By Johannes Ceh
The threat from digital disruptors is a challenge that plagues slow-paced industry incumbents. Companies that lag behind with digitalization already suffer a digital gap, but given de current challenging business environment the speed of change to consumer behavior has accelerated.
As we enter the New Normal and consumers embrace even more technologies and become increasingly hyperconnected, the risk is that the digital gap between brand and consumer could grow even wider.
To bridge the digital gap, companies need to have a deep understanding of their current business model and to accelerate the improvements to capabilities in five key areas: Digital Transformation, Customer Experience, Social Media, Big Data & AI, and Marketing Technologies.
These vital areas are all interconnected components of the digital ecosystem. With a well-defined and clear purpose, the digital ecosystem empowers companies to bridge the digital gap and outpace the speed of the consumer. Here are the highlights:
Insight: Digital Transformation
“The single — and most often changing — factor is what customers want and need when it comes to new digital products and services. That is why decision-makers should focus on customer-centricity”
With digital technologies disrupting traditional business models across every industry, Digital Transformation is a matter of survival. A complete reassessment of the business and a full audit of the existing digital ecosystem is essential. Only with a comprehensive analysis of the business model, the competitive benchmark for the industry, and a deep understanding of the customer can a company fulfill its digital potential.
With the insights gained from this in-depth analysis, companies can identify the areas where the business is currently lacking, where consumer demand is yet to be satisfied, and which digital solutions will empower the organization to succeed. Digital Transformation requires a buy-in from all the stakeholders in the company. With a customer-centric approach, a responsive business model, and a defined vision for the future, companies can embrace a culture of testing and consistent innovation that delivers improved ROI and tangible business results.
Insight: Customer Experience
“Being focused on the customer starts at the top of the organization, and the urgency and priority needs to be understood by every employee in every interaction”
The companies that bring the customer into the heart of the organization will be the ones to succeed in the New Normal. We already see the public success and failure of brands as they react to uncertainty around COVID-19. Companies that put their customers first have been rewarded with improved loyalty and increased brand awareness.
CX needs to be embraced at every level and made central to company culture and everything you do as a business. As CX overtakes product and price as the key differentiator of the digital age, companies need to realize how to connect with consumers on an emotional level and leverage CX to future-proof the brand.
Insight: Social Media
“To stand out between the crowd, employees need to help with this while being controlled, trained and empowered to talk on social”
Social Media is the new battleground for the attention of modern consumers. But simply broadcasting a one size fits all message is an archaic tactic that belongs in a different era. Companies need to have a deep understanding of their customers, forging meaningful two-way conversations, and responding to the needs of their customers with valuable communication that is optimized to reach consumers in the all-important micro-moments.
Your brand story is the sum total of your interactions with consumers, and the value of your brand is the strength of your relationship with your customers. By creating authentic and meaningful stories, you not only bolster your relationship with consumers but also empower your employees with a shared purpose and vision. When employees are encouraged to be brave enough to be more agile and creative on Social Media, companies can create remarkable experiences for their customers.
Insight: Big Data & AI
¨Keep in mind that Big Data and AI are ‘tools’ – we need to be able to understand how to use them within the main strategy that we are developing¨
Data is the most valuable resource a company can access. It’s the lifeblood of the digital ecosystem, driving productivity and performance through every aspect of the business. Big Data & AI can empower an organization to outpace the speed of the consumer, but only with a defined purpose. What is the reason for capturing data, and how will it help the company to overcome a specific challenge?
To succeed with a Big Data & AI strategy, companies need a comprehensive understanding of every possible data source, employees need to be equipped with the right training and skillsets, and there needs to be a clear and defined purpose. With these three key factors, Big Data & AI contributes to a well-oiled slick digital ecosystem that delivers value in real-time.
Insight: Marketing Technology
“It is more important than ever to understand the persona of your target client and from this extract the content type that will give them insight”
Marketing technology supports activities in the above four key areas and facilitates scalable growth. Future results can be predicted, and successful pilot initiatives replicated at scale. MarTech solutions assist with tracking and measurement of results and the management of customer journeys to deliver smooth omnichannel experiences.
To successfully integrate MarTech solutions, it’s important to audit your current capabilities and any legacy systems, as well as conducting a thorough analysis of consumer expectations and demand. With these insights, the right MarTech solutions can be identified and integrated to deliver the seamless experiences that modern consumers demand.
History is littered with big events that expedite change. In the case of the current challenging business environment, the companies that have made progress with their digital transformation are already reaping the benefits. There will be a long-lasting impact on industry and global business will be an acceleration of digitalization and an increase in consumer speed.
Now more than ever, it’s vital to bridge the digital gap. By putting the customer at the heart of everything you do, aligning the organization behind a shared vision and purpose, and empowering the digital ecosystem, leadership can future-proof the company and gain a competitive edge in the New Normal. Read the full study here.
About the Author:
Is a Social Entrepreneur creating communities for Social Impact. He the founder of the #OurJobToBeDone Methodology on helping people make sense of complexities to tackle and improve „ability to act“ for a common mission to achieve.
About The Keenfolks:
The Keenfolks helps global FMCG brands and Pharmaceutical companies to outpace the speed of the consumer and overcome digital uncertainty through a new category: Digital Gap Management®. The Keenfolks is led by Miguel Machado, CEO Digital & Data and Xavi Cortadellas, CEO CX & Creative, with headquarters in Barcelona and offices in New York City and Mexico City.