Welcome to The Impatience Economy™

The Impatience EconomyI wrote a book: The Impatience Economy. You can get it, here. Although many excellent books and essays have addressed the general social and economic impact of social media, none fully captured the specific, revolutionary nature of the changes we are currently living through and that will become even more pronounced in the coming decades, accelerated by the COVID-19 lockdowns last year. I wrote “The Impatience Economy | How Social Retail Marketing Changes Everything” to fill that gap and provide business owners, corporate executives, retailers, and marketers with a precise account of the qualitative shift that has occurred in their relationship to newly empowered “impatient” consumers. My aim was not merely to describethe new landscape, but to prescribe how businesses can flourish in The Impatience Economy.

Having been the American founder and chairman emeritus of one of the world’s largest telecom companies, growing from zero to over 220 million customers—with a market cap on the NYSE of over $40 billion—I’ve learned a lot about meeting consumer needs and predicting where the world is going. And I can tell you this with perfect confidence: we are moving to a digital and virtual world, to Social Retail Marketing at a speed unlike anything in human history.

Two central themes unite the book’s 13 (my favorite number) chapters:

  1. Get Now. Traditional marketing channels, distribution networks, and payment systems can no longer deliver what increasingly impatient, post-pandemic consumers want: personalized product offerings, frictionless purchasing processes, and near-instant delivery.
  2. Social Retail Marketing (SRMTM). The only way to meet those demands is through SRM, which engages consumers on a personal level where they spend the bulk of their online hours: on mobile phones, inside social media feeds and messaging apps.

In Chapter 1, I clarify the 2020 shift from the First to the Second Consumer Revolution. From the 17thcentury to the Covid-19 pandemic, one limitation remained fairly constant: consumers had relatively little control over what, when, where, and how they obtained the goods they wanted. Covid-19 changed all that: suddenly consumers had instant access, instant discovery, 24-hour online shopping, delivery within an hour or two, personalized algorithmic marketing—and everything bigger, better, faster.

I make the case for what many find my most shocking claim in Chapter 2: that SRM will be bigger than Amazon. Sure, the company has more than 156 million Prime users worldwide, but the five most popular social media networks each has more than 1.2 billion users, all potential SRM consumers.

In Chapter 3 and 4, you’ll learn that to reach modern consumers you must replace old-school marketing strategies by storytelling and designing digital journeys based on data you can track. I explain the importance of giving consumers choices, seeing what they prefer as they swipe or click from one digital card to another, and then fine-tuning your next iterations. I also describe why traditional marketing channels are drying up and implore businesses to switch to mobile and social formats if they hope to reach modern consumers.

The newly empowered consumer is my focus in Chapter 5. You’ll learn that you can no longer wait for consumers to visit your store, website, or app. I point out how to design strategies that reach consumers inside social media.

You’ll learn the five essential rules for establishing an effective SRM strategy in Chapter 6. I developed these rules through careful observations about—and research into—the shifting patterns of consumer behavior that developed over the past few years, intensified during the Covid-19 pandemic, and have since become the new normal.

In Chapter 7, I explain how the convergence of 5G connectivity, artificial intelligence (AI), and social media platforms has created the foundation for SRM. I illuminate the way forward and help you turn potential disruptions to your advantage.

In Chapter 8, I clarify how new tools, services, and strategies will enable your SRM efforts to transmute the lead of inert and unedifying data into golden relationships and returns on investment.

Too often businesses try to jigsaw their traditional marketing content into the social media puzzle and fail to differentiate the specific strengths and limitations of each platform. In Chapter 9, I clarify the best way to reach consumers with campaigns optimized for today’s dominant social media platforms, each requiring a different tone of voice and journey.

In Chapter 10, I examine the steps necessary to avoid setbacks and delays that will work to the detriment of both consumers and businesses. These are the three crucial takeaways:

  • Big tech and other businesses must abandon their current inward-looking strategies to create a consumer-friendly marketplace.
  • Business leaders must respect consumer concerns, enact policies to restore trust, and compensate buyers for their willingness to share their data.
  • CEOs must work to avoid unilateral government regulations that curtail consumers’ freedoms. If businesses misuse consumer data, legislators could easily insist that everyone’s digital identity must be erased after each transaction. Unable to form detailed consumer profiles, SRM businesses would falter. And consumers would suffer because, unless those businesses have a personal relationship with them, they can’t offer curated products and services that meet their needs.

Understanding the various complex micro-points that precede a sale has spawned a number of new and overlapping fields of study—perceptual psychophysics, neuromarketing, consumer neuroscience, neurobiological decision making, and persuasion science. In Chapter 11, I clarify the implications of these findings for SRM, because unless you understand the psychological substrates of buying behavior, your marketing efforts will be wasteful and imprecise.

Chapter 12 presents a Digital Consumer’s Bill of Rights that will enable The Impatience Economy to unfold smoothly and rapidly—and to maximize the benefits for both consumers and businesses.

My final Chapter 13 emphasizes that The Impatience Economy gives you unprecedented opportunity to make an impact, to be seen, to be part of the gang of super innovators. If you adopt the principles presented in the book and develop a mindset capable of meeting this challenge, SRM will give you the entire world as your market.

How do you succeed in The Impatience Economy? Social Retail Marketing!