Customer Engagement in the Online World: Is SAP leveraging it to its full potential yet?
The World Wide Web (www) is growing bigger and bigger in proportions in the sphere of global communication; it also comprises a huge share of vendor-business-customer interaction (be it B2C or B2B). This is nothing but online advertising and service (including mobile). The latest Internet Advertising Revenue report by Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) clearly indicates this trend.
Firstly we have the display advertising networks. These are always contextual. These ad spots are filled by the Google Display Advertising Network on behalf of the website. The other big player in this space is Yahoo! Bing Network Contextual Ads powered by Media.net. Similarly we have content marketing platforms like Outbrain and Taboola which are more into the content recommendation space.
Then we have search engine advertising in the context of a web search. Google is THE Big Daddy when it comes to web search with a market share of a whopping 67.5%. Yahoo! Bing is a distant second.
Gmail, Youtube, Baidu, Skype, Netflix, Xbox and PlayStation are also highly recommended display advertising channels.
The unprecedented growth in mobile ads has taken most people by shock. Google has the biggest mobile ad network in the form of AdMob. There are several other strong players in this space – InMobi, Foxtail Marketing, Millenial Media, to name a few.
Social media is another wonder when it comes to marketing. WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Tencent QZone and Sina Weibo. Social media is the new word of mouth. On the other hand, there are e-tailers like Flipkart, Amazon, eBay, Alibaba, Myntra (apparel), Tripadvisor (hotels), Netmeds (medicines), Ariba and review websites like Mouthshut.com. These websites recommend products based on your preferences and browsing history. They are also common channels for user reviews.
Another very interesting phenomenon on social media and product review websites is that of complaints. These are the best media to get your vendor’s attention quickly.
By the way, does Ariba business network offer advertising and option for user reviews? Food for thought.
SAP has a huge potential in the online advertising space. SAP should ideally have a strong long-term partnership with internet monsters like Google and Facebook and e-tail giants like Flipkart and Alibaba and should seriously consider buying out relatively smaller players like Outbrain and Foxtail Marketing. This would mean that services and channels offered by all these companies are tightly integrated into SAP Customer Engagement and Commerce (CEC) solutions.
Imagine a day when a marketing executive using SAP can directly place an ad on any website, using the Google Display Advertising Network, from within the SAP solution. Or say a service technician using SAP gets a notification on her mobile when a user posts a comment on Flipkart. And then this technician replies to this on the SAP screen and this automatically posts a reply to the user comment on Flipkart. Now that, would be something amazing.
Finally, SAP should invest in the driverless/autonomous car technology, specifically in the human-car interface of such cars. Today, we clearly understand the enormity of the mobile channel and the zillions of man-hours spent on mobiles and tablets. Likewise, can you imagine the number of man-hours spent in cars across the globe? If you can imagine that, you will realize why we cannot afford to miss the channel of driverless car interfaces.