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January 30th 2015. Now is the time for B2C. That is one of the predictions that Stefan Lindegaard (@lindegaard) shared with us in his visit to ideas4all.

As an expert in open innovation management, Lindegaard believes that, after listening to their own teams, the first step companies should take is to open up to external talent and to the suggestions and demands of their clients, and–why not?–of those who aren’t their clients.

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One of the latest Gartner reports points in the same direction. In “Predicts 2015: Digital Marketers Will Monetize Disruptive Forces” (available to subscribers) the IT consulting firm claims that, in the years to come, companies will need to focus more than ever on a new consumer model that is more mature, critical and active, and has found a powerful ally in technological tools that make consumers’ opinions heard.

The new digital consumer profile is less loyal and will demand constant improvements in products and services, something which will mark out innovation and active listening to clients as two fundamental needs for any company who wants to be competitive.

One of our solutions for the B2B2C channel was created for insurance company Mutua MadrileñaSoyinnovador.es is a social network of ideas, open to all of their policyholders.

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Soy Innovador is a platform described as a place where “ideas are generated and listened to”, there is a “dialogue” with users that leads to “new products” and “improvements in customer care”, among other applications.

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The Gartner report states that 89% of companies rank consumer experience among their most essential competitive battlegrounds for the next year, and they clearly understand that growth will depend more than ever on the degree of customer satisfaction they can achieve.

In light of this, the consultants recommend developing tools and searching for a new culture that encourages users to feel they are valued and attended to, and a sense of belonging with the brand.

This can be the competitive edge in a hyper-connected economy, where consumers have more alternatives than ever before, provided by an over-abundance of information and access to products that have become cheaper because of the fierce competition and reduction in production costs. An economy where consumers gain power, not finding any special reasons to be loyal to one brand.