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Rapid consumer adoption of mobile devices is changing customer engagement, enabling the power of context-based interactions. Legacy local and social interaction models are now becoming hyper-local and hyper-relevant social models. As noted in prior posts, context is increasingly the foundation of the next wave of customer engagement.

Moreover, the focus on micro-contextualizing the barrage of data customers receive each day, the long standing customer engagement goals of ensuring the right person receives the right message at the appropriate time and location, are now becoming technologically a reality with the increasing number of mobile and social solutions being adopted. The ability to create seamless, end-to-end, functional integration out of these touch points will be a critical success factor for future customer engagement strategies. In turn, this will require deep analysis of customer interactions via tools such as customer journey mapping and associated big data analytics tools to gain understanding on when, what, and how to engage the new mobile customer.

As we plan our holiday travels, let’s take developments in the automotive sector as an example. Google’s 1.1 billion acquisition of Waze last year is a clear indicator that the race for localized, context based information to increase driver engagement is a key piece of its “localization at scale” strategy. Andy Elwood, Director of Business Development at Waze has publicly agreed stating that “context is the new search”.

Further down the road 

Another interesting play is Gas Station TV. It started as a pilot in Dallas and has grown to more than 2,600 stations in 42 states. It was recently acquired in June by Rockbridge Growth Equity for an undisclosed sum. According to the CEO Leider, “We like to say that our consumer is tied to our screen with an eight-foot rubber hose for about five minutes fueling. So we’ve got this very, very captive audience — and they’re bored … when people pump gas they have nothing to do.”

Through Gas Station TV’s contextualized information pushed to a captive customer base, their service becomes an extremely valuable marketing proposition for the automotive industry, in addition to nearby large and small businesses.

Tie that together with the recent Songza purchase by Google, a music service that relies on combining contextual algorithms and human curation, we are beginning to see the elements of functional, seamless integration of various touch points being put in place. This is no longer simply a vision based on vaporware. Right now, on your holiday driving journeys, you can expertly navigate the traffic jams via the Waze crowd sourced app, take advantage of personalized and relevant offers while filling up via the Gas Station TV. Once finished, you can turn on the music and receive contextualized music related to your personal interests, time of day, weather, and geography.

As noted earlier, customer experience complexities lie in tapping deep expertise in designing the right customer journey to fit the right functional integration of the various touch points, channels and services, and, critically, when, how, and where the customer interacts with these interactions. The advantages of this integration are clear to the customer. The advantages to the technology enabled business ecosystem supporting this integration is also becoming increasingly clear to market leaders. The question lies in whether you are driving your business in this direction, or are perhaps stuck in neutral? Happy travels!

This post first appeared on TCS Enterprise Insights.

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