Digital can provide the mass marketing effect of television, the personal connect of a door-to-door salesman and the responsiveness of a front office. It is much more than just technology as it has the power to transform customer experiences, establish demand for products and services, and enable collaboration. In this blog post read about how continuous innovation and digital explosion can help create quality business models and offer better experiences.
The importance of digital is emphasized by the large number of people who are connected today– more than ever before.
While various digital manifestations have existed for 20+ years, the last five years have seen increasing rates of change and adoption. For example, while it took four years for the Internet to hit 50m users, Apple’s iPad took only 1.5 years, and Google+, a mere 16 days. However, the digital revolution is still at a nascent stage. 217 new users connect to the mobile web every minute and by 2020 we may have 50bn internet-connected ’things’. Simultaneously, India is witnessing a rise in internet connectivity driven by smartphone usage (225m units in 2014) and the mobile internet (92% of the 251m internet subscribers as of March 2014).
The ways companies do business and engage with customers on digital channels have evolved.
As more and more people are connected digitally, there are new opportunities (new markets/products, unlimited scale, customer trust, unprecedented amounts of data capture) and challenging threats (disruptive competition from start-ups, loss of control to consumers, transparency regarding pricing /negative customer experiences, forums for employee dissatisfaction). Creating a digital vision means looking at business challenges through a digital lens to see where value be added to every avenue of customer interaction.
Trust in a company and brand is no longer dependant on company-controlled, traditional mass channels, but rather on communities and peers through social media and other digital channels. 75% of India’s online population are digital consumers* (who use digital for all, or part, of their purchasing journey), which means customers can potentially ignore brands and services that do not engage them.
As the balance of power shifts to customers, there have been fundamental changes in the way businesses communicate and engage throughout the customer lifecycle. Businesses can achieve corporate objectives, improve Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and add long-term value to the business through their digital channels.
1. Defining a comprehensive digital strategy An effective digital strategy and operating model will align people, process and systems to the overall corporate strategy; identify opportunities to achieve corporate objectives and enable capabilities to mitigate risks. Most importantly, for successful disrupters, digital will be THE hotbed for strategizing.
2. Advanced analytics Monitoring conversations and feedback about the company, brand engagement initiatives and competitors, will provide learnings and usage patterns that can be fed back into the strategy to better understand industry trends and market perception, and improve segmentation to create effective campaigns and collaboration.
3. Creating integrated cross channel solutions Businesses need to create non-siloed multi-channel solutions that engage with their consumers on preferred channels, and provide a cohesive brand and messaging strategy in order to create brand ambassadors and establish trust and loyalty.
4. Enhancing customer engagement Digital customer engagement, as well as monitoring and responding in near real-time, will help create a culture of innovation and transform customer communication and experience.
5. Digital over traditional Often, more established companies that have relied on traditional marketing channels appear to be far less comfortable engaging digitally and addressing challenges (they often have a disconnect with changing customer mind sets, as well as suffering from a lack of organizational flexibility) as compared to more digitally-savvy competitors. This demonstrates the growing need of interactions with a Chief Marketing Officer and a Chief Digital Officer to drive the digital agenda.
6. Hyper local targeting Using digital channels such as QR codes, localized offers, check-ins, and mobile GPS signals, brands can push targeted and localized content to audiences and platforms for fruitful engagement.
7. Risk mitigation A digital governance framework will help monitor and control an organization’s digital ecosystem, define policies and procedures, establish internal and external stakeholder roles and responsibilities in governance, as well as communication and escalation channels. This is necessary to prevent negative repercussions from inappropriate content, criminal hacking, or employee misuse. To sum up, how an organization prepares for their digital phenomenon will impact its fortunes in the next few years especially when emerging concepts / technologies (wearable tech, Internet of Things (IoT)) will become much more mainstreamed.
*EY report “How to co-pilot the multichannel journey”