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The Connected Car and Customer Experience

The connected car and customer experienceThe connected car and customer experience reveals a new opportunity for carmakers to dial into real customer behavior and desires around connected cars and autonomous cars. The Connected car and the autonomous car are powerful services that will help transform how people move around, and they are emerging during an era of unprecedented volatility in markets. I’ll wager that there’s never been a better or more challenging time to be a carmaker because opportunities and threats have never been higher. I’ve been fortunate to meet product managers and engineers who are pioneering connected and autonomous car services. I’ve also been meeting leaders in the Internet of Things (smart devices), of which the connected car is a part.

My crystal ball says that the connected car is a bet-the-brand proposition for carmakers because it directly addresses competing on customer experience, the most disruptive trend of all. As I detailed in The Social Channel, we have moved from a product/service-based economy toward an experience economy. Even IT analyst Gartner has proclaimed that customer experience is the final battleground for firms. Established […]

Experiential Social Media and Business Intimacy

Experiential social media & business intimacyExperiential Social Media and Business Intimacy shows how social media grounded in customer experience holds the key to trust, relationship and profit. When businesses discover, invite, and build trusted relationships with people in digital public, their actions speak loudly to the silent, ten times larger audience that’s observing the process. In addition, “accidents” are the express lane to developing trust and business intimacy.

“Customer experience” directly leads to customer preference and more share of wallet, although most business owners and executives dismiss it as a buzzword. As practiced by CSRA since 2006, experiential social media is a group of practices that deepen intimacy with customers and increase profit. “Social” information is the currency of business intimacy. Here I’ll outline how this enchilada rolls, so you can begin to use experiential to increase customers’ value and your profit.

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Noodle X: Anonymity, Marketing and Predicting the Future

Anonymity, Marketing and Predicting the Future shows that, although each culture has its own concepts of “anonymity” and “marketing,” anonymity will prove to have been a temporary phenomenon in most human cultures because communications technologies are counteracting it. Moreover, based on my studies of and experience with sociology, evolutionary psychology and technology, I observe that 20th century marketing is grounded in anonymity, so we can predict the future of marketing by exploring anonymity and its relationship to marketing.

In brief, marketing’s influence is most poignant when anonymity is high and the marketing “target” is ignorant of the product/service and how to use it. In this scenario, the target is most open marketing’s influence. Read on to learn how marketing is related to anonymity, where anonymity is going and how marketing can transform to strengthen its influence.

Marketing organizations that do not transform will be sidelined because anonymity is dissipating fast.

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Noodle II: Disrupting the Intractable Delight of the Automobile

Disrupting the Automobile explores how several ventures are changing the rules of an intractable industry.

Disrupting the Automobile

The automobile is a personal manifestation of the ultimate promise of the Industrial Economy—that physical power is essentially free—because it enables people to move quickly and easily. People just love cars because it is immensely satisfying to glide effortlessly (traffic notwithstanding ,^) from one place to another with a high degree of individual freedom.

However, as 2007 draws to a close, autos’ current reliance on fossil fuels makes it increasingly obvious that we need to change the rules. First, new wealth in emerging markets is dramatically increasing auto ownership and its concomitant demand for oil. Increased demand and uncertain supply will undoubtedly prove unsustainable in the medium term. Second, and even more daunting, is the carbon/climate change problem, which is far more life-changing in the long term. Petroleum and coal are the largest contributors to man-made carbon emissions.

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Retrofitting GM, the Quintessential Industrial Economy Enterprise

Retrofitting GM, the Quintessential Industrial Economy Enterprise reflects Knowledge Economy disruption as production-focused enterprises languish as customers continue to forsake them.

Retrofitting GM, the Quintessential Industrial Economy EnterpriseAs readers of these pages know well, I estimate that one of the most poignant changes that faces Industrial Economy enterprises is shifting their primary focus from production and operations to the customer. The Industrial Economy mechanized work and production, and by any measure it created unprecedented wealth by drastically lowering per-unit costs of any kind of product you can name, bringing more products within the means of more people. This worked extremely well while demand exceeded supply: customers were excited to have their first car/house/television, and they were happy with what producers brought to market.

However, Industrial Economy CSFs (critical success factors) look extremely stale in the Knowledge Economy (also see Transformation: From Self-contained Company to Networked Global Organization). The e-business revolution has vastly enhanced communications, decreased cycle times and moved the mass customization model closer to reality.

Big Dealer to Detroit: Fix How You Make Cars (The Wall Street Journal, 9 February 2007) spells out the problem extremely well:

“One of the toughest […]