Every business will sooner or later have to make important strategic decisions. Digitalisation changes not only the customer dialogue but also the way in which your employees work. New tools that help staff, customers and suppliers interact mean that your colleagues will be working very differently in the future. Certain functions could perhaps be outsourced, and you probably hold some of the responsibility for making sure that this transition is a success.
Before doing so, it’s important to identify areas of improvement that are significant enough to generate momentum, yet manageable enough to be viable.
“Daring to ask” is a skill
The buzzwords are coming thick and fast, and it’s easy to close your ears and hope that everything will go away. We advise you to ask questions.
- Do we know enough about, and are we ready for, mobility, personalisation, blockchain and bots, for instance?
- Are we capable of facilitating change alone, or should we seek help to build an innovation culture based on who we are?
You should replace existing traffic drivers by making yourselves relevant in new ways
Buying products and services from you is most certainly not your customers’ number one priority. Their main concerns are more likely to be workaday tasks such as keeping the household economy going, planning their retirement and being a hero both at work and elsewhere.
If you are to succeed, you must exploit digitalisation to make yourselves relevant and valuable to your customers as they set out to perform the more important tasks in their lives. You have to demonstrate that you understand both the physical world and how your customers’ world is changing because of digitalisation. Quite simply, you must reassure yourself that you know how to make money and how technology can work for the benefit of your customers.
Three customer challenges that your staff must be plugged into
In essence, digitalisation generates value by encouraging new ideas that personalise products and services and create new arenas for interaction while also making the relationship between supply and demand more effective.
- Customers are demanding improved or new business models that bring them closer to you.
- Customers are better placed than ever before to seek and find information. This changes the buying process, and you must use digitalisation to become part of that process.
- Your customers’ benchmark is now a global one – both in terms of technology and your specific field of business.
You must develop new tools as your employees transition to this new reality
You will get new competitors, you will get new channels, and your customers will have new ways of buying products and services. The interaction between systems, customers and employees is about collecting data, analysing data, and personalising the dialogue based on your findings.
Assumed customer insight won’t help you; what you need is actual customer insight
Brand-building is now about experiences – not advertising. More complex customer journeys have to be designed, and you must find your place in the new competition arenas.
- Social platforms
- Self-service solutions – portals
- User-created content – marketing, content, services and products seamlessly through digital channels and partners.
- Individualisation and personalisation to last the entire customer journey
- Distributors and platform owners hold the balance of power in an increasingly digital world
How can digitalisation gain you a clear market position?
Digitalisation allows you to streamline, innovate, grow and carve out a prominent market position and to design interaction and channel strategies that support your business strategy and value propositions. The brand-building mechanisms remain the same, but the channels through to your target groups are greater in number and more complex. Again, it’s about collecting data, interpreting it and personalising the dialogue based on your findings.
The best answers are usually found somewhere in between the most visionary futurist and the most conservative and established business executive. For that reason, we believe that you will succeed if you focus on these seven areas:
- Define a few “win” battles
- Ownership of digitalisation at a strategic level.
- Create space for consistent customer experiences across the digital and real worlds
- Use of data to activate and strengthen the sales organisation
- Close correlation in all processes between back and front in order to improve insight and decision-making
- Establish a culture rooted in innovation and implementation
- Willingness to change organisational structures and KPIs to support digital ambitions
We can also recommend the following link for more summer reading: