As things become more intelligent, they will gain the capacity to buy and sell in the world of Digital Business and the Internet of Things. This means new opportunities for revenue and efficiencies for all types of enterprises, but also new ways of managing customer relationships. My colleague Jenny Sussin and I explore this idea in our recently published note, Internet of Things Scenario: When Things Become Customers. We highlight some early examples of where we see this happening, and the risks and benefits of a world where your non-human customers could possibly outnumber your human customers.
In this exciting, but potentially risky future, we consider:
- How does marketing need to change? Will we need something called “Thing Marketing”?
- How does sales need to change? How do I sell to non-human customers?
- How does customer service need to change? Will we need human reps to handle non-human customers?
- What can my company do to get ready? Areas like partnerships, security, governance and product development
With the rise of the Internet of Things, we believe things as customers is not a matter of if, but when. At minimum, we recommend all organizations begin to consider the possibilty that things will become your customers or will act on behalf of customers, as their agents, even if it might seem strange.
How will you feel if things become your customers?
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