Although 2013 will probably be more remembered for making words like “Selfies” and “Sexting” in to mainstream as well as new found interest in “Twerking”, the megatrends that are shaping up the future has nothing to do with that. It has more to do with “Predictive computing or analytics”.
In short, predictive analytics is all about capturing consumer data through multiple touch-points and vehicles, analyzing them to get key consumer insight, predict what consumers want even when they themselves are not aware of them at times and presenting attractive value propositions in front of them in exactly the customized way that he or she wants in the right time and place.
There are companies who are already doing that, and none does it better than Target, the retail giant. Target stores each transaction and piece of consumer data under a “Guest ID” for each consumer and then their group of statisticians go through those data to try and predict what you might be interested to buy next, so that they can send you coupons for those customized offers.
One of the most successful experiments they have ever done is by going through consumer purchase history, to predict which of the consumers are pregnant. Pregnant women are a gold mine. The new parents are willing to spend a lot more that your regular “Joe” and hence the source of target for everyone from P&G to baby food giants. That’s why Target found this ingenious way of targeting women even before childbirth (Preferably even before second trimester) to create undivided attention and lifelong loyalty. The process does have its setbacks, as a lot of women don’t want the world to know that they are pregnant. However, the project was deemed very successful in Target.
To support this “Predictive Analytics/Computing” mega trend, there are four trends which will also be massive in coming years.
- Mobile: It maybe a cliché, but it’s a billion dollar cliché. In future, everything will move to mobile. So the business who will dominate mobile (Microsoft, please note), will dominate the future
- Sensor: More and more items will have sensors that will capture consumer data: from camera to watch to glass to your innocuous looking TV in bedroom. Hence, smart gadgets (i.e. Smart TV, Camera, furniture) and wearable electronics (i.e. Smart watch, Good Glass etc.) are going to be a big thing in no time.
- Cloud computing: With such massive capture of data, will come the question: how to store them. Enter cloud computing.
- Big Data: The billions of terabytes of data are worthless unless there are companies who can crunch them to make actionable insights from them.