The New Reality is spawning all manner of changes in our world. Over the past thirty some years with the advent of the personal computer, for “data processing” and the internet, for “networking” and the smart phone, for “your wallet” the personal liberation revolution is in full bloom.
Since the Industrial Revolution the only manner in which a Company could “scale up productivity and profit” was by treating customers as populations instead of individuals. This has become magnified with CRM systems. Customer Relationship Management requires the use of market segmentation with became a serious exercise in the 1980’s and has become perfected since. The only way that this can be challenged is by empowering the individual.
From loyalty cards, started by service stations and oil companies in the fifties and sixties, to airline frequent flyer clubs the customer gives up their personal history every time they use a product or service. This is being turned on its head by the PC and tablets, the internet and the smart phones or PDA’s. Individuals are started to obtain the same power.
Now we see the arrival of a new thought VRM. Vendor Relationship Management where the customer truly does become “king.”
Imagine your “smart phone” where your network supplier AT&T, Sprint. T-Mobile or Verizon “lock” you up on two year contracts. That aberration in individual liberty will soon be extinct. Similarly marketeers will no longer be using words like “acquire” or “control” or manage” or “lock in” when they talk about customers. Are we the ultimate “round up?”
No with this new idea VRM the customer will regain control as if we were back to the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker. You will shop with a PDA and be able to pass your information on to a Vendor only at your discretion. There will be implicit “contracts” of information and personal privacy. This will start more seriously as Microsoft requires the DNT (Do No Track) features will be turned on in the new Internet Explorer and that “Ad Blockers” become even more popular as with Chrome and Firefox. Ad blockers and more common in Europe today but that is fast changing.
The new marketers will have to find a new game won’t they? This new marketer will recognize the Service-Dominant aspect of their world. That relationships are a choice of a customer not the whim of a supplier. The time is now.