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Creating an Online to Offline Mindset

Podcast host Tania Salarvand | Podcast guest Nigel Dalton
November 22, 2019 | 31 min 28 sec

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Brief summary

Creating a seamless Online to Offline customer experience is a key differentiator in today’s market. Nigel Dalton, Chief Inventor at REA Group, a global, online real estate company shares how organizations can shift their mindsets and learn from the Chinese Online to Offline experience. If you are a digital leader, wanting to leverage your data to delight your customers, this is the podcast for you.


Invention happens when you put two things together. And that was my job (as chief inventor)- to put things together- whether they were technologies like virtual reality, augmented reality, machine learning, and our business model, and our customer needs and just see what came out of it.

Combining as a philosophy results in an awful lot of disappointment, to be honest, because what you have to get used to as an inventor is failure at least 90% of the time. 

Online to Offline is a concept that came up through my travel and in particular a trip where I read Kai-Fu Lee's book, AI Superpowers.

His argument was quite simple: China didn't have this bizarre bias that online and offline were two separate parts of your business with two separate (online and offline) marketing teams.

The longer we stay with this mindset of separate, the more difficulty we're going to have of serving customers at scale with the support of technology. 

if you're trying to track a product through its lifecycle online to offline in Australia, say with the example of delivering, you’ve got to line up so many different partners in the delivery to get the data. In China, let's just tap WeChat and get everything out, from payment data to customer satisfaction to all of your delivery metrics from your delivery people, or if they're a separate company, the recipe, who was cooking that day, what temperature was the kitchen, how was the traffic, what was the weather? You consolidate all that data and you have the recipe for creating an amazing experience. So we were at a disadvantage.

Strength through combination is a beautiful phrase. When you see that strength through combination, rather than them being two things side-by-side and separate things, with different metrics and different people and different mindsets that this is how we can start to win this game.

There is no problem with AI, but there are good people and there are bad people and bad people will misuse AI and make what we will perceive to be evil AI.

The fundamental fear of GDPR is a consumer can ask to have their record deleted. Can you imagine how many places inside a modern corporation that data is actually stored and to be able to prove that you have deleted it is going to be quite onerous. But I think, it's a solid balancing out of individual rights and respect for those with the need to develop new technologies to make things more productive, more efficient and smarter is a fair game to be playing.

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