Generally I only reference key paragraphs from content that catches my eye, but this morning WARC reports on a recent McKinsey study that deserves to be relayed in full. I’ll add my two cents afterwards. Here it is:
This transition towards “big data” is evidenced by the fact that the amount of available information is doubling every 18 months, allowing companies with suitable analytics software and the flexibility to react.
Amazon, eBay and Google are some of the pioneers in the field, assessing details like where to locate buttons on websites and the order in which content should be displayed to confirm what drives engagement and sales.
Elsewhere, Capital One, the financial services specialist, appointed a team of analysts, IT staff and marketers to segment its customers and develop products, participating in around 65,000 tests a year.
“Its network, in effect, offers Chinese manufacturing capacity as a service, enabling small businesses anywhere in the world to identify suppliers quickly and scale up rapidly to meet demand,” McKinsey argued.
Mixed advertiser-funded, subscriber and “freemium” models have built on similar trends, and photo-sharing site Flickr, music portal Pandora and communications firm Skype show how this delivers results in practice.
Safaricom, the telecoms provider, has moved into the banking space, giving eight million African customers “virtual cash” on their handsets, as most of this demographic lack the funds or documents to open bank accounts.
Wow. Do you see why I posted the whole article? There was so much good stuff I just couldn’t pick one paragraph to reference!
I’ve written a lot about the emergence of a more integrated and holistic model for insight generation that leverages the best elements of social media and networking, social gaming, mobile convergence, brand engagement programs, and data mining. This article is further evidence that clients are demanding a new model based on integration, and a few firms are rising to the ocassion to try to meet the need.
What McKinsey references in their report is that MR clients recognize the need to engage with the whole consumer in order to maximize the potential of each relationship. They obviously are looking for partners that can help them achieve this vision. Several firms have made a start of developing offerings that address some of this demand and their growth has been proof of the concept.
The combination of client demand and demonstrated business success by innovative firms listening to the voice of our customers should be enough data for the remainder of the industry to begin engaging in this new paradigm. The question, who is going to lead, and who will follow?