Posts Tagged ‘mobile’

Designing a SMART Customer Experience

Posted on: February 24th, 2014 by admin-kablooey No Comments

The digital world has disrupted our marketing worlds and changed the way business communicates with its customer. Social media has opened the door to two-way conversations, data gives us a better understanding of our market and mobile makes our message more accessible to the general consumer.

Over the past few years we have placed much focus on developing digital channels to make the most of social media, mobile and data collection, however we believe that this focus has swung business to the opposite end of the pendulum. Focusing too much on digital channels and not the consumer themselves.

Digital highlighted a primary shift that consumers wanted business to make. To become more relevant, personal, useful and thoughtful. To design products and experiences that are actually useful and exciting.

SMART-Customer-ExperiencesIn considering this challenge we have found that we need to redesign our customer experiences with these shifts in mind while still considering the person at the end of the experience. To find a balance between the physical and digital experience, to blend the two experiences into one serendipitous occasion that excites and intrigues customers.

SMART Customer Experience” is a framework that TomorrowToday has developed after research into a number of customer experience frameworks. It speaks to the technologies that matter and the need to find the right application in your experience. A simple acronym in SMART – Social, Mobile, Agile, Researched, Transforming. I would like to share three of these these briefly for you to consider in your customer experience design.


Behind social media lies the consumer insight that customers want to connect with people, brands and business. They want to be able to share in a conversation, to be heard, to listen and add value. This is evident in successful programmes like My Starbucks and Idea Storm where customers can add ideas to a network and watch them come to life as the companies interact with their customers to develop new products together.

When designing an experience that is social we need to focus on the customer need to connect, share and contribute rather than just the platforms available.


The power of mobile is evident in how many people own a mobile phone. As wearable tech like The Dash , Google Glass, Pebble watches, Fitbit come onto the market we need to understand the fundamental reason why mobile is so important in our customer experiences.

The power is in context. Mobile devices (any mobile device) helps us create contextual messaging, immersive experiences and accessible information.

In designing SMART Customer Experiences we need to ask ourselves how we can create connections with customers that are more meaningful and that speak to them at the right time, in the right way with the right message.


When a customer decides to purchase a product or service they are choosing to adapt their lives to include that product or service. Some adaptions are easy and others are harder. Customer experience designers need to look carefully at how they can help customers change their lifestyles to accommodate their new purchase.

A great example of how this transformation is implemented into a customer experience is found in the book Smart Change  by Art Markman. He describes how  Procter & Gamble helped increase sales of the air refresher Febreze by redesigning a bottle that originally looked like a window cleaner bottle (and cried out to be stored in a cabinet beneath the sink) to one that was rounded and decorative (and could easily be left out on a counter in a visible spot).

Agile and Researched

While Socal, Mobile and Transformation speak to the design of a customer experience, agility looks at how business needs to alter internal processes to respond better to customers. Ultimately becoming a more customer centric organisation. While researched looks at the power of collecting the right data to build quality information about our customers that highlights strong insights that drive our customer experience design.

Need to dive into this in more detail?

Contact us to find out our availability to run a SMART Customer Experience workshop with your product design and marketing team.

Technology innovation that is changing lives

Posted on: October 2nd, 2013 by admin-kablooey No Comments

Technology is only as valuable as value that is perceived by its user. The technology that impacts the future are technologies that people adopt and use. These are the technologies to watch.

There are many of these technologies on my list at the moment but I only have time/space to share two with you.

3D Printing

The next step in printing: 3D printing allows you to print any object with various materials from a digital model. This innovation is fast becoming one of the biggest game-changers in the industry today.

Prototypes to Production
Previously this was primarily used for creating prototypes of projects that would later go into production. According to Forbes, in the next few years we will start to see 3D printing become mainstream. You will be able to fly on aeroplanes that are made up with 3D printed parts. Overall the volume of 3D printed parts (especially where specialised designs are necessary) will increase in the motor, aero and appliance industries.

