Look into my eyes: I know what you're thinking. There is a certain convenience when information is presented before it was requested. The anticipatory and apparently personalised nature also provides a certain fascination …”How do they do that?” … or “Spooky!” … even "Scary!!!".
In social, domestic, pleasure (SDP) situations, collecting sufficient pattern based information to place you in a statistically likely predictive set is now almost routine.
Big brother, big data?
The thing is… either you choose to configure the ‘predictions’ to your personal preferences or you will become homogenised with ‘other similar folk also like’. A statistic on the Marketeer’s bar chart - the ramification being, that is over time your feeds and recommendations become like everyone elses. And we are what we eat – be careful you don’t become a clone.
Still there seems little going back on the development of apps that make life easier. Whether for your mobile, tablet or even desktop: "there will always be an app for that!"
The ‘App’ vs the ‘Bot’
However, it's dominance may be under threat. In the past weeks we have seen the re-emergence of the headline grabbing "Bot".
Whilst an App is formally defined as a “a self-contained program or piece of software designed to fulfil a particular purpose; an application, especially as downloaded by a user to a mobile device”, a Bot on the other hand is more simply described as “… a program that operates as an agent for a user or another program or simulates a human activity”. In the current state of the art, Bots as with Apps tend to be focussed on a single activity or purpose.
So we should have the expectation that over time, Bots will do a better job of telling us what we need to know… how will it achieve that?
A tried and tested lesson…
A good salesman learns to ask and not assume. He also learns the skills of questioning and listening to the answers. In short, a good salesman masters the art of dialogue; and spends more time listening than talking.
So if the Bot is to really replace the App in telling us what we need to know, it better be damn good with dialogue. It must not guess, it will ask.
The future is here now
Whilst B2C leads the way in many areas of technology, I firmly believe that B2B has the edge.
At Account Management Online we understand that business needs can be complex, and we understand the need to collect and marshal contextual data to enable the best personalised interaction. But having a dialogue is paramount - no account manager would do without it. It is central to our software to ensure the best product advice is given, and to enable our guided sales and product promotion activities to be of maximum financial benefit and customer loyalty.