Microsoft's rollout of Xbox One is going to be a game changer for CIOs and CMOs alike. What does a game console have to do with your marketing strategy?
Xbox One and its live network will use Kinect technology that can detect and measure real-time customer responses as people view content and interact with their Xboxes. Kinect can distinguish up to five or six different voices in a room. It can respond to voice commands. It can track body movements and determine if someone is looking at or away from the Xbox console screen. It can even measure heart rates.
Over the last eight years, Xbox 360 has sold more than 78 million units, and Xbox One sales could equal or exceed that. If just a small percentage of people who buy the Xbox One share their Kinect data, it will provide a real-time feedback loop between companies and their customers the likes of which has never been seen before.
Forget marketing focus groups, customer surveys, Nielsen ratings, and Facebook Likes. Companies can now get detailed biometric data from millions of customers in real-time showing their reactions to advertisements and the shows those ads are sponsoring. The sample size and detail of the data will provide a level of statistical significance and accuracy not possible until now.
Here are three questions to consider as you ponder your reaction to the new Xbox. The first question is a technical one: Do you understand enough about how Kinect works so you can explain it to others and explain how your company could tap into this real-time data stream? This isn't an off-the-wall question. Your company may well be a Microsoft shop already, and this technology is a big part of Microsoft's future direction. You will need to know about it to further your technical career.
The second question is a business question: Once you have connected your company to the Microsoft Live network and start receiving this data, how will you enable your company to monitor and respond in real-time to what the data tells you? This is what your colleagues will want to know. If your company can't figure this out, your competitors will. Companies that figure this out could become wildly successful. How will your company fare in such a world?
The last question transcends both technology and business. It may be the most important question of all. It certainly is the hardest one to answer. That question: Is collecting all this data a good idea?
To make it work, you have to have a great business plan to make use of it. You are also storing some very personal data, and you become a caretaker of intimate details about your customers. Do you want that?
Along with facial recognition software and smartphones, we're seeing more devices being used to provide intimate customer data and serve them ads, offers, products, and services like never before. We're literally being allowed into their living rooms and their lives.
What do you think? Is all this data collection a good idea? Can you turn it into a business? Do you want to? If you don't want to, can you afford to sit out while others try? Comment below.