Following the recent success of our Digital Transformation Dinner, we wanted to share some of the key themes that emerged throughout the evening. Our thought leadership event surfaced a trove of insights on the topic of digital transformation and we’re delighted that you were able to be a part of it.
We all acknowledge that today, business has moved from a “distribution economy” to a “disrupt economy”. Previously, companies could make it big by herding people in an orderly path to purchase. Customers based their purchase decisions on habit and brand loyalty, and could generally do little to air their grievances when unsatisfied.
During the dinner, we discussed how new technologies such as social media and the latest ecommerce tools have necessitated a different approach. Consumers can now communicate their likes or dislikes immediately, and directly at brands. Beyond this, mobile and wireless connectivity has created a world of choice for consumers. This explosion has given consumers the ability to procure transport, accommodation, consumer goods, even manage financial products regardless of time and place.
Trading personal data for more
Of course, we all realise that nothing comes without a price. For consumers today, the price is essentially the data they provide. It’s an open secret, consumers will willingly provide personal data in return for convenience. The caveat, then, is for brands to meet their expectations. The idea is simple: the more data they give, the better the service and brand experience must become.
Brands that want and do keep customer loyalty are those that interact with customers in a truly digital way – making the process completely personalised and omni-channel. One thing I think we all agreed on during the evening is that the process to achieve this is a continually evolving one, not to mention an inherently iterative and innovative journey.
Creating a single, unified view of the customer
Traditionally, brands would engage with external market research agencies to identify and effectively engage with their customer segments. Today, every business has access to a wealth of first-party data from their own internal systems, including data from their financial, operational, and existing Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems. This provides an ideal foundation from which to start, without the need for expensive and timely research projects. By streamlining this first-party user data and combining it with the rich third-party data that has now become more widely available, brands are better placed to optimise their marketing activities.
Another point of discussion was the importance for businesses today to combine their internal and external data sources to create a single customer view. To achieve this, there needs to be a bridge that brings IT, data and marketing teams together. Much of the data collected today is stored under specific IT infrastructures, alongside data and insights teams that may not have the marketing background to understand how the data can best be deployed. Brands need to bridge that gap by connecting marketers with their data teams in order to maximise and make sense of what they have, and so it can be put to good use.
Going for the long-run
In a programmatically data-enabled world, personalisation needs to be long-term if brands want to see the value of customer engagement. Today’s consumers are digitally savvy and highly discerning. This disqualifies marketing models that focus on short-term results, as a relationships need to be built first in order to gain loyalty.
Another key outcome to the evening was that in order for businesses to demonstrate that they really understand their customers, they should not be afraid to venture into new territories. Companies that micro-segment their customers and deliver truly personalised, onmi-channel communications will become the ones that will enjoy the most positive results.
Let me thank-you again for attending the evening and contributing to the different perspectives on how businesses are tackling digital transformation, and what that indeed means or how it manifests itself in their industry.