In addition to changes in the manufacturing industries, we will soon see medicine changing with 3D printing to new bio-materials. This technology will allow medical professionals to design bone replacements exactly to the shape needed to a limb or joint. Organ donor shortages could be eliminated as experiments in soft tissue are underway and printing organs may be a real possibility.

A shift in product customisation
Consumers worldwide are becoming more difficult to please, as they are starting to desire more custom solutions, fashion, and technology. Consumers are becoming more aware that these custom solutions are possible and are therefore demanding them in the market place.

3D printing will help organisations (especially retailers) to provide completely custom products to their customers. A great example of this emerging trend is I recently designed a custom-speced iPhone case online – and then had it shipped to me.

New learning tools
3D printers will help schools provide practical outcomes to theoretical teachings in code and design. Scholars will be able to print out their creations, test them in real life and make changes to the items they create. Further to this, the technology may even become cost effective enough to make it into the home, just like the inkjet printer.


There is no doubt that mobile technology is shaping our future. The mobile device has achieved market success and is currently more accessible than running water around the globe. In the last few years we have seen a massive increase of businesses offering services in the mobile arena with mobile banking probably being one of the biggest services creating the most interest. An interesting example in the mobile arena is machine to machine communication (M2M).

M2M uses mobile technology to allow machines to communicate to each other.

According to Wikipedia “If we had computers that knew everything there was to know about things- using data they gathered without any help from us- we would be able to track and count everything, and greatly reduce waste, loss and cost. We would know when things needed replacing, repairing or recalling, and whether they were fresh or past their best. The ‘Internet of Things’ has the potential to change the world, just as the Internet did. Maybe even more so.”

In simpler terms, if we could find a way for inanimate objects to capture data to the internet we would be able to create databases of information of extreme value. In addition, if we could create systems that initiated processes based on this collected data we could manage simple important processes better, and with less human error.

Technology, wearable techA move to wearable tech
We need to understand that the applications we use on our phones may find more convenient homes inside devices that we wear.

Google is about to launch Google Glasses which takes its services into eyewear, and Nokia are looking at similar technology to make the telecommunications experience more natural.

A colleague of mine just ordered his pebble watch which will control his android phone, making it easier to see who’s calling; accept calls; use music applications and a host of other services that we like to have quick access to.

As we consider the future of mobile we really need to break out the box of the mobile phone and explore every single mobile device. Shoes could become better objects to track our running and send that data to the cloud which will in turn, send it back to our phones with a summary of our performance.

Smart Metering
A simple idea with big impact. By utilising the ‘Internet of Things’, you will be able to monitor how water is used, petrol is consumed, the temperature of fridges and many other aspects that normally are difficult to monitor in real time.

A great example of this in the health sector is managing the temperature of blood from donors. This blood needs to be kept at a specific temperature and a change by one degree either way may cause that blood to be unusable. As blood is in short supply it makes sense to do everything we can to ensure nothing goes wrong with the temperature.

M2M communication can monitor the temperature of the fridge and then make necessary adjustments in real time to accommodate any changes taking place.

Building a smarter city
Vodafone have been taking big strides forward in this arena and have been working with Venice to create a ‘Smart City’.

Traffic is managed by machines talking to each other, sending data back and forth through M2M, and finally collected in a central location. The data collected in this location will then be able to provide insight into better traffic management to allow for higher security, environmental improvements and a decrease in traffic congestion.

Parking in pay zones is now managed by sms by allowing people to sms their starting and ending parking times and allowing them to pay through a ‘phone call.’ Meanwhile the administration of parked vehicles by officials can be done with a tablet with online access or any mobile phone.

Local citizens can subscribe to notification services about election news; changes in bus routes; council meetings and a variety of other notice-based services.

These are just a few ways that Venice have been using the internet of things to create a smarter city.

Technology that helps us be more human

In all of these technologies we are beginning to see how technology will continue to solve problems for us in the future. There has aways been a concern that technology will make us less human by replacing our need for personal interaction. In these examples it can be argued that technology is becoming an assistant to our human nature by making life easier and better to help us live longer lives, more conveniently and productively, and hopefully enhancing our human connection instead of replacing it.

