First there was the Era of Industrialisation, then came Distribution, Marketing, and Information. We currently find ourselves in the Social Media Era – The Customer Era. This theory, which comes to us from advisers, has many things going for it and we can extend the theory into many different areas. At its core remains the idea that power has been moved from the provider to the customer.
The customer is, in the “Customer Era”, no longer seen as an object in marketing – they are now the subject, the provider of needs, the trader. The answer is the individualization strategy in Digital Transformation, but individualization is in constant conflict with efficiency. Providers can’t keep up-to-date with every case, so he must be prepared for and anticipate the customer’s next move. They need a behaviour prognosis for every customer in order to be able to plan their next moves. These prognoses will become an important tool for providers and mathematics will become a key technology in the Customer Era.
The polar opposite of individualization: generalisation, the pruning of data, will be just as important however. What do you do if you can’t see the wood for the trees? For individualization the management of products and services has to come to the fore. This has caused the emergence of the generalisation process which is also mathematic in nature. What do prognoses and generalisation have in common? They are both learning and adaptive processes, a type of mathematics that adjusts its logic to fit the changes in the modes of operation in the markets.
However the technology is just an instrument. Companies and organisations need to understand their customers and learn to look through their eyes. It isn’t about being able to predict their customers next moves, rather about being their partner in everything they do.