One-to-One Takes On a Whole New Meaning

omnichannel-strategy-300Many people were talking about how to take one-to-one conversations to a whole new level at the recent IBM Smarter Commerce Event in Tampa.

For years, technology has enabled customer communication to be more personalized.  But finally, I’m seeing some exciting possibilities of reaching one-to-one nirvana just around the bend.  Top technology players, like IBM, have made some strategic acquisitions (Tealeaf, Silverpop, Sterling and Xtify, just to name a few) that will enable the sharing and analysis of customer touchpoint, purchase and behavior information.

Who isn’t frustrated by the inability to see every action a customer takes with you, cross-device or cross-channel, in one timeline-like view? We aren’t there yet, but after attending the conference I do think we are much closer.  How great will it be to know what messages to push when and to which device, using the right channel, to each individual customer? This will help them to take the next step in their ongoing relationship with you.

According to Forrester’s just-released research, by 2018, 69% of retail purchases in the U.S. will be influenced by the web. Companies that understand the purchase path of each individual customer, and have the ability to send the right message using the right channel, at the right time, to the right device, will lead the way. And it’s finally going to be possible.