Putting the 'R' Back in CRM
Over the next five years, the shape of online marketing will, in part, be defined by the development of two kinds of branded applications: content and convenience apps. Content and convenience apps will keep companies closer to their customers, and their customers closer to each other. What's more, these apps will play an important role in determining where companies rank against their competition.
Branded apps will play a paramount role in this competitive marketplace. They'll be built for a variety of platforms with the agility to take advantage of every new channel that comes along. These platforms currently include smartphones, desktops, tablets, e-readers, communities, navigation, television and radio. But if you can be sure of anything, it's that there will be many more branded apps to come. Branded content and convenience apps are hitting the market at a rapid pace and will work together seamlessly in the future to become the next generation of online marketing.
Think of Pandora.com as an example. Pandora monitors your listening habits to suggest other music for you to listen to. It enables you to vote on the songs it recommends in order to continuously tweak the music it suggests for you. As your music tastes change, Pandora seamlessly changes with you. When you hear a great new song, you can immediately buy it and put it on your iPod. This is how an app of content combines with an app of convenience.
Branded apps of convenience simplify the end-user experience across the entire product life cycle, from research to purchase to delivery to service, and will be designed across multiple platforms. Many are already in use today. For example, navigation systems can observe traffic issues ahead and get around those problems before you get stuck in a jam. They can also warn motorists of icy conditions ahead, if a car is sliding out of its lane or any number of potential hazards — again, before problems arise.