The experience economy is about monetizing memories; the attention economy is about servicing consumers’ focus, and now after the pandemic, the impatience economy is about delighting consumers with instant, easy purchasing via social media engagement. The new book The Impatience Economy: How Social Retail Marketing™Changes Everything describes fulfilling consumer demand for speed and convenience with continuous, ubiquitous digital commerce enabled by 5G mobile, AI, social media, advanced analytics, and Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality (VR/AR) devices. It requires building customer relationships through trust and relevance. Consumers must feel there is an equitable exchange of personal data for purpose and value.
SRM™ is just getting started
While many thought we are already in the age of social media mediated commerce, author Augie Fabela says there is a still a long way to go. For example to complete an online purchase, the customer must stop what she’s doing, go to a website, find the merchandise, click on the merchandise, and approve the transaction with its associated conditions. It’s like a brick-and-mortar store, just online. “In the Impatience Economy, consumers expect products to discover them,” notes Fabela who trademarked the term Social Retail Marketing™ (SRM™) to describe the process. In SRM, the customer never needs to leave the social media conversation. She clicks an image of Jennifer Connelly in the Top Gun Maverick trailer, purchases the actor’s outfit from her commerce enabled social media feed, and books a hair appointment for an updated coiffure. AR/VR devices facilitate the fit, feel, and look of the clothes and the new hairdo remotely.
Move over Amazon
Consumers get rid of apps cluttering their phones and don’t want to hunt down merchandise in a mall or in an online retailer. Consumer won’t spend hours on Amazon, but they will spend hours on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and other social media networks. “Amazon may be an economic juggernaut, but its 197 million monthly visitors look puny when compared to 3.8 billion users or social media worldwide—an incomprehensively vast market that we haven’t had the means or the technology to tap. Until now,” says Fabela.
Author Augie Fabela, serial entrepreneur and mobile industry executive, became the youngest person to list a company on NASDAQ and grew it to $40 billion. He notes how mobile network providers have failed to action the data generated by mobile customers. Instead companies like Google, Facebook and Apple have figured out how to use analytics to create compelling experiences. Fabela founded Fastforward.ai to help companies monetize these trends.
The impatience economy, one of various waves of consumer revolution in which technology brings greater consumer centricity, suggests a coming competitive shakeout of platforms and attack to profit margins. Fabela notes that only two of the top ten retailers from 1990 are around today; Macy’s lost 80 percent of its share value from 2019-2020.
Shifting investment to digital tools with smart human capital
Switching to SRM™ promises more revenue and less cost, but business leaders are reluctant to change, still wedded to the old way of doing thing. For example SRM™ could mean slashing search ad budgets, but it requires a new investment in social media marketers and data scientists. Consider YouTuber Mr. Beast’s Last To Take Hand Off Lamborghini, Keeps It Competition Bringing 95 Million Views Versus The As Much As $1 Million To Make A Traditional Car Commercial.
Even though the online tools exist to create highly tailored, relevant, and specific messages to customers, most retailers send indiscriminate communications to their entire customer base, the same email and text blast to everyone every day. Like the clerks of department stores of old who built trusted relationships with customers, knew their preferences, and upsold and cross sold with ease, companies today must study and engage with each customer individually.
SRM™ is not just about B2B commerce. Fabela details how Cisco’s Never Been a Better Time campaign and SAS’s WildTrack which use social media to tell stories which demonstrate the use of their products and services. Fabela also predicts the return of the “Wartime CEO”, the crisis leader who reinvents the business to save it from extinction.
The success of SRM™ hinges on trust
The success of SRM™ assumes that consumers will continue to use social platforms and will not be deterred by unfavorable experiences with other users or the platforms themselves. Indeed major regulatory policy questions remain about privacy, antitrust, and integrity on social platforms, and whether and whether and what degree laws are enforced on them. For example, the Chinese government-enabled TikTok, now the world’s most popular online destination, operates in blatant violation of US and EU law. Fabela says it behooves platforms to solve these problems, and he proposes a Digital Consumer Bill of Rights™ in Chapter 12.
The Five Rules of Successful Social Retail Marketing (SRM™)
Fabela details the steps to transition from the traditional marketing to innovative, consumer-focused SRM™, a strategy he practiced during his own business and refined Covid-19.
1. Fulfill consumers’ pursuit of convenience, lifestyle, peace of mind, and freedom.
2. Help consumers discover products and services they don’t know exist.
3. Develop a two-way relationship that is not just about selling, but about building trust and relevance
4. Offer consumers value and purpose, and they will happily allow you to harness their profiles and data.
5. Invest in new digital channels and technology so consumers can control what, where, when, and how they consume.