Digital world can’t replace value of face-to-face interaction

In a world where websites are social tools and webinars and video conferencing have replaced in-person meetings, it wouldn’t be surprising if these digital solutions became the new standard for relationship building.


While they are the status quo for a number of professionals, new research has revealed there is still value in traditional face-to-face meetings. This doesn’t mean that professionals looking to build relationships within an industry should be favouring one or the other. Instead, both should be used where appropriate.

The research that led to these discoveries was produced by technology research expert IDC, which focused specifically on the nature of relationship building in the financial industries. Despite this, the firm produced lessons that are valuable to professionals across multiple industries.

Lately, much of the discussion around targeting consumers more effectively has been centred in talks around big data analytics and how this information can be used to provide a better service to customers.

According to IDC, while big data analytics does have its own part to play in forecasting customer behaviour, it shouldn’t be seen as a be-all and end-all for business. Instead, it should be used to focus on larger groups of customers, while face-to-face interaction continues to be the method of choice for personal pursuits.

Despite this, a large number of businesses worldwide are still experimenting with big data to better provide for their customers. A study from Forrester Research found of all the data businesses gather, they are most interested in what they can learn about the various demographics visiting their site and buying their products.

Other areas of interest for big data pursuits include geographic location and the terms customers search during this process. Analytics provides a more efficient means of unpacking this data, and means businesses can do it over a larger group of consumers.

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