"There are twelve seasons," exclaimed my colleague during a chat about personalization experiences in retail. "What?" I replied, to which he responded, "with companies leveraging powerful logistics and business intelligence systems, supplying just-in-time information it is possible to use personalization engines to provide never before seen levels of granularity in our ability to deliver personalized good and services."
So why is this different than anything we have done in the past? We already know the following
Relevance directly equates to success for businesses - especially if they are seen as offering commodities.
Instead of just having a Spring season - retailers can now have Early Spring, Mid-Spring and Late Spring, afforded to them by powerful logistics and business intelligence tools
To innovate and extend beyond competition this model has tremendous potential to extend beyond any one, single companies borders - creating an offering that pulls together personalized, high value services with product through a single vendor. How is it possible for that vendor to maintain a quality relationship across organizations comprising the solution?
E2.0 is Glue for the Transaction Lifecycle
With more organizations supporting some degree of "boundryless" operations, more easily exchanging business data and transactions with service groups, partners an era of highly coordinated, federated businesses are in the making. Enterprise 2.0 will play a critical role in ensuring that a customer or prospect has the highest quality experience with organizations leveraging a federated model.
Let's take a look at an example...
MeCasa Depot Example
Imagine that you would like to purchase a new carpet for your living room. Based on some visits to local stores (one of which included MeCasa Depot), you end up receiving a personalized offer on Facebook that not only includes a particular style of carpet based on your demographic, but contains local vendors who perform interior design services, transportation of the materials and installation services for the carpet. These services, although from 4 companies are all part of the offer, but the offer is coordinated by the single vendor that is supplying the product. All of these services are highly specialized exercises, provided by different organizations - but need to be carefully orchestrated to ensure the end customer has an experience of dealing with MeCasa Depot throughout the entire life cycle of the transaction, instead of a series of small, disjointed companies.
Based on the example above, what are some broader implications of this trend?
Is this applicable to constituents in your enterprise? Although most applicable to external audiences that your company is interfacing with, at some level this can apply to internal parties as well. In large organizations training is a good example, often times delivered by outside vendors that act as part of the organization. For the most part, this approach will be most commonly used with end customers.
How can we scale expertise to provide complete solutions? Federation is the key to achieving this and E2.0 goes a long way to align parties, providing a platform to manage information - helping to answer common questions between business partners, building a knowledge base around operations between the groups and providing a window into the partnership that offers a unified view of the companies based on the offering they have partnered to provide. Like a Facebook for the business customers, E2.0 capabilities can provide a central location for business partners within a federated model the ability to easily communicate with a customer under a single, unified brand for the particular business offering.
How can we scale Customer Centric Business Strategies? In order to provide an optimal customer experience a unified view for end customers is essential that will allow the parties supplying the services and products to interface with the customer though. This means that there is no loss in the level of expertise that is provided to the end customer because they are able to interact with all related experts directly as if they were just dealing with a single organization. Content management, social platforms and portal technologies are all critical to supporting this activity.
This upcoming business evolution offers companies new possibilities to grow revenue and market share, but requires a highly orchestrated technology strategy that benefits tremendously from Enterprise 2.0 capabilities. By following the strategy in the bullet above, providing a central location where multiple experts / contributors can ensure that relevant content is available for the end customers. Additionally, platform technology that enables general business networking capabilities can act as the foundation for how customers interact with their solution provider.
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