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April 9, 2014

Behold Consumer Data's Transition To Push From Pull

Posted by Ajay Anand (View Profile | View All Posts) at 10:43 AM

What is the Digital Business [Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1kGBPYsvnE]

If you have friends in the financial services industry, you've probably heard them at one point or another speak of the merits of working for either the "buy side" or the "sell side." The former consists mainly of private investment firms; the latter includes big banks that offer price targets and investment advice to the public.

These two sides of the financial world - public and private - keep the capital markets humming. In fact, in just about every industry you tend to find complementary entities. It's how prominent each side is in every situation that allows you to gauge what the industry is going through at the moment. In finance, sell side analysts became famous in the late 1990s with their recommendations of red-hot Internet stocks. One could argue that the buy side crowd drives the market to a greater extent today.

In the media & communications field, we've all experienced the dominance of so-called pull technology. If you type in a number of terms into your favorite search engine, you get results that are tailored to your requests. But a revolution that's underway promises to shake things up when it comes to how digital consumers receive information. The idea behind push messaging is that instead of a consumer requesting information, the data is sent to that person in anticipation of what he might want to know.

Both push and pull messaging are important to the world of digital commerce. Push technology, however, is what's coming on strong thanks to the right delivery model. When the market for computing platforms was still dominated by desktops and laptops - fairly recent history even though it seems like eons ago - push messaging made only so much sense. That's because the concept of pushing rather than pulling is best when the end user is on the move. Now that mobile computing is reigning supreme, enterprises are a lot more interested in sending us information that we can use on the go.

What's also changed, according to industry experts, is Big Data. In a nutshell, it's gotten a lot bigger and, therefore, potentially more useful. We now have the ability to process the vast amounts of information needed to make push messaging attractive to consumers. According to a recent survey, the typical digital consumer is twice as likely to continue using an app that sends her push messages than one that does not. This same consumer is reportedly more than four times as engaged with an app that includes push messaging than with one that does not.

The one big difference with push technology is that its success is not predicated on the user actively engaging it and giving it information. All that is done behind the scenes. Its success, therefore, hinges on how well an app parses that information into something useable and actionable on the part of the consumer.

The data revolution is important to consider seeing as the success of push messaging depends on voice analysis as well. Suppose you're chatting with your friend about meeting up in her neighborhood for a pizza. There's technology that's being developed that aims to analyze the elements of your conversation that point to 1.) wanting to meet for dinner and 2.) that you might want pizza. So when you hang up, you already have texts in your inbox with the names and addresses of pizza restaurants in that particular neighborhood. No wonder a social media giant like Facebook is interested in a relatively small voicemail service like WhatsApp. They're quite aware of how the interactions of consumers, whether online or chatting over the phone, will deliver valuable clues as to what their expectations are in terms of food, fashion, and personal products.

To that restaurant, serving up good information to consumers is as important as serving them up a good pizza! That's why enterprises of all sorts and sizes should be excited about the possibilities that push messaging presents. And, as we digital consumers move from smart phones to wearables, such information will appear even more seamless in the context of making decisions while on the move.

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