: Skyping with Aaron Shapiro

Today, I had the immense pleasure of listening to a skype lecture with Aaron Shapiro, CEO of the digital agency HUGE. He also wrote a book called Users, Not Customers, which discusses adapting businesses for the internet.

First of all, let me just point out how awesome it is that technology allows us to have skype lectures. It’s so strange to think that only a few years ago, this type of experience never happened. Now, we can listen to a CEO across the country from a simple internet connection. Incredible.

I learned a lot of valuable information from Aaron, but I wanted to pull out some of my favorite insights:

“It is hard to connect that statistics are real people. It doesn’t feel real. It’s a mental shift companies need to get around.”

“The internet is more about DOING. Make marketing that’s useful, and helps people do things.”

“Understand the core reason people will use a product, and make that GREAT. Forget everything else. Think about what users want.”

“There’s no such thing as an offline business.”

“The most important skill set is learning technology. You need to understand how technology works, and manage with the user in mind.”

Aaron’s main points surrounded transformation. He explained that 50% of all consumer purchases are a result of digital. Digital commoditizes everything, which means it is crucial to set yourself apart. Now, we’re in an age where companies need two businesses to run: the core business and the online software layer. Any interaction should be available through a digital interaction as well.

As he put it,

amazing self-service + even better full service

Technology isn’t going anywhere. If anything, it will keep growing and evolving. If companies want to keep up, they need to grow and evolve as well.

Thank you, Aaron for taking time out of your day to speak with us!


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