I’m walking through the park with my wife and I receive a notification on my smart phone.  Because my wife and I enjoy a particular film festival, an offer comes to us for a free ticket with one purchase to an event happening in a nearby venue.  When we finish a lovely movie experience, we receive additional offers for a bite of dinner from three local establishments which we have frequented in the past.  We have taken a leisurely stroll in the park and extended this into a full day of entertainment and relaxation.

Science fiction? Hardly, as we saw this week at the SAP Insider CRM 2014 conference in Las Vegas the citizens of Montreal can live this experience every day with the use of the Societe du Transport Montreal (STM) application.  This location-based customer engagement mobile app identifies where the citizen is, how they can route from point to point inside the city’s transit system, and offer perks and offers along the way by participating establishments which the citizen may or may not already have a customer history with.

This was just one of several customer engagement (CE) scenarios that were discussed with applications across a wide range of product and service industries from public sector, to telecommunications, to discrete manufacturers. Unlike other location based services apps driven by big data where data privacy issues surrounding dynamic pricing my create societal concerns, this fully opt-in community-based approach works.

The big take away from my observations is the fact that we have arrived at an age where social based selling and offers can change intended human behavior, and we as a society like it.  In fact for Millennials they almost expect it moving forward.  The corollary is that for this always-on generation (and more so with Generation Z, the so-called Digital ON generation which will follow them), establishments and brands that don’t offer these perks and incentives run the risk of under appreciating their most loyal customers, leaving the door open for customer brand switching (pervasive in many industry segments such as telecommunications).

Have a look at the STM promotional video (subtitles not needed). The app was a Loyalty 360 award winner. C’est bon!

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