Customer Experience is the new competitive battlefield. Nowadays companies are being continuously challenged to integrate channel-specific technologies into their digital marketing ecosystem, ensuring it drives a compelling brand experience for their customers. So, the question is no longer about if you can do it, rather how quickly can you do it, and whether you have a team in place to support it.
Digital transformation is no longer “nice-to-have.” According to Gartner, a leading research and advisory company, 125,000 large organisations are now running digital transformation initiatives, with CEOs expecting digital revenue to increase by more than 80% by 2020. Alongside this, the International Data Corporation (IDC) expects the percentage of enterprises launching advanced digital transformation initiatives will more than double by 2020 from 22% to around 50%.
So how do businesses approach the move to digital transformation? At the very core of a successful digital transformation is the leadership team. The CEO/leadership team must set the company on the right course for success by committing to a vision of what needs to be achieved and setting clear targets to get there. Without investment it becomes want vs. need.
Defining key activities within a project will help but won’t shift the needle unless a clear digital vision is embedded in your company’s DNA.
Unfortunately, this is where many companies fall short. We often use the expression ‘joining the dots’ but that is so often what’s missing. Defining key activities within a project will help but won’t shift the needle unless a clear digital vision is embedded in your company’s DNA. What’s needed is a defined start and end point, with key projects that are prioritised within this roadmap. This engages with your customers in an ever-changing digital landscape.
This is where it all starts – understanding your customers (existing and potential).
How are they engaging with you? How are they engaging with your competitors? How are you gathering insights around these activities, and how are you continuously learning from them? From there, you can assess your company’s digital maturity (and that of your competitors), and undertake a gap analysis. Rolling out of this analysis, is defining what system and communication changes need to happen, what’s required for technological change, what resources are needed, what tracking measurements are in place and how to prioritise accordingly.
At risk of repeating myself, it all starts with your customer and giving them what they need (even if they don’t know it yet – that’s the greatest win of all!)
Here at Epsilon, we have embraced design thinking methodology when working with our clients, so despite us not owning our clients visions, what we can do is get everyone in a room thinking from the outside in and getting to a point where we can effectively solve a problem together. This, first and foremost, helps to define customer-centric solutions but also ensures they align with the overall company’s vision. Our dream is that the company is already working towards a digital transformation approach – that’s where we see major return on investment – both for ourselves and our clients. Win-win, right?
Linda O’Connor is Country Manager for Epsilon Dublin, heading up the Irish operations and managing the marketing functions.
First published in Irish Marketing Journal (IMJ January 2018)© to order back issues please call 016611660