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Users, Not Customers: Who Really Determines the Success of Your Businessby Aaron Shapiro
Synopses & Reviews
If you still think “the customer is king,” you’re falling behind. Today’s most powerful growth engine is users—people who interact with a company through digital media and technology even if they have never spent a dime. Become indispensable to users and the profits will follow.
As CEO of the digital marketing agency HUGE, Aaron Shapiro goes inside blue-chip companies to advise them on how to thrive in this new business reality. He led an extensive study of the Fortune 1000 and found that the most successful companies focus on users first. Look at Facebook and Google. They built their businesses before they even figured out what they were selling, let alone who their customers were.
Shapiro argues that every business needs to stop obsessing about customers and start creating powerful user experiences. For instance: Mint.com made the easiest and most effective interface for controlling your personal finances, and once there, you can follow ads that let you improve your financial performance even more. And Net_ ix took down Blockbuster by treating its subscribers as users, not customers. It continually changed and improved its technology to create the best possible experience instead of maximizing rental fees and late fees.
If you're still chasing customers online, you're looking at the challenge backward.
Aaron Shapiro helps companies build thriving digitally driven businesses. In his firm's extensive study of the Fortune 1000, a clear pattern emerged: the most successful companies drive sales by focusing on users instead of just customers. This is a fundamental strategic shift.
Rather than trying to get people to buy stuff online, these companies home in on the user experience. They've realized that building relationships between people and their brand has huge value, even if those users aren't spending a dime on their products (yet).
It's no secret that Internet-based companies like Google and Facebook thrive by building their user base before turning to monetization. Shapiro's big insight is that offline companies can successfully do the same, integrating offline products with an online presence and building platforms that create a lasting relationship between their brand and their users. Shapiro provides a strategic approach to refocusing your business in every way, from technology infrastructure and management to product design and marketing.
About the Author
AARON SHAPIRO is the CEO of HUGE, a digital marketing agency that helps global companies reimagine how they interact with their customers and manage their business in the online economy. Prior to HUGE, Shapiro was a technology entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and management consultant. He lives in New York City.
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