Three main market forces — e-commerce, direct to consumer channels, and the gig economy — are creating pressure on the direct selling channel. They cause a lot of people in our channel to rethink how we do direct selling and what the future of direct selling needs to look like.
When we look a bit closer at what the big players are doing — there’s Amazon, Uber, Airbnb, Facebook and many others we notice — we have to ask what these companies actually do that is driving so many more customers to them and keeping customers there much longer than their competitors? Well think about it like this:
Let’s use Facebook as an example. As a user of their services, you’re interacting with their system. And through that interaction their system is generating all these different data points about you – what you like, what your friends and your network are doing, and so on. You can call it a psychological or behavioral profile.
That profile — your profile — gets linked back up to their system and is matched with a massive library of content. Then they decide what type of posts of your friends they want to show you and in which order. The same thing happens with ads. They’ve got a massive library of thousands of possible ads that they could show you. But they’re going to take this one first, and then this one second — all based on your psychological profile.
The result of all that is an extremely personal experience that you are having with Facebook. What Facebook shows you is unique – you’re the only one in the world that sees those things, in that order, like that. You’re the only one.
So, how is this important? Well, think about it like this — what if it’s not Facebook? What if it’s Netflix? Same thing. What if it’s Amazon? Same thing. What if it’s not Amazon, but Uber? Same thing. What if it’s Airbnb? Same thing, Postmates, Etsy, whatever – same thing.
For any of these sophisticated companies that we’re all perceiving as our competitors, the number one competitive advantage that they have is their ability to provide an ever more personalized experience to you.
What we see in direct selling is the opposite. Companies continuing to try to find ways to get more people to do what they wish everybody would do. If we want to compete as a direct selling channel we have to be doing what these other companies do: Create an experience for our users that is the most valuable experience for this person at this moment in time. By doing that, their lifetime value is going to be higher than through anything else we could possibly do for them. In other words, think “How do I give this person the best value for who they are?”. Instead of “How do I try to make everybody run up the comp plan as fast as possible when I know that only 1% of people will do it?” It’s why churn is so high.
So in a new way of thinking, let’s find out more about segmentation of people. Maybe start to recognize that people who are on their way out of your business might need a very specific outcome to happen. They don’t all need to rank up; they don’t all need to make the same amount of money to stay; they don’t all need to have the exact same product experience.
How do you build a system that’s going to get you to those more and more and more personalized experiences over time? You don’t just get there overnight – it took Facebook years to get where they are. But you’ve got to get on that path to get there. If you want to see how DirecTech is doing this and how our customers in the top 100 are moving down this path, you are welcome to reach out to us. Or it could just be something fun to think about.