Retail and Technology

Posted on: August 22nd, 2013 by admin-kablooey No Comments

There is a unique relationship between retail and technology. Retail chains have long been adopting technology as a means to track customers and gather valuable data. Some retailers have also leant on technology to provide more interesting window displays and shopping experiences. There is however a new element to this relationship, consumers and technology. Consumers today are bringing technology into retail outlets and using it in the purchase experience. An experience that we are no longer in control of. Technology’s relationship with our consumer has empowered our consumer in much the same way that it empowered our retailers.

Two new phenomenons in retail have risen to the fore due to the impact of technology being used by consumers.
1) Showrooming
With the rise in availability of products now online, consumers are able to purchase almost anything using an internet connection. Although this is primarily a developed economy concern, right now it is clear that the rise in e-commerce services in developing economies are creating the same purchase patterns.

Showrooming is the behaviour of testing, touching, experiencing a product on the retail floor and deciding to purchase the product online.

According to the Business Insider consumers are showrooming for the following reasons, in order of preference:

  • Price is better online
  • Planned to buy the product online but wanted to see it first
  • Item was out of stock in-store
  • Would rather have the item shipped to them directly
  • It was not convenient to purchase the product in-store at the time

2) Blended Physical and Digital Experiences In-store

Mobile has disrupted the consumer market in ways we never imagined. The ability to take the internet with us into every single aspect of our lives has meant that consumers have become more savvy shoppers.

Primarily through a mobile smart phone, consumers are researching your products in-store and comparing them with your competition. I have personally tested this process to see how easy it was and ended up buying a book for my kindle from amazon – standing inside a bookstore.

Essentially the impact of mobile has taken showrooming to a new level by incorporating purchase and delivery to a competitor whilst standing in your store.

In the future, consumers will bring more advanced technology in-store that will give them quicker and more convenient access to this power of information. laid out some interesting ideas about how consumers will use Google Glasses which are due to launch at the end of 2013.

Competitive purchasing – With the right SDK, apps like Amazon, or RedLaser can enable wearers to scan items by pulling them off the shelf and looking at them. The glasses can recognize the barcodes and return search details on comparable prices elsewhere.

Mobile Self Scanning – Google Glass could be used to port to a mobile app for users to scan their groceries as they go through the store, and then they could checkout with Paypal or some other mobile payment solution.

How do we take back control?

The business that seems to be winning with consumers are those that are providing technologies that compliment this purchasing style. The old analogy “if you cant beat them, join them” rings true in these scenarios.

With the example of Google Glass, retail outlets can use the same technology to improve customer loyalty by using information collected about the customer, and that information can then be shown only to the eyes of the store staff in order to best serve the client without the client seeing the information.
John Lewis designed a brand specific mobile app for their customers to use that allows customers to scan products, search for products and purchase – allowing customers to choose the purchasing experience that suits them. The app also provides additional product information that is not always available on the shelf in the store.Other examples are where retail outlets have created complimenting online stores that are mobile friendly and may even come packaged in their own mobile app. These services increase the chance of “showrooming purchases” still being purchased from the store. Utilizing GPS information from the device may even allow retail chains the ability to track the location of the purchase and attribute it to the nearest retail outlet.

When looking at the disruptive change taking place, it is important not to get caught up in the hype and to focus on key trends that will help you design a more robust customer experience.

Here are my three suggestions to win your customer back:

Think Mobile First

The mobile disruption has made it clear that every retail outlet wanting to engage their customers and claim a higher percentage of sales from showrooming, need to ensure that they have a mobile platform that provides the best value to the client – in service and purchasing tools.

Understand the social shift

When thinking about mobile also understand that new technologies in GPS, Augmented Reality and others will make it easier to capture information on purchase behaviour.

Social media coupled with mass usage and mobile distribution has bought people into the purchase experience that you cannot see or influence with the in-store design and atmosphere.

