How Platforms Influence Our Decisions

March is the first nudity free issue of Playboy on stands. According to this article on CNN, Platforms were a key driver to that business decision.

“Every single disruptive business that's emerged in the last five years -- UberAirbnb, --exploits a major business weakness -- the failure of the old guard to innovate in response to changing consumer and customer behavior. These disruptors aren't killing businesses; it's the stodgy, rigid and stubborn companies that are killing themselves.

Once you understand the disruption that's taken place in the media and publishing world and the power of social networks as a publishing platform, you'll understand that Playboy simply had no choice. Nudity was sinking its Web and magazine business.” CNN.

While physical malls and department stores have been our one stop shop for many years, cloud platforms and the endless amount of complementary integrations benefit all of us.

Limit Choices Through Platforms

In a previous post, I shared how people have a problem making choices when presented with more than 6 options. Think of the best method to limit your customer choices and position your brand across the different platform options for both businesses and consumers.


For businesses, the platform is often the primary place users login daily like their cloud based CRM application. In the SaaS world, Salesforce is one of the most popular integrations. The Salesforce ecosystem and AppExchange is a great opportunity for new and established businesses to attract customers.

At ShoreTel, we have a Salesforce integration for our Connect Platform which serves both Cloud and Premises deployment models.  Businesses that use Salesforce to drive productivity with Marketing, Sales, and Service often make decisions for their phone and contact center based on the Salesforce integrations so their teams can be even more productive.

Google is another example of a platform that is a huge influence for new business development efforts and decisions for productivity tools.

For content consumption, LinkedIn is one of the top platforms used for business news

Business leaders need to consider the strategic opportunity available with existing and emerging platforms, and how to keep a consistent experience across the different communication channels.


For consumers, the platform is the preferred application or website to visit. FacebookInstagram, and Snapchat are the biggest social applications.

It is no surprise that influencers drive a ton of adoption. Instagram is one of the top drivers of traffic and provides an endless opportunity to creative marketing minds - from individuals to multi-million dollar businesses. The below graphic shows the power of Instagram and presence of different brands.

As a loyal user of Instagram, I enjoy following influencers and brands to compliment my love of fashion. Next time I buy something, can I claim the platform made me do it? After all, without Instagram, I would never have known about some of the brands.


All platforms continue to add features that make it easier for businesses to grab the user’s attention and close the sale! They have us hooked. Just like you can easily add freemium apps that charge you later when you want more features from Salesforce  App Exchange and Google Apps, you can buy directly from our favorite personal platforms like Instagram and Pinterest.

Feedly is one of my personal favorite platforms for content consumption for business and personal purposes. I can quickly read articles relevant to my career or interests in fashion in a quick and simple format. Once, I found the app Pocket, it changed my whole relationship with Feedly as they work so swiftly together.

Pocket saves the articles locally so I am able to read them during my Brooklyn to Manhattan subway commute. A consistent experience and proper integration across platforms is important to attract users to your brand. For example, I don’t read any Forbes articles since it doesn’t work with Pocket. Forbes has a quote entry page that somehow conflicts with Pocket.

These are just a small few examples to show the power of platforms. In future posts, I will go into more detail of a select few platforms and how they impact the customer experience. They are all part of the omni-channel family of communication and customer journey.

Which platforms have you or your business hooked? What drives you to use them? Have you chosen brands specifically due to the platform?

Watch for my next post on the Evolution of Customer Experience starting from the platform.