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'Adapt or die, evolve or be left behind': Geraldine McBride

Divina Paredes | May 16, 2014
"If you don't figure out how to be relevant to millennials in the next five years, you may be out of business in the next decade," says the CEO of MyWave and former SAP North America president.

The new way of being able to relate to customers is for customers to opt in, where they will share more about themselves in return for some benefits.

To customers, the message will be, 'Here is the information we know about you. In order for us to be able to serve you better, we would like to know more about you in those areas."

It is all through a dialogue, through a mobile device, not through websites, she says.

You then leverage new technology and give customer ownership of the data.

"It is permission based," she says. "This is not focus groups anymore, this is being totally in touch with your end consumer."

These, she says, are the supply chains of the future.

People are looking not just at stuff, but for "experiences".

"People are willing to pay a premium to embrace experiences," she says. "It is not a race to the bottom for the cheapest price but creating experiences that people want to come back for again and again."

Generation Y and the 'supply chains of the future'
She calls on businesses to work with millennials — those who were born after 1986 — to "rethink" how their businesses operate.

"They can help create content, co-create products," she says. "They want to be part of something much bigger than themselves," she says of this group also known as 'Generation Y''.

"If you don't figure out how to be relevant to this segment in the next five years, you may be out of business in the next decade."

 

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