It isa well known revelation that consumers trust their peers more than they trust the company they are buying from. In the social media shift those recommendations are just a few clicks away.

Remember it’s a blended experience

This is vital. I don’t believe that digital or online stores will do away with retail outlets or shopping centres. There is still a large social and consumer benefit to shopping. Instead we need to understand that the shopping experience is more complex thanks to technology. The winners will be those who provide a blended physical and digital experience that surpasses its competitors.

Generation Y – Driving the need for Mobile Maturity

Posted on: July 22nd, 2013 by admin-kablooey No Comments

In a recent study by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), titled “PwC’s NextGen: A Global Generational Study”, they highlighted a number of learnings that organisations can take from the study.

Among a number of useful and interesting insights, one of the key learnin


gs was that in order to meet the needs of a younger working generation, organisations need to accelerate their mobile efforts. The study was conducted worldwide and took into consideration differences across culture and region, and this key business learning still shines through.

It speaks of organisations needing to mature in their mobile strategies. It speaks to the value of a mobile workforce able to access systems, communicate effectively, and deliver services through mobile technology. To have an app is no longer enough to prove we have a mobile strategy. We need to look into each aspect of our business to highlight area’s of focus that can benefit from mobile solutions.

Maturing your organisation’s mobile strategy should involve four steps and mindset shifts:

1) Explore

Mobile apps delivering information is where most organisations start. They create applications that take existing information and data sources and deliver them to their clients. It is a wonderful connection point with a customer and definitely goes a long way to creating a closer connection with customers and employees.

2) Accelerate

Mobile apps delivering transactional value are not necessarily the second step in maturing as a business, but definitely an important aspect of mobile strategy. In developed economies many businesses are already offering transaction capability through mobile devices. The smartphone has created a good foundation of technology to work from when delivering these services.  The race is on to provide mobile transactional services in emerging markets. Although there are a few services available to offer the value, adoption becomes difficult to promote due to legislative concerns and application adoption.

An industry in a massive state of flux is retail, as they compete against online stores which have offered mobile transactional capability to their customer. Purchasing is no longer geographically dependent and consumers can often be sold something in one store but the purchase is made from another.  Essentially many retailers have inadvertently become showrooms for products sold on amazon and other popular online stores.

3) Transform

After a while, the impact of mobile will dawn on a maturing business and open the strategic thinking towards developing new mobile specialised applications that are central to the business process instead of an “add on” to existing processes. An interesting case study is how the social media network, Instagram, started their offering on mobile.  Realising the consumer and technology shift of smartphones allowed users to easily interact, socialise, and use the application. In other words they met new markets successfully by only using the mobile channel.  Other examples could be the adoption of mobile only sales kiosks and POS or internal processes running primarily on mobile devices.

4) Mobile first

The final stage of mobile maturity is to begin asking strategic business questions with mobile in mind. To design product delivery, customer connection, employee systems and engagement around mobile. It is a mindset shift to seeing mobile as the key enabler of business strategy in local and international business.

Understanding these stages of maturity. should help your business identify its stage in the mobile process, and empower you to make decisions towards mobile maturity.  This understanding will assist in gearing your business for the influx of Generation Y employees and customers.

To download the PwC study, click here.

Mobile Marketing and Social Disruption

Posted on: May 16th, 2013 by admin-kablooey No Comments

I am currently in the middle of a simple series exploring mobile and the impacts it has in life, work and society.

When asked to look at the future of mobile I believe that you need at look at three main aspects:

  1. The internet of things
  2. Social Disruption
  3. Infrastructure

In my last post I presented the concept of “The internet of things,” a look into how mobile technology is being use to enable machine to machine communication.

Today I will explore Social Disruption. The impact of social technology on a mobile consumer market and employee base.

Social Disruption

Roughly seven years ago social media thrust our world into a brand new digital dynamic. I believe that this technology helped us break into a new era, out of the information era and into the connection economy.

