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The future is adaptive (and it's already here)

Interana Blog StaffOctober 25, 2017

In the not so distant future, companies that can adapt to meet their customers' needs in real time will survive. Those that can't act fast enough will die. How do you make sure you're not in the latter group?

"It is not the most intellectual or the strongest of species that survives, but the species that survives is the one that is able to adapt to and adjust best to the changing environment in which it finds itself". -- Charles Darwin

Many powerful companies have fallen because they failed to adapt. In fact, more than 75% of the Fortune 500 companies from 1995 are no longer there. It's hard to imagine how titans like Kodak and Blockbuster failed to adapt to the internet age.

We are now experiencing a new paradigm shift from a digital experience to a completely connected world. This means that we are moving from simply tracking clicks and conversions to understanding your customer's entire off- and online behaviors. New technologies are emerging like IoT, clicks & bricks, virtual reality, and bots & AI, which generate more behavioral data than ever before.

This is a category-defining time for those companies that embrace behavioral insights by reinventing their products and services to meet their customers' needs.

When real-time behavioral analytics are accessible to everyone in your organization, your products and services will be able to respond reflexively to your customers' needs. They'll be able to change based on what they understand about your customers' wants and desires. This is the future of adaptation, and it has already started. Are you ready?

Billions of sensors can't be wrong

Steve Jobs famously said, "People don’t know what they want until you show it to them.” At the time he was right. Surveys or focus groups asking people about their pain points and possible solutions did not drive innovation, but behavioral data is very different.

Instead of asking people their thoughts and opinions, behavioral data reveals the truth, tracking exactly what people do, not what they say. There is no ambiguity. When you monitor and analyze behaviors, the insights can lead to improved customer experiences and groundbreaking products.

While most behavioral data today is generated by websites and mobile devices to help improve the digital experience, Gartner forecasts that there will be over 26 billion connected devices by 2020 that help inform everyday life. Everything from home appliances to your car and the city you live in will be collecting data.

Gartner connected devices Source: Gartner

But you don't have to wait until 2020 to start taking advantage. There are well over 8 billion connected devices that are already improving everyday lives, for example:

  • Smart Home devices like Google Home and Amazon Alexa control your utilities like heat and lights, your entertainment systems and also act as your personal assistant, answering any question you might have throughout your day. Smart home devices are in more than 30 million homes already.
  • Wearables like iWatch and Fitbit monitor your physical health, and soon will be able to collect data on your emotions as well. The real-time data collected from these devices is already helping predict health issues and alert people before a potential emergency. Right now there are 310 million people wearing these sensors.
  • Connected Cars are growing at a compound annual rate of 35%. Beyond helping consumers predict maintenance and auto-navigate, the car makers collect all of the data to analyze performance and uncover insights on how drivers use their cars.

Connected Customer Behavioral Sensors Source: Nxtbook Media

Billions of sensors will be monitoring your customers' behaviors, giving you unprecedented information into what they really need and want, even before they know that they need it. But simply monitoring behavior alone doesn't give you insight into how to best respond.

Monitoring behavior reveals the pain points and habits of your customers, but it doesn't offer solutions. Analytics is the link between monitoring behavior and optimizing the experience.

The adaptive business model is already here

Companies that were born in the digital age already know the value of behavioral analytics and they are eating everyone else's lunch.

Amazon starts by recommending other products for you to consider based on your previous purchases. Then you find yourself a Prime member taking advantage of 2-day shipping and unlimited entertainment. How did they know you would opt-in for that deal?

Amazon and other data-informed companies like Netflix, Apple and Facebook are already heavily invested in behavioral analytics. Remember how Steve Jobs didn't believe in customer feedback? Well, Apple is a leader in using customer behavior to plan marketing and improve products.

Apple Integrated Ecosystem

Apple’s devices, like the iPhone, are supported by its own software to form an integrated feedback ecosystem. Apple uses its own channels including retail stores, mobile and iTunes to capture their customers' behaviors.

Amazon Go is not about faster checkouts

Amazon Go is a new retail concept where you scan your phone to enter the store, shop for whatever you like and leave without checking out. You just grab your food and go.

Amazon Go Storefront

The 'experts' quickly came out to question the new venture. Morgan Stanley reported that most people don’t see a quick checkout as a compelling reason to go to a store. Only 30% thought it was a good idea, versus 50% who cared more about prices and 70% who wanted a convenient location.

Amazon doesn't care about those archaic surveys and Amazon Go is not about quick checkouts. It's a behavioral data goldmine. The store is loaded with sensors, cameras and location-based technologies to monitor a customer's every move.

  • Cameras with face recognition record the customer as they scan in to enter the store. This allows Amazon to finally connect a face to their digital customers.
  • Once shopping, cameras monitor how customers navigate the aisles, where they browse and what they pick up. The insights from these behaviors will help Amazon optimize where products are placed.
  • After checkout, Amazon can connect this offline behavior with the same customer's online activities to close the loop and use the 360-degree behavioral profile to better serve that customer.

Amazon Go Behavioral Lab Source: Google Patents

Adaptation at the speed of thought

Depending on how your company approaches data analytics, the thought of billions of sensors collecting massive amounts of behavioral data will either leave you super excited about the future or utterly depressed with the burden of trying to manage and make sense of all that valuable data.

Adaptability in this new model starts with being able to collect and analyze your data at the speed of thought. Getting answers ASAP is the only way your company will be able to react to the insights before the opportunity passes.

The only thing separating your business from the Apples and Amazons of the world is your ability to bridge the gap between all of that data and taking action.

That's why we have worked hard on the backend, designing Interana to answer queries instantly using data collected from everywhere including IoT devices, mobile, web, bots, AI, VR, on-demand services, and hardware. You don't have to build out a new analytics infrastructure to compete.

When every business has access to real-time behavioral analytics, the companies that thrive will be the ones that can creatively use the insights to reinvent their products and services to 'wow' their customers.

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