Meeting Digital Expectations of Consumers Hinges on Common Values and Conventions Across Ecosystems
The hyper digitization of every aspect of our personal and professional lives has introduced an unprecedented level of complexity driven by an explosion of data shared across an array of intricate value chains. It is a trend that is compelling participants in different ecosystems—including those that serve connected homes, connected vehicles and connected consumers—to reassess how they engage with each other to meet the needs and expectations of end customers.
Beyond agreeing on technical specifications and contractual terms, effective ecosystems will increasingly be driven by common values and conventions that put quality, trust and complexity management at the center of joint go-to-market initiatives.
These were among the conclusions that emerged from a Media Day Roundtable hosted by Xperi CEO Jon Kirchner, featuring senior executives from Acer, VideoAmp and Hotwire Communications. The conversation covered the strategic trends influencing how ecosystems bring new value propositions to market, key shifts in operational coordination that are taking place to support emerging consumer demands, and shared investments that are being made to maintain a clear line of sight on evolving customer requirements.
Welcome to the No-Compromise Digital Economy
The digital economy over the past decade has shifted an immense amount of power and influence to consumers. As a result, expectations for service and accountability have never been higher.
This is especially true when it comes to how and when content is consumed and the way viewers interact with advertisements to which they are exposed, according to Jonathan Steuer, EVP of TV Strategy and Currency with VideoAmp, a media measurement and optimization software company that works closely with Xperi’s TiVo brand to monitor the viewing patterns for millions of anonymized households across U.S. media markets.
Consumers today expect to be respected and consulted regarding how their personal information is used, especially in the context of advertising applications. They are also becoming less tolerant of “creepy” moments that suggest consumers are being secretly monitored.
The same trend is taking place on the buy-side of the equation. Brand managers, said Steuer, expect to see a significant elevation in the accountability of investments they make in new digital advertising strategies. They are also counting on the advertising ecosystem to effectively represent their value propositions to consumers.
The good news, noted Xperi’s Kirchner, is that a consensus is emerging in the industry around broad concepts—like control and transparency. These are increasingly tied to value chain-wide respect for consumer views about how personal viewing data should be used.
It is a pattern that is also playing out in the connected car environment, as infotainment systems become more interactive and integrated with other aspects of consumers’ digital lives.
Historically, communication activity in vehicles has been one-way. That, however, is beginning to change as the lines of distinction between our physical and digital lives blur. People are finding increasing value in the integration of their connected homes, connected cars and personal devices, said Kirchner.
This, added Jonathan Bullock, Chief Product & Strategy Officer, Hotwire Communications, is precisely why the concept of “trust” has become the new coin of the realm across ecosystems.
Earning and keeping consumers’ trust is about much more than performing a function—such as maintaining network “uptimes.” Those are table stakes. As the complexity of the connected home rises, we see growing demand for managed services across the full spectrum of digital experiences.
Consumers are looking for content aggregators to help manage a fragmented content provider landscape. They also are looking for ways to better integrate broadband access with in-house wireless networks that support a growing number of devices that require access to internet resources in a secure manner, said Bullock.
Integrating High-Quality Experiences, Complexity Management and Trust
The early conventional wisdom surrounding the explosive growth of the cloud and its enthusiastic adoption by consumers was that all compute capacity would eventually reside off-premises as the world embraced a thin-client model.
Today’s reality has turned out to be much more nuanced. Sales of laptops and desktop PCs have exploded in recent years to support remote work, education and entertainment in the wake of a global pandemic. Indeed, demand for cloud-based gaming itself has driven demand for high-performance PCs. Meanwhile, growing interest in user-generated content is driving sales of devices that enable high-end content creation, according to Jade Zhou, VP, Global Strategic Alliances and Brand Licensing at Acer—a nearly 50-year-old company that is committed to the fusion of hardware, software and services to create ecosystems that open up new possibilities for consumers and businesses.
Acer sees PCs as a critical distribution channel for highly tailored and immersive experiences, explained Zhou. While the computer manufacturer recognizes that the needs of gamers are different from those of high-end content creators, they have also captured broad and growing interest in common themes, like ‘green computing.’
These insights into consumer desires are based on data and intelligence generated internally and from Acer’s collaboration with key ecosystem partners.
Acer, said Zhou, relies on industry leaders to be partners that can help the entire ecosystem capture, manage and leverage data in an ethical and secure manner. That is why, she added, Acer is investing significant resources into strategic relationships with ecosystem partners to deliver the specific experiences consumers are looking for.
According to Kirchner of Xperi, thriving ecosystems will increasingly depend on establishing a shared appreciation of the contexts and perspectives that each link in the value chain brings to the table.
As context is shared and better understood by various participants across ecosystems, Kirchner believes that great benefits will accrue to end consumers by providing a strong platform upon which meaningful use cases can be created. Success, however, will hinge on how well ecosystems balance and integrate the creation of high-quality experiences with the management of complexity in a trustworthy manner.