Chapter 18

Looking Forward

Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something—your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

—Steve Jobs

So here we are. At the end of a journey that has hopefully given you reason to believe that everything an organization does online and offline affects relationships and that relationships are truly your ticket to long-term success (both in revenue and competitive differentiation). We hope you have also come to appreciate that the processes, methods, and approaches we as a species have come to rely on throughout millennia for real-world survival are just as important to our success and survival in the digital world. Perhaps just as important, we have learned that those real-world approaches to forming relationships have equivalents that we can harness in the digital world to the same effect—building deep connections with audiences.

Throughout the book, we looked deeply into the value of relationships, both to us as individuals, and to organizations. And we even posited a metric for calculating and managing that value, the Relawatt. We learned that individuals have different relationship needs at different times. We explored the relationship cycle, and shared some suggestions for moving prospects, visitors, and customers more ...

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