The one-year anniversary of the Experiences Per Mile Advisory Council is approaching, and to commemorate the milestone, HARMAN has published three new episodes of the Experiences Per Mile podcast featuring members of the Advisory Council where they discuss their company's contribution to enhancing the end-to-end consumer experience for mobility. The first new blog post features William Newman, Chief Industry Executive Advisor at SAP, one of the founding companies of the EPM Advisory Council. Listen to the full episode here.
The Experiences Per Mile Advisory Council is an independent organization founded by HARMAN and SBD Automotive in October 2019. It is comprised of 33 executive members from 22 companies and was formed to evaluate the changing automotive value chains, inspire cross-industry collaboration, and fuel meaningful consumer innovation. EPM Advisory Council members are advocates for Experiences Per Mile and have recently released a report that predicts consumer experience trends over the next 10 years. Like the many companies that make up the Advisory Council, SAP is dedicated to unlocking a winning consumer experience.
In his role at SAP, Bill is responsible for leading the company's automotive mind share and thought leadership, across about 100 accounts in North America. SAP has worked with many of the world's largest automotive brands, suppliers, and startups, and interestingly, 98% of the world's automotive revenue touches some form of SAP technology.
SAP has embraced the notion of the experience economy and believes that the success of a company is more than the sum of its goods and products—it includes its people and experiences. In the automotive industry, that can mean internal customers and suppliers at a large OEM, or the one-to-one interaction at a locally owned dealership. Each step in that experience journey is either additive or destructive based on the perceived sentiment of the receiving end of the experience.
Since SAP purchased a company called Qualtrics in early 2019, the company has been focused on leveraging experience sentiment with operational data. Qualtrics created a category of experience management called XM for use across multiple industries and fields, from manufacturing to the public sector. They are creating a link between experience data—what they call X data—and back office operational data—or O data—which is traditionally what SAP is known for. With this, SAP can leverage many use cases where customers can quickly look around corners in highly predictive ways.
This connection is important to understand as the market evolves to be more experience-centric. According to Bill, SAP customers are focused on three key drivers to a great customer experience in automotive. The first is based on success, “was I successful in doing what I was able to do?" The second is focused on level of effort, “how easy was it?" The third is emotion-based, “how did it make me feel?" In his analysis, the emotional response, without question, is most powerful. If the customer has an emotional response, it drives them to repeat an experience, particularly when they can associate it with a positive reinforcing visit. This means the experience of acquiring transportation is more than just financial, although it's an important piece of the puzzle.
Regarding CASE—the push for more connected, autonomous, shared, and electric vehicles and mobility solutions—the focus at SAP is on “connected." Their business model centers on the monetization of data that the vehicles create. In the EPM 2030 report, we saw that 96% of new vehicles will ship globally with built in connectivity in the next ten years. At SAP, they are no stranger to securing massive amounts of data and ensuring consumer data is private.
The long-term trends for CASE technologies in vehicles will continue, and based on the EPM 2030 report findings, will likely accelerate in the coming decade. When you think about that, being prepared to take advantage of those opportunities is going to take some basic “blocking and tackling" in the operating model of an automotive company. SAP is happy to work together with other companies to determine where to get started to digitize and modernize company operations and processes, so that a competitive advantage is created.
To hear more on this topic, listen to this episode of the Experiences Per Mile podcast.
Global Automotive Marketing Director at HARMAN International
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