Posted on: Monday 7th of December 2015
At today’s Growth Through Trust conference we will talk about the power of information to transform value creation – and, in the process, relationships, investments, strategies.
The particular transformation we’re focused on is the accelerating trend towards empowering individuals, as well as organisations, with information including their own personal data.
This trend has two crucial impacts. First, it shifts the bleeding edge of new value creation to better quality, more trustworthy information and information services, not just better quality, more trustworthy products.
That doesn’t mean better products are no longer relevant or valuable. Quite the opposite. But better decisions and better organisation and coordination of tasks operate at a higher level. If I want to move home, yes, I may want a mortgage (a product), but I want the best possible mortgage for my circumstances (a decision), and I want the mortgage process and the whole home moving process to work smoothly and efficiently (organisation and coordination).
In an information-rich world, the better product is subsumed into a better outcome enabled by better information. Data is no longer just a corporate asset supporting corporate decision makig and operations – it is now a personal, customer asset, supporting personal decision-making and activities.
The second shift is in relationship. Industrial age processes were top down, epitomised by the one way nature of mass advertising from advertiser to passive ‘audience’. In a world of PIMS (Personal Information Management Services), the starting point is the job the consumer wants to get done, and the information needed to do so, including information about the individual and available products and services. It starts with ‘Me’ and reaches out to ‘B’. That’s why we call it Me2B as opposed to B2C.
‘B2C’ has dominated business thinking and strategy for a century. But what we’re seeing right now is the remorseless disruption, unbundling and fragmentation of the B2C ecosystem as, equally remorselessly, the ways organisations and individuals interact is re-aligned around individuals’ decision-making and decision implementation needs.
The impact of Me2B
Underestimate this shift from B2C to Me2B at your peril. It is strategic: climate change. Not weather. Not season.
Year, after year, after year, it is changing what value brands add and how, how brands make their money and where, what relationships brands have with customers, what partnerships they build, what technology infrastructures they adopt, what channels they use, what skills and capabilities they develop.
Take just one example: channels. In B2C business models one critical question for producers is how to realise the value created by their operations via distribution channels such as retailing, and communication channels such as media advertising. But in a Me2B world, PIMS helping individuals with their life tasks become the predominant channel – we can already see the beginning of this with the rise of apps.
Over the 20th century B2C grew into an entire ecosystem where each key component player (producers, consumers, retailers, advertisers, media owners etc) had a particular role and knew how to play it. Today, we can see this ecosystem literally dis-integrating in front of our eyes as it is re-organised and re-aligned around the logic of Me2B.
This is a massive opportunity, as well as a threat. It’s an opportunity to add new consumer value, grow new revenue streams, build new skills and capabilities, put customer relationships on a healthier footing, and position the organisation securely for the digital age. Today’s conference starts laying out a roadmap of how, exactly, to do this.