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The Age of Context: One of the Two Books You’ll Need for Business [BOOK REVIEW]

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age of contextIn Their new Ebook, The Age of Context, Shel Israel and Robert Scoble have updated the sweeping and bold have a look at Advertising and media they co-wrote in 2005, Naked Conversations.  Since The two of them have, In The period in-between, traveled far and wide the arena checking out new improvements, speaking to many tech CEOs, and asking even more questions on what all the innovations of mobile, sensors, information, social, and placement-primarily based tech mean for Business, this Ebook is a should-learn for someone who want to be in Industry two or three years from now.  Each Industry you will have or can think about will be formed by using what the authors are calling The Age of Context. 

“Context” is essential to working out the adroit manner that the authors have wrapped the five improvements mentioned above.  None of them operates with out the other and without putting you, the person (or no matter you name your self), In The context of an total community, whether or not that’s your social graph, your actual location, your other related knowledge, or what the sensors round you, or in some of the authors’ examples, those on prime of or if truth be told inside of you, can present. 

For these of you in our community who embrace each tech and social, there may be much to value here: Scoble and Israel provide attention-grabbing examples of the sorts of improvements already sensible in government products and services, healthcare, power efficiency, and especially, customer service.  This Is customer service that scales, however, so that “the internet of things” kicks in; and, as they note, carrier is being carried out via tool that  “doesn’t endure such human flaws as distraction, fatigue or temper swings,” However nonetheless solves problems.

The chapter on Google Glass was fascinating.  Always probably the most pre-natal of early adopters, Robert Scoble has not simplest spent a substantial amount of time sporting the glasses, However he and Israel are Also aware about the forward planning for the software, and they have thrown a number of makes use of of their own.  Additionally, they see different Glass applications Within The dwelling and on your automotive to be able to make your world extra handy and safer.  Curiously, so much of what Age of Context predicts results in longer and more productive lives for us humans, a theme that the self-admitted SciFi fans play with at one point In The E Book.  (I gained’t destroy it for you.)  For businesses, there’s no scarcity In The E-book of recommendations on how one can design services and products that play to this result; security and comfort have infrequently failed to draw shoppers. 

Tune to the ears of our Social Media Nowadays target market is the fact that

What has modified Within The seven years when you consider that we proclaimed its arrival in Bare Conversations is that social media is not a disruptive pressure. As An Alternative it’s a critical Business part. Quite than being resisted, social media is now being woven into the very cloth of Business.

Social media is very important to the brand new Age of Context.

Social media, and the data it generates, has certainly come to interfere on our working out of customers and the right way to serve and promote to them.  But I observe a little bit an excessive amount of self assurance in “Social CRM” and how Israel and Scoble Relatively too easily accept its promise, to justify the arrival of what the authors call “Pinpoint Marketing.” I asked our companion and CRM analyst, Brent Leary, to read this chapter and got his response:

While interactive conversations are a very powerful part of consumer engagement technique Today, there’s much more concerned.  As A Way To create constantly nice consumer experiences throughout all phases of the client lifecycle, firms not simplest have to alter their ways, but also their organizational philosophy to really worth consumers for more than their collective wallets.  This Means developing listening techniques to seize actual-time context, aggregating this contextual understanding together with other essential information sources, examining information to uncover necessary insights, and the usage of this knowledge to offer solutions and experiences – in a technique that shoppers and potentialities will find appealing and not obvious.  So yes Lately’s CRM is extra social, But it is usually more analytical, more integrated, more well timed, and extra central to the philosophy of the whole organization.

Leary makes a just right point in that for businesses to realize the promise of Social CRM, and the final word Age of Context imaginative and prescient for Pinpoint Marketing, greater than technology can be needed.  It’ll require a brand new organizational construction where the silos of shopper-going through activities are pulled down and destroyed.

In Chapter 12, “Belief is the brand new Currency,” Scoble/Israel have taken the stand that Within The Age of Context, Trust becomes a figuring out think about our buy decisions and Brand preference.  But The one area of Business that they have no longer ventured into In The age of context is the financial services and products industry, and the implications of an precise Foreign Money in accordance with Belief.  Jeremiah Owyang, as an example, is writing an ideal deal in regards to the ideas at the back of the “shared economic system,” which is not any less a made of the five drivers than the examples given here. 

Also contingent on “Trust” However given brief shrift In The Ebook is governmental legislation, which is a critical component of Trust in a modern economic system.  Granted, regulation tends to run a number of technological cycles behind, However is absolutely a important component to the value of a given product or service then again it is found contextually.  Look no further than examples like China’s lackadaisical oversight of food manufacturing resulting in an absence of Belief Of Their meals products, or how the dearth of regulatory oversight of the financial products and services business feeds the infected anger of the Tea Party and the undermining of Belief in government institutions.  True enough, a greater transparency, which is what the authors advocate as a buttress in opposition to governmental abuse of knowledge, would possibly speed up the regulatory policy enactment, However protective insurance policies are Also handiest as treasured as their enforcement, something that the authors normally regard because the intrusive consequences of government surveillance (being caught for rushing because of car sensors and information, for example).

In perhaps an infinite understatement, the authors state that “[i]n the Age of Context we seem to be unnecessarily performing unsafe tasks with no safety web.” Relatively than counsel that the authors are at fault in now not outlining what that security internet might look like, we should nonetheless challenge them to indicate as a minimum a few examples of futuristic legislation which helps, Moderately than hinders, rising adoption of those technologies, especially if we as Industry people will likely be the usage of them.   

Regardless, The Age of Context is naturally upon us.  The authors’ enthusiasm for technology is totally infectious; no doubt we’re getting ready to yet some other large shift and we will come to treat the five drivers Each bit as vital in Business determination-making as Six Sigma and shareholder worth.  But a phrase of caution: the Book requires a good accomplice piece, akin to Thomas Friedman’s Flat, Scorching and Crowded, or Stewart Brand’s Whole Earth Discipline.  Because The Age of the Context is not the only age of Industry we now are living in.

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