Image By: Giuseppe Costantino
Over the past 5 years we’ve witnessed major chain stores like Blockbuster fall pray to Netflix, and Barnes & Noble struggle to compete in the e-book market after its Nook e-reader was overshadowed by more popular devices from Apple and Amazon.
Fast forward to 2014, the 13 largest pay-TV providers — a group that includes companies like Time Warner, Comcast and DirecTV — shed about 150,000 video subscribers in the most recent quarter, compared to only 25,000 in the same period last year, according to a report released in November by the Leichtman Research Group.
Cord cutters, are not "averse to paying for content," says Steve Beck, cg4 founder and managing partner. "It's that they are averse to paying for content that they don't need or watch. They want the things that they want."
Meanwhile, streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime have been expanding their video content libraries — Amazon jumped from 5,000 titles in 2011 to 40,000 in 2014. Not surprisingly, Apple (TV), Amazon (Fire TV Stick) and Google (Chromecast) own the technologies making our demand-based video experiences more personal, more accessible and less intrusive. They provide a better experience because they have a better pulse on social trends and consumer need, which allows them to build better products and deliver more meaningful, personalized experiences – and we love them for it. How can we follow their lead to provide better experiences to our customers?
Big Data and Inter connectivity can lead to very personalized, and very creepy user experiences.
Big data, seamless product connectivity and wearable technologies, are converging to create very personal brand experiences that spawn fiercely loyal customers. Apple, Amazon and Google are battling on the front lines - leveraging customer data, acquiring technologies and adapting their product and marketing strategies based on “big data” – to give their users better products and brand experiences.
Amazon is a great example of a business that has great potential (if they’re not doing it already) to personalize your web experience. Here's an example.
My wife and I recently received an Amazon Fire TV Stick for Christmas. The Fire Stick connects to a USB port on your television so that you can stream Amazon videos to your television. After connecting the Fire Stick and providing my Amazon account information to the device, I received a message that I could use my cell phone as the remote control – so I downloaded the iPhone app.
Not only does Amazon know my purchase history from their website, they also know my geographic location (mobile data), already have my credit card information, know what movies I like to watch and when I like to watch them.
From there, they could easily begin creating a psychological profile based on my family’s interactions with Fire Stick to know:
- My race, gender and approximate age
- Whether I have children or not and approximate age of my children
- Television type and size (which could potentially provide an approximate income level)
- Time of day we like to watch movies and much more.
Moreover, Amazon could begin serving very targeted advertising based on my profile – down to recommending local restaurants in my neighborhood –allowing me to order delivery directly through my television. And because they already have my credit card information on file, it might be a very simple purchase process. It’s that simple. Amazon is in the food delivery business.
"Personalization can be creepy when it isn’t relevant,” suggests Sandra McDill, managing partner at iProspect. “I don’t mind my supermarket knowing my name, knowing where I live and my favorite brand of beans, but it would be creepy if they knew I had just been to the dentist, or I was currently in the bath."
Savvy businesses are deeply integrating their websites with several analytics packages, CRM, BI and automated marketing systems, then creating custom, consolidated reports that provide a much better understanding of their customer’s need. What is your business doing?
Personalization and Adaptive Content
While there is a line between understanding more about your customers and invading their privacy, personalization and creating adaptive content models is becoming more common among savvy marketers. The ability to personalize content to your users and provide it in a way that adapts to and can be consumed based on a user's environment provides a strategic advantage for your users.
Imagine giving consumers the ability to purchase – a coat they see someone wearing as they pass them on the street - through Google Glass, simply by asking glass to find the coat and purchase. This will be possible in the future. You most likely can even have it delivered to your current location within 30 minutes. Now that’s customer service!
Big data, converging technologies and adaptive content create opportunities for very personal brand experiences. It’s these experiences that create fiercely loyal customers. But like Blockbuster, Borders, Barnes & Nobel and so many other companies that have fallen pray to more savvy businesses, you need to begin preparing for this now. If not, you may begin to see losses in visitors, loyal customers and revenue.
I would love to hear more about what your business is doing with adaptive content, big data and making that data available in many different formats for many different scenarios. Feel free to leave your comments below.