austin-neill-189146-1

Ask Tushar Episode 3

The Future is Mobile as Commander and Control

“Set phasers to stun”

I turn around, and see Tushar, leaning against the hallway wall. “Why Tushar,” I said, “Have you been doing another Star Trek Marathon?”

A hearty laugh reverberated throughout the narrow hallway. “We seek inspiration in the most unlikely of places,” he said with a twinkle in his eye. “And I have found it. Let me tell you who the real commander is.”

If you look at the direction the world is moving, our devices are becoming more and more connected via The Internet of Things (IoT). The gadgets in our lives are being controlled by the mobile device. There is the connected home, the connected car, and even the connected body. Everything I do is linked, and ultimately tweaked, changed, and controlled through a web of apps. So the phone, in essence, is becoming the command and control center.

Before the smartphone, relationships were very isolated. You knew Joe from your favorite store. He had a one-on-one relationship with you, he knew what you liked and disliked. But then we moved to the web, where companies would collect data about our behavior, make a profile, and start offering us things via targeted ads. However, the phone linked these two types of connections. Companies now have a wealth of data about customers, as well as a channel to directly chat with customers. Furthermore, the mobile phone allows for interesting data partnerships, to make our world even more connected.

Companies are going to team up so that their respective databases can work together to proactively offer things to customers. Proactive customer relationship management is about using data to preempt problems, then leveraging this information to send the right messages to the right customers at the right time. The phone, which lends itself to being the command center, also lends itself to being the customer relationship manager.

As things and companies begin to share data and create partnerships, we will see two things happen:

  1. Customers will get offers and deals based on the connected devices in their home (e.g. an offer for dish soap once your phone is alerted that you have used 30 of the 40 soap packets you bought).
  2. The phone will be the venue through which all of these offers and deals are made. Every interaction, purchase, and notification will come to you through your phone.

The smartphone is therefore two things: a control center, and a personal communication venue. It is at once connected to everything, and highly personal. Customers will directly interact with their preferred companies via apps, while harnessing the many devices in their lives. Resistance is futile; mobile is the new commander and control.

Live long and prosper.

Published January 31, 2016
block background image