Mobilising your brand and business the Futurist way

Posted on Thursday, 12 Apr 2018

Westpac Futurist Anders Sorman-Nilsson

Everything is mobilising, and the interface with our world is in the palm of our hands. As consumers, business-to-business (B2B) customers and citizens, we’re increasingly taking life matters into our own hands, via our smart devices such as phablets, tablets and smart phones. And so you know you need to repurpose and optimise your business and brand for this increasingly mobilised, real-time, contextual future

Mobile Futurist Anders Sorman-Nilsson

Your clients are already taking matters into their own hands

Your clients already expect a seamless mobile experience. When people are interacting with a physical space, for example, they want be able to interact with this real place and its infrastructure in a whole new way. They want to know its history through augmented reality, and connect with it via a digital layer overlaid on the physical, similar to what Amsterdam did back in 2011, allowing pictures of what Amsterdam used to look like, as well as images of what’s to come, to be overlaid over current buildings. (And many more museums are now looking at virtual reality as a way to enhance their current collections.)

We want to make more sense of the places we move through, accessing their history and their stories - the deep contextual data and anecdote - in the process gaining a deeper, more meaningful understanding of our physical contexts.

Making more rational, more mobile decisions

We also want to make smarter, more do-it-yourself, researching and buying decisions – as citizens, as consumers, and as B2B customers. Huge opportunities exist for brands that are ready to make the leap into a mobile future where they can integrate the best of the analogue, physical space with the power of digital, mobile realities – in other words, giving your clients and customers the information they need, when they need it, to make decisions.

Because when humans can access mobilised data, decisions become much smarter. Let’s look at the case of Raj – a fisherman in Keralar, India, just like his father, uncles and grandfather before him. Indeed, fishing had been a staple of the economy in Keralar for many generations. And, just like his ancestors, even though Raj had a choice of 11 different, harbours and markets all equidistant from where he fished, he would base his choice of market on gut feel and the distance to his loved ones.


Until, that was, Raj got hold of a Nokia 1100 – remember the cool one, with a flashlight? – because the phone offered coverage 25 kilometres offshore, which conveniently included Raj’s fishing waters. So, Raj could now use his mobile phone to call his mates at each of the 11 different harbours and markets to get real-time commodity pricing on his catch. Did he start making different decisions about where he would sell his fish? Of course. He could now base his choice of market on real-time data rather than gut feel. And all of a sudden, he wasn’t just in aquaculture; he was also a futures trader.

Over the course of a year, more fishermen adopted this smarter, more rational, more mobile-enabled decision-making in their selling process. As a result, according to a study by Robert Jensen, a development economist at Harvard University, the net yields of these fishermen went up 8 per cent and the price to consumers went down 4 per cent due to less wastage. A beautiful equilibrium was created between supply and demand. (Yes, you should be feeling those mobile-enabled goose bumps right now.)

Help your customers with their digital due diligence

Think about what you use mobile for, or what you use your social media for. Perhaps your brand uses Twitter or Snapchat, but are you making different business decisions as a result of real-time data like the Keralar fisherman? Are you visualising your data for greater insight, foresight and impact?

Farming Futurist Anders Sorman-Nilsson

*Futurist Anders Sorman-Nilsson, Keynote Speaker on Digital Traceability at Certified Angus Beef's #BeefBash, 2017, Nashville

Think about how you can start integrating mobile to make smarter decisions within your sales team, in your marketing, looking at your KPIs or real-time dashboards about your performance, or, of course, how your brand interfaces with your customers (including your B2B consumers) via mobile. Are you enabling them to make smarter decisions through the contextual content you provide? If not, time to get started, and start designing a better, more Seamless Customer Journey, something I am addressing as the keynote speaker at SAP's Omnichannel MasterClass across Asia in 2018.

Think about how you can empower consumers who are increasingly making critical or life decisions based on real-time data as they interact with the worlds around them. Hospitality company Hilton provides a fantastic example of how these challenges can be met – and I talk about these ideas more in the video below:


Of course, as I always say, you need to be careful not to throw the analogue baby out with the digital water. Gallup research from 2016, for example, advises that most banks are getting their channel strategies wrong - and they should press 'pause' and 'use research-backed insights to evaluate their tactics and sculpt the most effective approach'. But you need to ask yourself: How much business are you leaving on the table by not connecting in real-time with those clients who are doing their due diligence digitally?

If you’re interested in chatting more about how we can help your brand move into the digital age, click the link below.

I want to mobilise now!

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