Building Your Own Metaverse
In this podcast, we discuss the buzz surrounding the ‘Metaverse’ and why you should be building your own mini Metaverse or Dataverse within your business. The Amazons, Googles, Facebooks/Meta’s of the world have shown us the power of data and how it relates to interacting and marketing to consumers. Consider the power your organization could have if you knew the habits of your buyers. Think of this not only from a sales and marketing perspective, but also from the perspective of being more nimble as markets, industry trends, and consumers are evolving at a more rapid rate than ever before.
The following blog serves as a general outline with highlights of the podcast. Additionally, you will find links to tools that will help you get started on your journey of digital and business transformation!
If you have questions about any topic we covered in this podcast, want to offer feedback on our discussion, or need help kick-starting your strategy, We’d love to hear from you.
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What Is A Metaverse or Dataverse?
If you perform a Google search for the definition of a Metaverse or Dataverse, you’ll likely receive numerous results with a vast array of definitions. To put it simply for this discussion, we are talking about relational data/information. The Microsoft Dataverse lets you securely store and manage data that’s used by business applications. At the global level, this is all the information tied to you as a consumer as Google, Facebook, Amazon, etc. knows you. This is one of the reasons why big tech companies are continuing to absorb companies that at the surface may not seem like a logical fit. Why would Amazon want to get into pharmaceuticals or insurance? If you think about it, the more we know about the habits tied to an email address (think human), the more these companies can position products or services that tailor to these consumers’ needs. In fact, when you think of Facebook or Google, many of their services are simply monetizing what they know and how they reach their consumers. They offer up that platform at a cost to businesses that might want to reach any of those target customer bases or segments.
When you think about relational data, it is really piecing all the relevant information about a consumer together so it can be accessed in multiple ways. Furthermore, when we begin to discuss artificial intelligence, predictive analytics, and those type of practices, the basis needs to pull from relational data to understand and predict what might happen. As an example, your bank probably knows more about your buying habits than you do. They know what days you frequent the grocery store, what your average grocery bill is each month, your online shopping habits, when you purchase gas, what gas stations you hit, frequent travel routes, and any purchase stops among those routes.
Why Should You Build A Dataverse?
It’s evident that Dataverses are important to the big tech giants, but you may wonder if this is really something that impacts small to medium-sized organizations and non-technology-related businesses. What are the common pain points that small to medium-sized organizations have that building their own Dataverse could help alleviate?
There are two separate categories when it comes to establishing a business process and a relational database.
- One is the realized issue of simply operating more efficiently. As an example, think about every touchpoint a customer has with your organization from search to sales, to customer service, and accounting. Now think about how all those interactions can be thoroughly documented and reviewed for a complete 360-degree view of a customer.
- The second is future-proofing your business. The reality is that when all your information is maintained in disparate systems, you do not have the reporting or data visualization you need to make proactive business decisions about changing markets. We could even contend that you don’t have ready access to the reactive information you need about changing markets. So, where consumers want easy more than ever, doing business the same way you did 20 or 30 years ago, will not cut it as we continue to progress.
As we covered in Episode 01, Engaging Customers In The Digital World, GM announced last year that they were evolving from a carmaker into a software company. They recently backed that claim by filling over 2000 tech jobs. Another example we mentioned in a previous podcast is Toyota’s investment in flying cars. Sticking with these two examples, you might be a supplier or business partner in the automotive space, but don’t think for a second the demand for your products and services will not evolve as your buyer’s needs evolve.
How Do You Build Your Dataverse?
Building your own Dataverse must begin with the process steps first. Think about your business from a complete “lead to cash” or “search to sale” transactional process. You might begin with the sales process and think about what types of products or services you sell and how the process should be looked at throughout the sales cycle. From there, think about that next step in the process, maybe it is a sales handoff to a project team or a member services team that is going to support that client after the sale. Once you consider your process, begin thinking about the data that you are collecting (or should be collecting) throughout that lead to cash process. Maybe it is important to know more specifics about the buyer themself. Where do they live? Do they own a business? Do they have kids? What kind of car do they drive? In this type of example, let’s consider that we just sold a home loan to someone. Does that person also own a business? If so, could that become a lead for the commercial side of our banking business? Or wouldn’t it be great to pull a list of all companies that purchased X type of product and we know that product has a five-year lifecycle? Should we begin reaching out at four years to help solidify the next deal? If all this information is in spreadsheets, there is no reasonable or logical way to assemble this information or visualize it easily, let alone take action. This information needs to be in one complete system or Dataverse so anyone on your team can pull the most updated information on any client at any given point in time.
How Can A Dataverse Benefit Your Organization?
As business process consultants, we sit in a unique seat of seeing companies that are effectively managing customer data and companies that are not. The companies that are, have been able to pivot proactively with the pandemic, labor shortages, and supply chain issues. They are also set up to pivot proactively for any future adverse impact on their business. Construction companies that we work with have been able to tap into their organizational data to forecast the need for limited materials and labor based on their client history. Banks that we work with have been able to apply for PPP loans and offer forgiveness processing swiftly and efficiently while keeping customers updated through every step of the process. Many companies we work with have been able to adapt to The Great Resignation and labor shortages to rely less on siloed institutional knowledge (residing only in peoples’ heads and individual departments) by creating structured and systematic data accessible to the entire organization. This allows them to do more with less staff, efficiently, and all while providing a consistent customer experience.
What Are The First Steps Toward Building Your Dataverse?
While the process of building your Dataverse might sound daunting, it’s the same foundational discovery and mapping process we’ve outlined many times before.
- Perform An Audit
- Determine your current process vs. the desired process. Think about the full lead to cash 360-degree customer journey.
- Assess Audit Results
- Once you have the process down, determine what information you are collecting and what information should you be collecting throughout the process.
- Define Your North Star & Make Your Map
- Once the requirements and goals are firmly documented, understood, and signed-off on, proceed with a detailed project plan. Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Make sure your goals are definable and achievable. Assign an internal sponsor, team member, or manager to each project.
- Hire A Project Management Professional
- It is always wise to involve external Project Management Professionals (PMPs) to guide the entire process. While key team members often hold intimate knowledge in critical areas, a project manager will help ensure these subject matter experts are pulling the rope in the same direction. An external professional also adds a fresh perspective to the way that things may have “always been done” at your organization.
- Choose Your Technology
- Once your strategy is in place, then and only then, it’s time to consider the technology that can help your business achieve its goals. CRM (Customer Relationship Management), ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), SaaS (Software as a Service), and many other acronyms are trendy technologies at the moment, but they are only successful when the entire organization is committed to using them. If you hire an unbiased project manager, they should be able to steer you toward the best technology options based on the North Star and road map you’ve constructed.
- Build Your Dataverse
- Once all these vital and foundational pieces are in place, it’s time to start building your Dataverse! Make sure your entire team is on board with what data needs to be collected, how and when it needs to be input, and how it can be retrieved and analyzed.
If you have questions about any topic we covered in this podcast, want to offer feedback on our discussion, or need help building your Dataverse, contact us!
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