#leweb - The internet of the future, and how to make money from it

Adam Tinworth
Adam Tinworth

George Colony

Liveblog of George Colony, Chairman of the Board & CEO, Forrester Research talking at LeWeb 2013

The age of the customer

We’re in a 20-year business cycle in which successful businesses will reinvent themselves to serve ever more powerful customers.

  • Customers can price more accurately
  • They can share critiques – he had cockroaches in his hotel bathroom this morning – but unlike most people, didn’t immediately share this on the web.
  • They can buy from anyone everywhere.

In 2012, 60% of air tickets were bought online – and as that’s grown, the revenue per customer mile has dropped. People’s decisions are being increasingly influenced by online reviews. 22% of European buyers have bought from websites outside their own country.

There are big differences between generations.

Compared to Gen X, Gen Y:

  • watches 21% less TV
  • listens to 27% less radio
  • plays 319% more video games
  • spends 24% more time on the internet
  • spend 158% less time on newspapers

Gen Z will be as much of a change again.

The mobile mindset shift

There’s a mobile mindshift going on. They mobile generation expect to be able to access any information they need via mobile devices whenever they want.

Windows Phone Users are the least mindset shifted, the iPhone users the most. The Asia Pacific region has the most mind-shifted customers.

In the future companies will put themselves into the pockets, backpacks or briefcases of their customers. The web will become the AM radio of the internet, there, but not the primary service people used – the majority of businesses will engage via mobile devices.

George paid for his taxi ride via his phone. He tipped the driver via his phone. is phone told us which terminal to go to at the airport, which gate to go to. It showed him to his seat, offered him his favourite drink. It told the elevator which floor to go to, and opened his hotel door for him. OK. that didn’t happen. But it will do: that’s the opportunity.

How do you do this? Mix sensor information from your device, with social recommendations, with interaction with smart products. Systems of record – customer information and the like – will have to become systems of engagement. They need to run fast enough to provide services in real time – or in an anticipatory manner. We need geolocation and payment services, and all of this needs to feed into big customer data. Then, you can deliver that vision.

If you want to make money – get into that process.

big datacorporate cultureForrester Researchfuturologygenerationsleweb13mobile strategyresearch

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Adam is a lecturer, trainer and writer. He's been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 30. He lectures on audience strategy and engagement at City, University of London.