The advent of the IoT-connected customer signals your need for a connected customer market model. There is a digital tsunami of data being collected and analyzed from connected devices and equipment. Your buyers are expecting to do business with vendors and partners who are equally connected and insightful.
The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to everyday objects which are connected to the internet, allowing them to send and receive data.
You are not alone in still being on the fence about how, when, where and why to harness IoT solutions.
The May 2015 Forrester Consulting study, sponsored by SAP, surveyed enterprises contemplating or currently harnessing IoT solutions. The hypothesis focused on how IoT data capture and analytics might increase operational efficiencies and, as a result, enhance the breadth and depth of customer experiences. I encourage you to read the full report. At least 50% of the 366 IT and business leaders surveyed felt pressure to adopt IoT solutions. Do you feel the same pressure?
Take your business pulse.
Do you currently have an IoT connected customer market model to complement your customers’ own models? Discuss these three questions with your team and compare your perspectives.
- No matter what size of your business, or what industry vertical, how does IoT-driven data impact your own definition of the markets in which you play?
- Is your current customer base IoT data-driven, using smart equipment, devices and analytics?
- Does your team currently collect, analyze and develop business strategy using customer-driven insights?
Future market definition will meld into an IoT connected customer market model. You and your customers will upgrade equipment, systems, software and capabilities. If capturing and analyzing IoT-driven customer insights is not a current part of your market model, it needs to be.
Determine how ready your company is to create a connected customer market model.
If you are not collecting data, it is high time to start. If the word “data” makes you uncomfortable, hire people or work with consultants to enhance your level of comfort. Machines are getting smarter. Your buyers are getting smarter. It is time for you and your team to become smarter by providing IoT-based relevant and valuable insights to your customers.
- Identify your baseline market data. Who are your current customers, how and why do they do business with you? What are their preferences? How do they interact with you, their other suppliers and their own customers? Are the majority of their own business decisions IoT data- and analytics-driven?
- Determine whether your current customers are the types of customers you want to do business with. Is your growth strategy based on doing business with customers who already are contemplating or are currently harnessing IoT solutions for market insights? If so, these A-List Customers are going to expect your business to be similarly positioned. If your current customers do not have an IoT connected customer market model, your own company will depend on them for sustainability. Are you currently depending on customers who, in short order, will become dinosaurs?
As legacy equipment and IT infrastructure is repurposed and/or replaced, the IoT has the potential to impact the future of brand-building, customer acquisition, retention and experience. The connected customer is your new holistic business norm.
Collecting and analyzing IoT-connected customer information offers opportunity for you, your team and your company.
- How are your customers’ business and manufacturing practices morphing?
- Can you use IoT-driven data and insights to create greater operational efficiencies within your own organization?
- How can you interpret these data to enhance your customers’ experiences in doing business with your company?
Why let your current reluctance to address the IoT- connected customer-driven marketplace hold your company back from moving forward? We have explored several solid strategies for getting started.
Isn’t it time for you to make more sense out of where your marketplace is unavoidably trending: the IoT?
Babette N. Ten Haken builds holistic, innovative, productive and profitable teams focused on excellence in the execution of strategy. Her Playbook on collaboration hacks, including tools, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com.