The Internet of Customers: What Is It?

To fully answer that question, we first have to define “the Internet.” Please bear with me. In the relative beginning (approximately August 1962), there was a man named Joseph Carl Robnett Licklider, also known as J.C.R. or Lick. He was a radical professor with casual hobbies, like psychoacoustics and experimental psychology. While at MIT, J.C.R. wrote memos, discussing his “Intergalactic Computer Network” or “Galactic Network” concept. He imagined global connectivity between computers, where users could access shared data and programs at any given moment. In October 1962, J.C.R. was hired as the head of computer research at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). He joined forces with Ivan Sutherland, Bob Taylor, and MIT researcher Dr. Lawrence G. Roberts, and convinced them of the importance of his networking concept. Together, they put his theory to the test on a small, concentrated scale and “in 1965 Roberts connected the TX-2 computer in Massachusetts to the Q-32 in California[…]creating the first wide-area computer network ever built.” I could go on about J.C.R and his academic predecessors—powerful women like Augusta Ada and Jean Jennings Bartik—but I recognize this article isn’t called “J.C.R. Licklider: My Love, My Life.” So, in the interest of brevity, let’s fast-forward (but acknowledge) Sir Timothy John Berners-Lee, pit-stop at Pong, queen wave to Mark Zuckerberg, and get to Salesforce’s Internet of Customers (IoC). Internet Society says it best, stating that “the Internet is as much a collection of communities as a collection of technologies, and its success is largely attributable to both satisfying basic community needs as well as utilizing the community in an effective way to push the infrastructure forward.” If we let that sink in, we’re left with people with personal systems and devices “talking to” each other, and, knowingly and unknowingly, leaving massive trails of data. Data—a sterile term—used for records of human interaction and reaction. With every swipe, like, click, and comment, we leave breadcrumbs of where we’ve been, where we are, and where we plan to go. For marketers and creatives across the board, those data trails can be invaluable, because IoC is not just the Internet of Things (IoT)—devices embedded with Internet connectivity—or Cisco’s Internet of Everything. The Internet of Customers is the idea that customer-sourced data and feedback can inform the way we create—period. If we understand what people want, what they value, and how that changes, then we can offer the perfect solution every time, at any given moment in time. And that, folks, is revolutionary.

Comments are closed.

« »