My theory is that storytelling in the 21st century has an opportunity to be transformative in a way that enables those formerly known as the audience to become collaborators. Thanks to the democratization of tools to create and distribute media, the formerly top-down entertainment industry is now bubbling up with new stories and business models.
So at Columbia, we are working to build a Story Design lab that mixes narrative design, game mechanics, and design science to tackle social problems. Last week, we concluded a pilot for the Story Design lab. Columbia students and former foster kids (one being filmmaker Lydia Joyner) worked together to build an immersive storytelling experience. Participants came to realize that this was not just a sci-fi tale, but a story rooted in the experiences and feelings that our collaborating foster kids went through when they aged out of care. By designing with instead of designing for, the students and former foster kids built an experience that created emotional connections and empathy for those who age out of care.
Many firms help businesses crunch data on their customers. Until recently, few have offered those services to the consumers themselves. Now a number of start-ups are offering “data lockers”, secure online locations where people can gather information on themselves, including their consumption patterns—utility bills, loyalty-card statements, telephone records and so on.
By helping them to retrieve those data in the first place, locker firms hope to give privacy-conscious consumers more control over what information organisations hold about them. They also aim to help people to reuse it for their own benefit. Consumers might give details of their past energy bills to price-comparison engines, to find them better deals. They could let retailers peek at their spending patterns in return for discounts. Shane Green of Personal, one such locker provider, thinks individuals who make full use of their personal data might one day earn $1,000 a year in benefits and savings.
By helping consumers compile comprehensive profiles of their habits and preferences, they may in return be granted much richer data than they could collect without their customers’ co-operation. Mr Louman says some large businesses already pay locker firms to deliver to their employees digital copies of their pay slips and pension statements. That saves the firms money, and keeps the locker service free to consumers.
“Between the birth of the world and 2003, there were five exabytes of information created. We [now] create five exabytes every two days. See why it’s so painful to operate in information markets?”—Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google (via inthenoosphere)
A major change is taking place in social media these days: Leading-edge companies are moving from “liking” to leading.
Social media has become an extension of traditional paid media with many companies broadcasting messages — from traditional to innovative. The next step will be much deeper as the leaders recognize that social engagement is an opportunity to redefine the client service experience, be proactive in delivering customer care and differentiate in new ways.
We call this social business. And just as social media like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest changed the flow of information by helping people share insights, opinions, and news with anyone anywhere, social business is changing the way people connect with companies and their own employees and how organizations succeed.
What is a social business? It’s an organization that integrates social technologies with critical business processes to improve the productivity of its workforce and create exceptional customer service.
For more information about how IBM views social business, click here.
“There are a number of new business models emerging in the big data world. In my research, I see three main approaches standing out. The first focuses on using data to create differentiated offerings. The second involves brokering this information. The third is about building networks to deliver data where it’s needed, when it’s needed.”—
Siri, Apple’s voice-activated virtual agent (VA), has raised the profile of this technology category. Siri provides the right engagement paradigm: ask a question and get an answer - a right answer. Because of Siri, companies focused on increasing customer satisfaction scores to move the needle on customer loyalty often ask “Why can’t we offer Siri-like experiences on our web or mobile sites to help customers ask questions in their own words?”
Let’s look at the facts: customers today are trained to go online to get answers to their questions by navigating a company’s FAQ list, or by typing in keywords to surface the right piece of content. In fact, 66% of customers use this channel. But at 51%, the satisfaction ratings for this channel are the lowest of all the communication channels that Forrester tracks. It’s because keeping content in line with customer demand and making it easily accessible to customers is very hard to do.
Enter the world of virtual agents. These solutions use natural language processing and artificial intelligence to greet a customer and to serve up the right answer to their question, which is asked using a customer’s natural speech pattern, not just keywords. These answers could be a straightforward response, knowledge base content, data (like “Did my check clear?”), or the result of a transaction (like “Book me on the next flight home out of San Francisco”). With the right tuning and integration to back-end systems, virtual agents are able to personalize and contextualize customer interactions. In fact, Gartner Research predicts that by 2015, 50% of online customer self-service search activities will be done by virtual agents.
Join us for a FREE live virtual panel discussion to learn about the obstacles facing chief marketing officers, including control over marketing mix and access to customer data, and how to overcome the obstacles to gain greatest marketing influence and control.
Sign up now and get a free PDF download of the research briefing “The Gap Between the Vision for Marketing and the Reality.”
Tuesday, December 18, 2012 12:30 - 1:30 p.m. EST
Peter J. Korsten IBM Institute for Business Value
Bobby J. Calder Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University
Martha Mangelsdorf MIT Sloan Management Review
Edward C. Malthouse Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern
CIO’s will rise to the forefront of corporate influence; data ownership will be ever important… Rob Howard of Telligent reveals his predictions for a year of social business.
In 2012, social business resounded throughout the business land as companies were beginning to realise the potential of going social. However, 2013 is the year when companies will invest more heavily in social business, and will have to take into consideration the implications of coping with big data. Various factors will impact the workplace and bring the role of the CIO to the forefront of corporate influence.
Rob Howard, founder and CTO of social enterprise and community software company Telligent, shares his predictions for 2013 in social business:
1. Businesses will continue to shift investments from Facebook and back to on-domain communities:
In 2013, businesses that previously shifted marketing funds away from their traditional dot-com domain towards Facebook, will reverse that trend. Research from Forrester Research Inc. and other analyst firms continue to validate the need for organisations to invest in their own websites and community experiences. Why? Consumers have different expectations and behaviours in consumer social media and branded communities.
