This seminal July 2006 White Paper lays out a vision for future commerce: where individuals have access to sophisticated information services that they can use to manage their lives better – to make and implement better decisions. These PIMS (Personal Informtion Management Services) are likely to become the de facto portal to the world of outside suppliers, and the means by which individuals manage their relationships with these suppliers. The concept Personal Information Management Services shows both how and why buyer- or person-centric commerce is moving centre-stage.
Sometimes, the most valuable thing you can do for somebody is to answer their question. People facing similar challenges and problems end up asking the same questions. By answering peoples’ questions in a high efficient and effect manner Problem Solving Communities turn peoples’ problems – their questions – into hugely valuable, re-usable knowledge assets. They are an essential plank of buyer-centric commerce.
We teamed up with Doc Searls of Project VRM in this July 2008 article for the Journal of Direct, Data and Digital Marketing Practice. Ostensibly it’s about the narrow issue of direct marketing. In reality, it’s about the built-in limitations and flaws to today’s organisation-centric approach to the management of personal data, and the huge potential of personal data stores (see Personal Knowledge Banks below) and Volunteered Personal Information.
In this January 2008 discussion paper we introduced the notion of ‘volunteered personal information’ or ‘Voice’ as a new form of data with profound catalytic effects. VPI is set to change the way markets work.
Consumers don’t like marketing, and companies waste an awful lot of money on it. So why do it? This 2006 discussion paper looks at how and when marketing really does add value, and at how the means of achieving this value are changing. It predicts the rise of three powerful forces: added value buying services, brands as information services, and lean provision of products and services.
Over the last ten years a host of new information services have emerged: search, price comparison, peer reviews of products and services, online peer-to-peer communities. Their impact is already huge. But according to this 2005 discussion paper, they’re just the first wave. The next step? As these new types of ‘buyer-centric modules’ coalesce and converge into a new type of business: the Added Value Buying Service that earns its keep by helping buyers, rather than sellers, go to market.
We might call these Personal Data Stores nowadays. Either way, this paper from April 2005 sets out an agenda for developments which are only beginning to take place now – the move by individuals to gather, store, manage and share the information they need to manage their lives better. In other words, for individuals to become organised data ‘owners’ and managers.
We wrote this Discussion Paper back in 2005, but we didn’t publish it back then because we couldn’t think of anything hopeful to say about the financial services industry! After the ‘credit crunch’ we decided to publish the unchanged paper anyway – hopefully to stimulate a bit of debate.