The customer engagement warfare is raging for more than decade now. Sometimes, we are oblivious to it because it is fought only in the cyber space.  There are battles that are fought every day and the winners for now nicely summarized in the below picture (source)

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The companies listed above are doing only one thing and they are doing it really well i.e. connecting the customers to the businesses aka customer engagement as a service.  


The latest announcement by Facebook in its developer conference (F8) is heating up the things further.  If you have missed it, let me summarize it in one sentence.  The messaging app is being enhanced as a platform which is going to enable businesses to reach the customers.  They claim that it already has 600 million users.  I am surely one of them especially when I was given no choice to message my Facebook friends without this app.  However, I see this move by Facebook as obvious because they also want to connect the customers to the businesses and their email initiative didn’t take off as expected so they need a platform to reach out. 

What this means to businesses?


Our marketing challenge today has never been greater. We’re working in the multiscreen generation of customers. Brands were focused on creating seamless communications across digital and physical channels.


But here’s the hard truth: having an integrated marketing plan doesn’t cut it anymore simply because these plans are unable to guarantee relevance to the customers. We are bombarding them with irrelevant messages rather than curating a personalized journey. And we as marketers are frustrated that we are unable to deliver the experience that is now expected by the customers. This leaves a room for innovating internet companies to provide this “customer engagement” service without doing any hard work that typical “business” needs to do such as procurement, inventory management, manufacturing…etc.

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The ultimate challenge for businesses: How do we delight our customers and grow the relationship?

What is SAP doing?


For decades, SAP has been helping businesses to run better however the ecosystem is more diverse and even more dynamic.  Businesses do need help in engaging their customers in a personalized fashion (as if the marketer is having one on one conversation with each individual customer?)

At SAP, we are adding context to marketing


The hybris Marketing suite allows marketers to blend both explicit and implicit customer behavior information to determine each customer’s actual intent. With real-time insights, marketers can target proactively and deliver individualized experiences that will help increase conversions and profits for your business. Successful customer engagement should be proactive, tapping into the emotional drivers behind the buying process and delivering contextually relevant customer experiences. This ensures businesses stay relevant in the proper customer engagement which has become a key competitive differentiator.

 

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What this means to SAP Service Providers including Partners? 


Is job growth the only indicator for economy? I think it is also indicator for how well a particular software product is doing and what is in stake for service providers. SAP hybris area has seen some of the biggest growth in recent years.  Let us the data speak for itself. 


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Also it is important to know that it is no longer one skill that takes to implement these solutions anymore.  In addition to knowing all the technology stacks in SAP, one must have a broad view of the digital marketing space to stay relevant.  Rapid Deployment Solutions are working tirelessly to package the best practices so check them first before you start the implementation journey.  For more information: please visit the yMKT RDS community page: http://scn.sap.com/community/rds-cei


What this means to you and me aka customers?


You and I as customers can enjoy the privileges of technology yet watch out for any potential threats to our own privacy and security in the cyber space.  How to do this is something I am still figuring out…:-)

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