A business’ strategy should always remain adaptive and flexible in the face of technology and market demands. 2014 saw a large influence from both mobile and big data, and as these “buzzword technologies” continue to evolve and mature, it is important to reflect on their impact to your organizational objectives. These are no longer emerging ideas, but solidified technology trends that are changing the business landscape, delivering vast information on your customers and industry.
In 2015, both mobile and big data are developing to incorporate value-added context and predictive elements, yielding actionable business insight over the former facts and figures. At the intersection of mobile platforms and data mining is the opportunity to leverage today’s advanced analytic and data discovery tools to create a solid foundation into contextual customer experience. No longer will the “right” message go to the wrong person through the incorrect channel. Companies that enable themselves to realize this opportunity will deliver useful messaging on the correct device to exactly their target audience, creating “right-time experiences;” if big data is reigning market king, context is queen.
Two perfect, very different examples of context in action recently surface both in my personal life and in a laughable story from a colleague. One involved context used correctly, while the other was executed so poorly it warranted a very humorous #fail.
The latter came from a coworker who had a mailer delivered by an unknown company to his parents’ address – which he had not called home in over 10 years – personalized for a romantic piece of jewelry … for his sister. Now, regardless of the market demand for this kind of item, there are several lessons we can learn about the use of data from this example. What good is a “call to action” for your business if you are not utilizing data in the correct context? Yes, he does have someone in his life named Paige, but the role she plays in his life does not warrant this purchase by social standards. Again, context is everything.
On the other hand, having personally just purchased a new home, in which we are undergoing a few remodeling projects, I was surprised yet ultimately pleased to find multiple special promotional offers appear to our new address and on my mobile device to a number of leading home improvement stores in the area. This is a prime example of leveraging big data and mobile technologies to drive engagement; useful messaging, to the right person, through the ideal channels.
Today’s market leaders understand that, in order to stand above the competition, they need to offer superior convenience above all else. This is done through context. Data sharing indicated that I had recently had all of our mail forwarded to a new address. Mobile sensor beacons showed that I had also visited a local hardware store several times over a few short weeks, implying that we were likely in the midst of a project. Predictive technologies deduced from there that I am likely a new homeowner, or had recently moved, and a mobile-enabled application sent a customized message with an extra off promotional offer for my next home improvement purchase to prompt further engagement with their brand.
This technology will have far reaching implications for how businesses reach and interact with their ideal customers in 2015 and beyond. But, the fact that this technology is readily obtainable in the marketplace means next to nothing for most of today’s business leaders. Mobile market research firm, Lopez Research, explains that the shortfall becomes, as with most technology implementations, business systems and process compatibility. “Contextual services require linking various information sources together in near real-time to deliver specific information and services. Meanwhile, most companies operate in application and process silos. … Hence, contextual services cannot be created until companies address [their] larger process issues.”
A tried and true method for enabling your business to adapt and remain flexible during these transforming times is to run your organization on the right systems. Enterprise resource planning is an ideal solution, connecting all of your back- and front-end office systems into a single interface. Any business staying on the cutting edge of their competition understands the importance of a system that embraces and integrates with the latest technologies, empowering your acceleration in the face of innovation, not holding you back.
Trina Michels is a business applications manager with Eide
Bailly Technology Consulting. Analytical by nature, Trina
aims to streamline operations that are often overlooked
by integrating and implementing end-to-end solutions for
her clients that support their unique business objectives,
leveraging technology to maximize goals.