With the development of the Internet in recent years, our daily lives have been greatly facilitated. Access to information and consumption patterns have changed, as users’ expectations. We enter a new era of services and individualization. Giants such as Apple, Google, Amazon, Alibaba, Tencent or Netflix have understood this change and have been able to respond to consumers’ unexpressed needs.
Today, these consumers want to go further and dream of a digital world where, in addition to a fast and direct access to products they would have a fast and direct access to services with high added value, personalized and even individualized, in relation to their situation and when they need it.
Faced with this demand for ultimate personalization, holistic services and perfect experience, companies have, thanks to digital technology, new opportunities: the possibility to deliver automated and scalable individualization services and to provide premium customer experience.
Gartner defines personalization in its Magic Quadrant for Digital Experience Platforms as a process that “creates a relevant, individualized interaction between two parties designed to enhance the experience of the recipient.”
How to enable a new era of individualized services and meet consumers’ expectations thanks to digital technology?
1. Global context
As we have pointed out, we enter a new era of services and individualization. A fundamental trend, real differentiating element, has emerged. Consumer expectations are growing. They have new requirements not only in terms of quality but also in terms of meeting their needs.
Some companies, aware of this change, offer solutions adapted to this demand. Giants and brands such as Nike, Amazon or Netflix have responded to consumers’ needs. Nike allows the design of its own shoes, trainers and bags. Amazon makes recommendations based on customers previous purchases. Netflix offers suggestions for films or series based on previous screenings. However, these initiatives no longer go further enough.
Indeed, being informed and assisted on simple tasks, buying, living a personalized experience… all this is very pleasant. But users are now waiting for more, they are ready, mature, for the next level of integration, the most individualized, the most intimate. Faced with this growing demand for ever more individualization, what more can we do? What is the next step?
Providing individualized services on vital topics is the next step. Some multinational companies, aware of this paradigm shift, have successfully done so. This is the case of this specialist in feline and canine nutrition who, in a continuous innovation loop, wanted to go even further by offering its customers an individualized nutritional response for their pets. This multinational company launched an innovative initiative: a platform for customizing the composition of food for each dog and cat according to their dual pathology.
How to launch such successful initiatives and take advantage of this new era of individualized services leveraging digital technology?
2. Emergence of advanced individualized initiatives
Going even further in the proposal for individualized services about vital topics such as heatlh, passions and works is the key for any multinational company wishing to be successful. Initiatives to offer individualized services to consumers are emerging. Here are some concrete examples.
In the health sector, an initiative proposing a personal experience to have a better life with diabetes has been launched. This successful initiative is based on a platform which proposes key resources to identify your profile and your needs and helps individual from diagnosis to day to day life with individual coaching and individual journey depending of its expectation. It also allows users to beneficiate from last innovation in term of product.
Another initiative, in the golf industry, proposes a personal coaching experience linked to the human motor preference has been launched. Which passionate golfer has never dreamed of an individualized coaching platform that would allow him to progress and improve his par through personalized coaching? Thanks to the association of several great golfers, who have become coaches, with a great equipment supplier, this dream becomes true: a platform has been developed to allow thousands of golfers to access a level of individualized advice that is always at the cutting edge.
In the pet health sector, a recent initiative proposes an individual expertise to improve avian farms efficiency. This successful initiative allows farmers to diagnose issues and threat, prevent the flocks, anticipate epidemic or production issues by specific exploitation analysis and propose adapted mitigation plan.
All these initiatives are based on a powerful foundation: technology. In what way is it the main success factor of any individualization project?
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3. Digital technology: key factor to reach business success
For a long time, managing individuality, at a marginal unit cost, has been an insurmountable challenge. Technically, first-of-all. Today, thanks to advances in machine learning and the creativity of algorithms, technological solutions exist to manage individuality in a multitude.
For the last ten years, technology has grown exponentially. By breaking down cost barriers, spawning new user behavior and pushing the limits of what is possible, digital technology is flipping every sector on its head and gives companies the possibility to deliver, if combined with human expertise, very advanced individualized services.
Through our experience, to reach success and provide perfect customer experience, the only approach that can provide a contextualized, high quality response at an affordable cost is to combine human expertise with technology. It is no longer a question of opposing man to the machine but of taking advantage of the best of both worlds: man brings his knowledge and his ability to interpret weak signals; the machine provides its ability to scan a very wide range of possibilities in a minimum of time.
Thanks to the development of Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Profiling and Expert System, the technology allows to go even further in terms of individualization. Collecting data to make personalized diagnoses and treatments becomes possible. It also allows to develop platforms of expertise combining the knowledge of a few very high-level experts and the community intelligence. User feedbacks, from varied experiences and uses, are a powerful source of learning whose value to experts is exploited by the system. Thus, through automated feedback analysis, the system is able to suggest to experts ways to improve the profile structure, in a virtuous circle of individualization.
Technology, combined with human expertise, thus appears as the essential cornerstone that will enable any multinational company to offer very advanced individualized services and position itself as a leader in a vertical market.
To sum up, individualization & digital technology appears today as a successful combination: enabling a new era of individualized services thanks to digital technology and going further on vital topics is the way to success.
Faced with a growing demand for ultimate personalization and premium experience, companies have, thanks to digital technology, new opportunities to deliver automated and scalable individualization services, provide perfect customer experience and set apart from competitors to become a leader on a significant market.
Digital technology thus appears as a fundamental pillar without which a high degree of individualization would not be possible.