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Do you deal with end consumers?  Its the famous “B2C” that companies in Retail, Banking, Consumer Products, Telecommunications, and Transportation spend a lot of their time on, in a perpetual battle to win the hearts and wallets of today’s consumer.

Customer-centricity is often overused.  In the 90’s (last century!) we saw no end of loyalty points programs and gimmicks to win a few more precisious dollars from shoppers and those people who were frequent end consumers of the products and services offered.

Unfortunately for a lot of the industries, we lost touch – we didn’t connect.  And the technology some of us take for granted like wireless and smartphones has accelerate the consumer’s ability to switch brands, get information, and deem you irrelevant in a couple taps of their small screens.

At this year’s National Retail Federation annual trade show, SAP’s Lori Mitchell-Keller kicked off the opening keynote, where we heard marketers from Coca Cola explain how they connect with their customer. Amazing stats showed how incredibly effective they were at reaching people for a moment of happiness.

At the SAP Booth 1407, the Société de transport de Montréal (STM) has a little bus stop, representing the hundreds of bus routes and subway cars that move 1.2 million people a day.  STM is piloting SAP Precision Retailing to connect with their truly mobile consumer. 

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STM needed new ways to engage the connected customer, in order to increase ridership and give customers reasons to take public transit.  Cloud-based SAP Precision Retailing helped them connect over 240 retailers and over 1000 other venues to their customers in real-time using mobile and in-memory computing to deliver compelling, personalized offers.  But these are relevant offers, based on declared interests and preferences of their customers.  A long way from the simple targeting systems that loyalty points evolved into.  And they are driving new consumer behaviors by delivering the opportunity for experiences that are relevant, timely, geo-location relevant, and get you to take transit to get to that new experience. Brilliantly designed, the STM program taps a little of the soul of the connected consumer, and its a win for everyone.

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