Meta Data ROI: The Evolution of Business (part 1 of 3)
By David Marco
This is the first part of a three part series on meta data return on investment (ROI). In order to fully understand the value that meta data provides it is critical to by clear on the forces triggering the evolutionary development of corporation competing in today’s business marketplace. In part two of this series we will examine the technical challenges that arise as a result of this evolutionary process. In the final and concluding portion we will look at the remedies that meta data provides to these technical challenges.
It is said, “the only constant in life is change”. Never has this old saying been more applicable than in the corporations that are competing in today’s marketplace. Business is evolving in ways that were unforeseen 20 years ago. Running and managing a global company is more difficult than at any other point in time. At one time companies just had to worry about producing a quality product, in an efficient manner, appropriately priced, and properly distributing it to their customer base, however in today’s marketplace this is not enough.
Emergence Of One-To-One Marketing
Growing consumer dissatisfaction and expectations, and global competition are quickly driving corporations to move from the mass production concept to a one-to-one marketing strategy. The mass production concept was one of “build it and they will come”. The one-to-one marketing strategy simply states “create products/services that satisfy your customer’s individual needs”. For example, a friend of mine recently moved into a new area of the country. She went to her local grocer to purchase various food items. This grocer, like most in the country provides coupons to aid in enticing the customer to come back to the store. They provide different coupons depending on what the individual purchased. As my friend typically does she purchased her favorite brand of waffles (Brand “A”), that she has been eating exclusively for years. Upon checkout she received a coupon for waffles, unfortunately the coupon was for Brand “B” as oppose to her favorite, that she has been buying for the last 20 years. If only the store had insight into her buying habits they would have understood that Brand “A” is the only kind of waffles she is going to buy. One-to-one marketing looks to understand our individual buying trends and then market appropriately to them. Making the transformation to this new one-to-one marketing approach is forcing CIOs (chief technology officers) and IT (information technology) directors to radically change their IT strategy to support this strategy.
Evolving Distribution Channels
At one time it was common to have a person come to your door asking if you would like to purchase an encyclopedia set. These encyclopedia sets typically encompassed 20 – 30 very thick, and heavy hard copy books. In addition, to the initial purchase each year the consumer would have to purchase an additional book that contained the updates that would occur after the previous year’s publication. In today’s marketplace the door-to-door salesman has been replaced by the internet, where you can electronically purchase your encyclopedia set on a few CD ROMS which contain illustrated moving pictures of many of the topics covered in the CDs. In addition, there is no longer a need to purchase updates to the encyclopedia set. Instead there is an accompanying website which that keeps the information fresh, and more timely than ever before.
Previously a company could be assured of having a solid, and stable market base just because of their geographic location. With each technological advance occurring on an almost monthly basis our world is becoming more and more accessible. Just fairly recently there have been such technical advances as cellular phones, global pagers, video conferencing, the internet, email, and a highly advanced package delivery (next-day air, etc). All of this has allowed companies to market their products quickly and cost-effectively to just about any place in the world.
Now that we’ve reviewed the reasons why business is changing at such a rapid pace, next month we will examine the technical challenges facing CIOs and IT directors in assisting their companies in satisfying the needs of these business challenges.