Seize the moment.If Chris Slater knew that his company Experian was preparing a $485 million bid for the US-based price comparison website PriceGrabber.com when he spoke at the Information Age Business Intelligence conference in November, he did not give any indication of this.
But the director of information resources (1) The data and information assets of an organization, department or unit. See data administration.
(2) Another name for the Information Systems (IS) or Information Technology (IT) department. See IT. for the business information company certainly gave a strong clue to the way senior managers at Experian are thinking. Slater forecasts that the most successful companies in the future will be those that are able to 'seize the moment' and personalise Verb 1. personalise - make personal or more personal; "personalized service"
personalize, individualise, individualize
alter, change, modify - cause to change; make different; cause a transformation; "The advent of the automobile may have altered the growth their offerings to consumers - in real time.
And that particular moment, he stresses, will almost certainly be on the customer's terms - a complicating factor that requires responsive businesses to have event-driven, real-time responses prepared in advance.
This new 'paradigm' has been called the C2B C2B Consumer to Business (consumers naming their price for various products or services)
C2B Command and Control Battlelab
C2B Consulting to Business
C2B Commerce to Business
C2B Customer to Business
C2B Client to Business revolution - consumer-to-business - and involves the customer willingly providing their information to a business in order to elicit a response, rather than a business broadcasting its services and waiting for the customer to show up.
That sets part of the agenda for the future; today the broad challenge that retailers present to Experian is how to get noticed and how to fully exploit commercial opportunities as they arise. And the use of business intelligence (BI) against vast datasets plays an essential role.
Slater illustrates the challenge of getting noticed with two examples. In the futuristic fu·tur·is·tic
1. Of or relating to the future.
a. Of, characterized by, or expressing a vision of the future: futuristic decor.
b. film Minority Report, the lead actor Tom Cruise is repeatedly recognised and bombarded with personalised Adj. 1. personalised - made for or directed or adjusted to a particular individual; "personalized luggage"; "personalized advice"
individualised, individualized, personalized , real-time, electronic advertising messages as he attempts to work his way anonymously through a shopping mall.
Cameras and scanners recognise and respond to him at every turn. This may be fiction, but only just: technology such as location-based services See mobile positioning. , CCTV CCTV
CCTV closed-circuit television and RFID (Radio Frequency IDentification) A data collection technology that uses electronic tags for storing data. The tag, also known as an "electronic label," "transponder" or "code plate," is made up of an RFID chip attached to an antenna. chips make this scenario plausible.
Another example shows how customers are swamped with choices of where to look for any particular product. Type 'car insurance' into Google, says Salter salt·er
1. One that manufactures or sells salt.
2. One that treats meat, fish, or other foods with salt.
Noun 1. , and 15.3 million hits are returned; try 'mobile phone' and 2.3 million web addresses are listed.
Slater argues that the modern trend in business is to produce more customised, personalised products. This, in turn, is accompanied by a much stronger focus on the needs and the value of the customer, and much less focus on products.
He explains how businesses can become more profitable by understanding the lifecycle of their interactions with their customers, and the value each stage brings. In the mortgage business, for example, the customer value curve involves customer recruitment, the application period, the drawing down and payment of commission, the discount period, a long period when the customer is paying off the mortgage, and finally the end of the relationship, when the customer pays off the mortgage.
At each stage, the objective of the mortgage company is different. For example, the recruitment and application period is a significant upfront cost, and the goal is to speed things up; the discount period, ideally, needs to be kept short and therefore made more profitable; and the longer payback period Payback Period
The length of time required to recover the cost of an investment.
Calculated as: should ideally be prolonged.
In other industries, the value curve may be different, and the customer intelligence needs to be gathered and used to support different patterns of relationship. Slater argues that, in order to build responsiveness, businesses need to gather data generated internally by the organisation's own applications and behavioural data sourced externally.
The value of BI systems, he says, is to help businesses build up an understanding of the customer so that they can respond effectively when an event occurs.
As Experian's slogan puts it, "to use the moment" with a powerful offer at the right time - one that appeals to the consumer but also maximises the supplier's profitability on the transaction. "It is my fundamental belief that if your company can personalise its offering in real time when the customer chooses to interact, you will fulfill the C2B challenges that lie ahead," he says.
Chris Slater is the director of information resources for Experian, the [pounds sterling]1.3 billion revenue information services See Information Systems. subsidiary of retail group GUS GUS Gemeinschaft Unabhängiger Staaten (German: CIS)
GUS Gravis Ultrasound
GUS Great Universal Stores
GUS Grown Up Soda
GUS Giornalisti Uffici Stampa (Italian)
GUS Guide to the Use of Standards . He is responsible for the Business Information products that leverage the main consumer databases and their integration with Experian's extensive marketing databases