In the information era data helps us build competitive edge providing better value to our customers with custom solutions to custom problems. Data enables us to act quickly with the right information to meet a customers needs. Many industries have been working hard to make this a reality and this ‘data service’ in many cases has almost become the norm. Ecommerce is a great example of tracking purchases to provide customised future purchasing suggestions. Retail data has been used extensively to take the stock management power away from the supplier and place it firmly in the hands of the retailer. A better understanding of purchase patterns has helped retail outlets stock correctly and branch out into diversified services that help entrench loyalty with the customer. A great example here is how Tesco used the Club Card to become a world leading retailer.

So what happens when everyone in your industry is using data in this way. In South Africa we have seen Discovery, Pick n Pay, Woolworths and many other consumer driven services putting data to very good use to gain an edge on the market. When all the competitors ‘catch up’ where will we find our edge?

In the connection economy, the edge comes from ‘relationship.’ Building a social relationship with customers.

Prioritising relationship

When social media exploded many business jumped in an began to ‘socialise’ with their customise. In other words they set up a facebook page and asked people to become fans, then we tailored beautiful content strategies to speak to our new fanbase. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not knocking content marketing and social media marketing. The principles are correct and they do work in creating a better connection with customers. Couple this with the fact that customers are choosing social mediums to communicate to and about companies, products and services, we can see a definite need to include social media strategy into our communication strategy.

I do believe that ‘social strategy‘ is more than social media strategy. Its the process of looking at our business, our products and services and seeing how we can build a more social experience at every level. Its about leveraging this social disruption to better your customer experience to include a relationship component.

Leveraging Social Disruption in Mobile

So what does this look like in the world of Mobile Marketing.

Social Media ConsumerMobile is personal

There are few objects that people posess that are more personal than a mobile phone. It contains in it the ability to store personal information, share information to personal networks and converse in one on one conversations. The personal nature of these devices means that they become a perfect platform to connect in a personal and social way with our customers.

One of the biggest learnings here at the moment is that all social communication should be mobile device friendly. If its not, you’re not touching the market with the right technology that makes a difference.

Another simple learning is that in certian circumstances you may be able to provide a more personal service by allow your business to be utilised through mobile. A classic example of this is how FNB claimed more customers simply because they offered a mobile banking app as part of their service (I was one of those people who moved banks for this reason.)

Mobile is immediate

Certian conversations require immediate action. Mobile is the device that people use to requets that immediate action.

Utilising apps or mobile sites that can assist customers with immediate queries and concerns is a good medium to divert negative sentiment away from public channels. Utilising apps to provide actual services are one of the most important avenues you should be considering on mobile strategy. Utlising social disruption in the delivery of these services would mean eansuring a personal experience that is sharable and connect the person with a community that they trust.

The immediacy of mobile means that if people are provided the correct socialised channels they may use your products whilst simultaneously sharing them with trusted networks (word of mouth marketing).

Mobile is social

A persons mobile device is a primary source of their socialisation with people. SMS, Whatsapp, BBM, MXit, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Skype and many more tools are used on a daily basis to help people socialise with each other.

This is important to understand because although people hate spam communication, they will be used to social communication.

Key Drivers

One of our key drivers in mobile strategy should be to ustilise social disruption to provide a more personal, sharable and community driven experience for our customers.


Originally posted on the blog of Mike Saunders our Technology Keynote Speaker

Can Mobile and Social Strategy Create an Infrastructure for Africa Development

Posted on: September 11th, 2012 by admin-kablooey No Comments

Over the past year or so I have been working with a number of companies looking to expand their business into Africa. This is probably one of the most exciting areas of business growth because of the uniques challenges and breadth of work involved. The return, without a doubt, is great for any business who can gain a strong foothold in the next few years.

One of the biggest challenges I have seen has been the lack of infrastructure in Africa to support existing westernised business systems and processes. An example of this is if you would like to distribute in Africa, you will need to build the road to your customer in many cases.

I have also noticed that the digital engagement in Africa, especially in mobile is growing stronger and stinger everyday. In February this year I spoke at a conference win Nigeria and received one of the best twitter responses I have ever received. More people followed , engaged in conversation, retweeted and promoted my presentation on twitter than any South African conference I had spoken at. This fascinates me and suggests that a keenness and desire to adopt mobile digital technologies could mean that Africans will be ready for digital distribution way before we think.

