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Monthly Archives: January 2019

People buy experiences, not products

At Adobe Summit 2018, Adobe EVP and GM for digital experience Brad Rencher challenged brand marketers to “make experience your business.”  2018 was the year when marketers, chief experience officers, and leaders across business organizations, started to get it that people buy experiences, not products.

Rencher asserted that while the good folks at Adobe have spent a ton of time thinking about the types of experience customers want and need, he said, “. . . we need to change from experience thinkers to experience makers. We need to be customer-obsessed, not customer-centric.”

Okay, now that sounds good. Being customer-obsessed means you are REALLY serious about it, right? To the point of being a little crazy about it. And that’s probably a good thing in most cases. 

But here’s the thing: you have to ask yourself, what are you really obsessed about? How do you know what that is? Do you know your customer that well? How do you know if you do or not? Do you talk with each of your customers every day to know? 

Now you are probably saying, of course not. How could I possibly do that?

The typical answers are: with standard VoC surveys or more targeted methods like feedback from your frontline employees. Yes, they work to some extent, but can they scale? Do they cover the waterfront? 

So how do you know your customer so well you are totally aligned with them and their experience of you is totally aligned with their business life?

You get to know that with intelligent software agents. You know, the chatbot—conversational commerce, some people call it. But that term cheapens and discounts the true potential of these intelligent software agents. It’s the conversation that counts, where you learn in real-time and first hand through the chatbot what is on your customer’s mind, what propels them to do the things they do and you will learn exactly how they are experiencing your company. Not just your customer service, or your products, your services, but experiencing your company within every facet of their business. 

These software intelligent agents, these chatbots, are the conversation conductors for the artificial intelligence that takes that information and transforms it for the enterprise so that the humans at the enterprise make intelligent choices on behalf of their customers. AI gets at least 10 times the information and does this at least 10 times faster than humans, empowering the human in your business to do the human things they need to do, and not the things that machines do better. 

That is the opportunity in this new world where people buy experiences, not products. 

Industrial Internet of Things Content Intelligence for Fun and Profit

Many organizations spend a lot of time mapping customer journey workflows. There is a 7 trillion dollar marketplace approaching that will open up new opportunities for mapping customer journey workflows. It’s called the Internet of Things.  

IoT data alone doesn’t allow marketers to construct customer journeys, but it is valuable because it augments data from primary sources. For instance, companies can improve the customer journey if they have access to device data that reveals customers’ preferred channels of interaction, the types of offers and valuable, relevant information that are most relevant to certain individuals, and the times of day when people are most inclined, and have the greatest need, to interact with a company.

Now let’s talk about the Industrial Internet of Things or IIoT as it’s known, for short. Industrial IoT can be thought of the networked connections between people, things, and systems in the industrial space. It can be a harvester combine used in agriculture, a plastics molding machine, or the use of TV screens displaying video and Web pages on the backs of seats on passenger planes.  Data can be used from an analytical perspective as inputs to machine learning models, optimization algorithms and business decision rules to help direct customers down appropriate pathways within a customer journey. 

In other words, the ways we use machines can inform as to our needs in real time, communicate them to companies who are in a position to help, who then provide instructions to those machines to perform better and provide more value. 

Look for the advent of Industrial IoT Content Intelligence—bridging the chasm dividing content intelligence and the customer/organization/ Industrial IoT nexus. In concert with Industrial IoT, content is delivered in smart ways that key on, build upon, and support Industrial IoT to provide new pathways for device and equipment users, and well-guided customer journeys. 

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