By Roger Pilc
Social and mobile platforms and applications are changing the way we communicate, run our businesses, buy and share goods and services. In our personal lives, we often see the social mobile revolution as a great virtual enhancement to our real-life interactions. For lack of a better phrase, mobile devices have almost single handedly cured the fear of missing out because we’re now always connected. For businesses, it’s fast becoming a competitive game changer that helps reach customers across vertical industries.
Checking in at a concert venue or adding a location to vacation photos shared in social media is handy for many of us as consumers. For businesses such as insurance firms, banks and retailers, adding location intelligence means saving and often generating millions of dollars as they assess, for example, how many insurance policy holders in a flood zone also experienced a hurricane, or how many ATMs and bank branches should be placed in the world’s largest cities, and where should each be placed. The economic risks and rewards grow very high, very fast.
Additionally, location services with social and mobile interactions have significant benefits in advertising, driving much higher response rates. According to a PayPal Media Network report on Location-Based Mobile Advertising, financial services firms saw a 60 percent lift in click-through rates on location-based mobile advertising.
As personal and business interactions take flight globally on handheld devices and smart phones, a business’s ability to talk, text, market, sell and delight their customers is now contingent on three macro skills:
- Executing big data analytics for relevant 1-1 personalized consumer interactions – wherever that consumer may be at a given moment and on whatever device.
- Building new business driven apps and services on social and mobile platforms compatible with popular BI platforms such as Cognos.
- Pinpointing a precise location for each and every business or consumer interaction.
As open technology often does, IBM’s “BlueMix” Platform-as-a-Service levels the playing field by delivering hybrid cloud collaboration for the largest global firms as well as the smallest Internet start-ups. IBM and Pitney Bowes have announced a collaboration to develop new hybrid cloud location services that will create a wealth of opportunity for businesses connecting with consumers. For consumers, location services make sure directions to a coffee shop in New York lead – with a mobile coupon – to the coffee shop on 11th Avenue, and not to a dot on a screen in the middle of the Hudson River.
More importantly, location intelligence adds tremendous value to business intelligence data. It makes sense when data points come to life visually. How many people live in this flood zone? Which banks own the 5 ATMs on this street? How many cell towers do we need to expand to this country? Where is the ground most likely to deliver crops or coal or oil?
Businesses of all sizes are good to go when they have precise high quality data, accurate location intelligence, excellent integration with social, mobile and business intelligence platforms, and superior analytics.