No one ever said consumerism was easy. At one end, the poor consumer faces a bewildering array of goods and services. On the other, vendors contend with a diverse and fragmented marketplace that makes finding the right set of customers akin to finding the proverbial needle in the haystack. And in between are the billions misspent on muffed purchases and broken marketing campaigns that serve only to stuff mailboxes and alienate the very customers that vendors are trying to attract. The rise of e-commerce has only intensified the problem by offering consumers even greater choice and vendors more competition. John Hagel and Marc Singer think they've got a better idea, and in Net Worth, they present an online scenario that would end this chaos and give both customers and vendors what they really want.
At the heart of Hagel and Singer's solution is the "infomediary" that sits between the customer and vendor. For the consumer, the infomediary acts as a trustworthy agent who knows the needs and habits of the client. For the vendor, the infomediary is the holy grail of consumer behaviour, a marketer's dream. The infomediary brokers client information to vendors in exchange for goods and services for the consumer. The result? Happy consumers, satisfied marketers and a very lucrative business model that awaits those entrepreneurs and companies that are bold enough to embrace the idea. The authors painstakingly outline the challenges and opportunities of developing an infomediary business and go as far as to peg the potential market cap of a dominant player at $20 billion by its fifth year of operation. While the idea of software agents is nothing new, Hagel and Singer may be breathing new life into the idea at just the right time. And even if infomediaries never arise, following the thinking of Hagel and Singer is well worth the price of admission. For marketers, managers, entrepreneurs, and just about anyone who thinks about e-commerce. Highly recommended. --Harry C. Edwards, Amazon.com
This text explores the impact and potential of the Internet to upend the relationship that links business with their customers. It explains how business can position themselves as advocates or agents that help customers maximize the value of their data.
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