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The future of engagement: Nilofer Merchant to deliver keynote at Khoros Engage

by Khoros staff | Jul 31, 2020

We’re excited to announce this year’s Khoros Engage keynote speaker is author, businesswoman, and tech expert, Nilofer Merchant. Nilofer will share her years of expertise and thought leadership as we discuss digital transformation and engagement along the theme of her renowned topic: Onlyness, the distinct value of each of us.

We’re excited to ask, “how can digital transformation help foster a sense of onlyness and build engagement and resilience?” But first, let’s get to know Nilofer a bit more.

About Nilofer Merchant

Merchant has experience in a variety of industries, working and consulting for companies like Apple, Walmart, Adobe, IBM, and many others. She’s not just an expert on business, but a thought leader: her three books have shifted the way people in business think about management.

These books, along with numerous publications in top business journals, helped Merchant earn Future Thinker’s title of “#1 person most likely to influence the future of management in both theory and practice.” Future Thinker also named Merchant the #22 thinker in the world in 2017.

Register | Khoros Engage

Her impressive resume alone would be more than enough to get us excited about having Merchant at Khoros Engage. But it’s how well she embodies the Khoros Engage mentality that really has us chomping at the bit to hear her speak.

Merchant’s 2012 book, The New Rules for Creating Value in the Social Era, forecasted the future of work when connected people can now do what once only large organizations could. An incredibly prescient work written when social media was still a relatively new concept, it anticipated many of the changes that we’re seeing happen in the workplace today. Merchant outlines how brands must be agile in order to be competitive — a point we here at Khoros also like to emphasize.

One of her main arguments in the book is that social media is much more than just another form of media. The best brands in the world, both in 2012 and today, view social media not as a peripheral channel or a marketing box that needs to be checked, but as a central pillar of their business. It’s not just that product launches, and other important brand announcements influence brands’ social media strategy — it’s that social media strategy plays a central role in business decisions, even at the highest level.

This helps them pursue a more fluid (and less rigid) business model, which, according to Merchant, increases speed as well as flexibility. Ultimately, the goal of nearly any digital strategy is to engage — whether that’s with customers, clients, employees, vendors, or even competitors. The brands that excel in our social media driven world are the ones that drive engagement.

What will Merchant discuss at Khoros Engage?

Along her theme of Onlyness we’re also discussing what it means to engage. We’re so excited to hear Merchant speak because she plans to discuss not just how far engagement has come in the past eight years since her second book was published, but how far it will go in the coming years.

But don’t take it from us — take it from her:

“Engagement. It's what the internet allowed us to do. We went from asking customers to be aware of our brands, to asking them to engage with our brands. From us creating what we thought people wanted, to co-creating what worked. From thinking of new messages, to messaging our community. From advertising to folks, to having brand advocates. But is this all? Or is there another level of engagement we can take as leaders? What is the future for engagement? And what does that mean for us? That's the question I can't wait to explore at Khoros Engage."

Nilofer also wants to hear from you and others on Twitter about what “engage” means to you — join her conversation in the Twitter thread below. Engagement means a lot of things to a lot of people. It can mean a genuine connection, an event to attend, or even a marriage proposal. Here’s what Nilofer wants to know:

We’re excited to hear how Merchant’s themes of #Onlyness, engagement, and digital transformation take shape in her keynote address. As we’ve all seen, these times change and require a new way of engaging, so her words are more valuable than ever. Every brand has to look at ways of going digital like they haven’t had to before, making it tougher to engage with both potential and existing customers. These themes, combined with Merchant’s prowess as a speaker, will make this section of Engage one that you can’t miss.

If Merchant’s ideas about digital strategy, leadership, and engagement sound like they might be helpful for your business, register for Khoros Engage today.

Not only will you hear Merchant’s exciting keynote address, but you will also be able to participate in exciting breakout sessions, hear talks from digital experts, and network with leaders in many industries. The event is completely digital in 2020, but there’s just as much great content as ever. Don’t miss your chance — register today!

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