Last December, Omada Health raised $800K in seed funding from a host of angel and venture investors, including NEA, Aberdare, Kapor Capital, TriplePoint Ventures and Esther Dyson — to name a few. A graduate of Rock Health’s first batch, the startup started out on a mission to take on diabetes (and prediabetes) by leveraging the latest research, design, behavioral science and digital technology.
Today, after nearly a year in development and testing, Omada Health is launching Prevent, what the company is calling the “first-ever online diabetes prevention program for the general public.” Why? Because Diabetes is one of the most widespread diseases in the U.S., with the CDC estimating that 79 million American adults have prediabetes. That’s one in three adults, and the majority of them people aren’t aware of their condition, as they have blood glucose levels that aren’t irregular enough to be considered diabetes yet indicate an extremely high risk.
“An open and transparent administration makes it easier for residents to hold their government accountable, but it also serves as a platform for innovative tools that improve the lives of all residents,” said Mayor Emanuel, in statement on the city website.
“Chicago’s vibrant technology and startup community will leverage this wealth of open, public data to create applications that will improve service delivery and lead to greater quality of service for residents and more public engagement in City government.”
The city released 21 new “high value” datasets today, including real-time traffic data from Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) buses, environmental data, liquor regulation, and recycling programs.
When asked what made these datasets high value, the Mayor’s Office responded via email.
“The datasets released today aren’t necessarily more critical than the more than 400 others that have been released,” wrote Caroline Weisser, a spokesperson for the Mayor’s Office.
“They continue the commitment the administration has taken to being a leader in municipal open data. The executive order itself codifies the actions that Brett and John Tolva, the CTO, have taken over the past year and a half to pursue both open data policy and detailed analytics in tandem. Making a firm commitment to continue adding writable data to the dataportal about how the city works provides the raw materials for the City to collaborate and innovate with the developer community, which ultimately helps the City do a better job of serving Chicagoans.”
Walking and running centric personalized health devices like Nike FuelBand and Jawbone Up will soon have company in the market place, thanks to Scanadu, which is making a vital health signs monitor, Scanadu Scout. Soon to follow, Scanadu Flu and other gadgets, FDA willing, of course.
If you think the Jawbone Up and Nike FuelBand are changing our perception of personal health, then wait until you see what Scanadu, a Mountain View, Calif.-based company, has planned for you. The two-year-old old company is the brainchild of Walter de Brouwer, a Belgian-born serial entrepreneur (EUnet-Quest and Star Lab) and member of TED, who in the recent past worked with Nicholas Negroponte on the One Laptop Per Child project.
AT&T is helping with hospitality, with new Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) technology. The company plans to deliver cloud-based RPM Software-as-a-Service from Ericsson, helping doctors monitor their patients over video on a tablet connected to the Internet.
This new SaaS provides coaching, reminders and health education to help manage chronic diseases better, so that patients won’t have to return to the hospital. It joins the AT&T ForHealth suite of RPM services, which includes such services as an end-to-end RPM service powered by Valued Relationships, Inc., which helps monitor patients around the clock.
The new 2012 IBM Global Student Study clearly demonstrates that college and university students have important capabilities to bring to organizations seeking skills in today’s highly connected world. To benefit from this generation’s wealth of native expertise in social media, however, CEOs will need to clarify their leadership goals and commitments.
All customers, students included, want to be understood and appreciated when they interact with organizations. That said, students have yet to understand the level of commitment it takes to drive “customer obsession” into business strategy and operations. Among CEOs, according to the IBM Gobal CEO Study, customer obsession is the top-rated characteristic (out of 13) for their own success. Among students, on the other hand, it ranked seventh.
Using this insight, CEOs who successfully communicate to millennials their overriding focus on customers are in the best position to elicit their enthusiasm for generating and implementing new ideas for smarter commerce. This includes the use of social business for incorporating everything from smarter marketing and customer service to a smarter workforce to a smarter supply chain.
Digital connections already play a major role in students’ lives. Because of social media –
61% of students are more aware of global issues
47% have a greater voice in society
40% engage more fully in real-life activities
At the same time, contrary to popular assumptions, students generally incorporate a balanced view of social media in their lives: only 12 percent say social media relationships have more personal meaning than real-world ones.
Organizations, too, of course, are taking a digital path to social engagement. Currently, 56 percent of CEOs see digital channels as important to customer interaction compared to 70 percent of students. Yet 84 percent of CEOs as well as students predict that over the next few years these digital channels will be important for customer interaction.
Overall, students and CEOs see eye to eye on many aspects of business and are strongly oriented toward collaboration, creativity and innovation.
While many expectations converge, it’s important to take note of the sensibilities that differ.
Among students, increasing social and environmental responsibility ranks third in importance out of five changes needed to meet customer expectations; among CEOs it ranked last.
Among students, devotion to environmental and social issues ranks fifth of 13 characteristics needed for CEO success, among CEOs themselves it ranks last.
Among students work-life balance ranks third; among CEOs it ranks seventh of 13 workplace attributes.
Organizations seeking to connect with the connected generation will need to take into account, and, where appropriate, take action to meet these social and personal values.
More and more people are consuming content on smartphones and tablets but, until now, the rankings that determine websites’ popularity have largely failed to account for them. This is finally changing as analytics company comScore has formally unveiled a new set of metrics that measure both mobile visits and traditional web traffic at the same time.
Launched this morning, comScore’s “Media Metrix Multi-platform” shakes up the existing rankings in some dramatic ways. Music site Pandora, for instance, jumps from #61 on the list to #23 while ESPN jumped four slots to #19.
U.S. Pizza chain, Papa John’s is in trouble— we’re talking serious marinara sauce. Today, trouble is a $250 million class-action lawsuit for sending 500,000 unwanted text messages to their customers through a mass text messaging service. Yikes!