So often a market takes time to mature into one ready to purchase online. It takes a consumer time to trust the reliability of a digital product and the company providing it. I believe that Africa will be ready far sooner than its western counterparts.

This has already been explored in mobile banking but could be explored in many other business avenues. I would suggest that anyone entering Africa needs to dig deep into their organisational strategy and rethink their business models to build on a digital business framework. They need to re-imagine their business, services, customers and products in order to really meet new market opportunities in Africa.

Applying the right strategy and product/service with the correct digital infrastructure could mean your business becomes a major part of the economic growth that Africa will experience over the next 20 years.

In our experience mobile has opened the door to real personal engagement with customers, align this with a social strategy and these customers will take your company to the rest of Africa. The key will be ensuring you provide the right value, to the right people, with the right communication and delivery channels.

Such an exciting opportunity awaits any business looking to take this challenge on. I would love to hear any thoughts around the role of digital, social and mobile in Africa. Please comment below.

Mobile technology influence on Social Media

Posted on: December 8th, 2010 by admin-kablooey No Comments

After the article from Barrie Bramley on the influence of the smart phone I thought it would be a good idea to show you this infographic that outlines the effect of the mobile phone on social media.


The coming revolution in microinsurance

Posted on: March 25th, 2010 by Graeme Codrington 3 Comments

There has been a lot made of microlending in the past few years – most notably in the awarding of a Nobel Peace Prize to Grameen Bank founder Mohammed Younis for his work in Bangladesh. Now, throughout the developing world, there is a rush to bring other financial services to the “unbanked” of the world. The case studies of success (and failure) are growing, and there are many lessons for insurance operators in other parts of the world.

The successes involve removing middlemen, using technology to manage the relationships and conditions, stripping out administrative layers and costs, and finding the parts of life that are closest to people’s hearts (and livelihoods). If you’re in insurance, then don’t just think this is something for the Third World to consider. You could start the revolution in your market if you take the time to find the levers that will bring structural change to insurance.

Read the story below, featured in the The Economist last week, for inspiration.


TIDES of Change: the five trends disrupting business in the next 5 years

Posted on: December 3rd, 2009 by Graeme Codrington 9 Comments

Updated in May 2010

Download a copy of this article in PDF format – right click here. The contents of this article can be presented as a keynote or a workshop for your team. Contact our UK or South African offices to find out how.

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As the world slowly emerges out of recession over the next few years, it will become increasingly clear that this was more than just an economic downturn. Disruptive forces are significantly reshaping the world of work. Some of these changes have been brewing for a decade or more – and now this recession has exacerbated their influence and speeded up their effects. Companies that have survived the downturn need to shift their focus to surviving the upturn. We are not ever going to “get back to normal” – a new normal is emerging for everyone, everywhere.

The most successful companies will be those that find ways to be strategically responsive. To do this, it is important that everyone – at every level of the organisation – has an understanding of the forces that will be shaping the next decade. Some key trends that were already vaguely evident a few years ago have now been catalysed by the downturn, and will fundamentally change the way we work, the rules of the game and the methods by which companies will gain and retain competitive advantage in their industries. When your people understand this, they can contribute meaningfully to your company’s success. You can develop these insights through regular analysis of your environment and strategic conversations throughout your organisation with all of your people. Their understanding will help them buy into your vision and strategies. And it is also essential for problem solving, creativity, innovation and the proactive identification of opportunities and threats in your industry and marketplace.

There are at least five key drivers of disruptive change that every organisation in every industry and sector needs to track. These are the T.I.D.E.S. of change. (It’s a corny acronym, I know, but hopefully it will help with both remembering the framework, as well as making it easy to use on a regular basis in team meetings and informal conversations throughout your organisation). Here then are the key drivers of disruptive change in the next decade, and some questions to ask yourself and your teams as you plan to respond to them: