Sunday 26 June 2016

5 mistakes to avoid in Digital Transformation

Digital Transformation is happening everywhere you look. It is impacting businesses of any size, in any industry, any market and every geography.

Many organizations recognize the importance of digital and the need to change. Unfortunately, there is a lot of confusion about what digital transformation is and how to carry it out.

The organization needs to avoid following 5 mistakes while going on the route of Digital Transformation.

1.    Focus on technology than business and customer.
Many organization still believe that investing in latest and greatest technology will be a quick path to Digital. But they forget that technology is just an enabler.  Focus on the entire business process, map the customer journeys with pain areas and aim to smoothen the interaction.

2.    Digital Transformation can be carried out by existing resources by the way of ad-hoc allocation.
Many organizations are still using their existing teams and expect them to do the magic. While it may be possible to deliver small successes, you need to have experts who have sharp focus and experience of digital transformation to actually do the job.

3.    Digital Transformation can be driven by line managers.
Lack of executives support will show some incremental changes but the digital agenda should be driven by senior-most leaders, even the board of directors & CEOs of the company. Only then it brings the required seriousness. IT & Business alignment has to come from the top.

4.    Ignore the learnings of other industry leaders.
in the Age of Customer, Digital Transformation is no different than any other change. It is more important to understand where you stand, how others have done it, what challenges they have faced and learn from them.

5.    Ignore digital transformation as just a hype.
Some of the companies still feel that Digital is just a fad or hype and will die on its own. There are industry examples of Kodak, Blockbuster, HMV, Borders who ignored this phenomenon and went bankrupt due to competition.

Digital moves too fast to wait. If an organization waits until best practices are established, it will be too late. 

Organizations that adapt, evolve and exploit this new digital reality quickly will thrive, while those that do not, will be lost to the sands of time like Dinosaur!!

Sunday 19 June 2016

Tactics to Hyper-personalization

By now we have all heard the importance of personalization and how companies like Amazon use data science for personalization of “Customer who bought this…” to their customers.

The latest trend however is hyper-personalization in almost every industry from Retail to Travel to Hospitality and so on.

Hyper-personalization is use of browsing histories, past purchases, social media data and internal customer data to provide more personalized and targeted products, services, and content. It is about being relevant at the right place and right time to the right person.

Rapid growth of social and newer digital channels has created an opportunity to collect even more relevant customer data, thereby helping companies provide a personalized outreach.

How it is done?

Focus on 3 important ‘W” of hyper-personalization:
  • Who you personalize
  • What you personalize and
  • Where you personalize.

Focus on defining your customers, their likes / dislikes, and most importantly their issues and challenges. By understanding these intricate details about your customers, you get an in-depth look at the pain points in their purchasing cycle, and also the factors that affect their buying decisions.

Once you have listened to them and grouped them into the right segments, you can begin to create personalized content, deliver it in a most relevant way, and help drive engagement.

Collecting data on an individual-level vs. collecting data by segment is an integral step in the hyper-personalization process. For example, if a customer searches for flights to a particular location, then travel agencies could use this info to target that customer with relevant travel packages.

Share personalized content in the context of a customer’s needs and location to deliver it across different devices so that it can translate into positive experiences for the customer. While doing this also ensure your brand is not placed among the relentless marketing which irritates customers.

Mobile has become another important medium which generates more than 60% traffic of internet and most importantly customer location.

Big Data & combined with Machine Learning & Artificial Intelligence play a huge role in hyper-personalization. It becomes more effective when cloud is used for storage and processing for faster time to market.

With wearables on the rise and IoT is collecting personalized data for a consumer which is being used for special promotions on self care, health plans.

Netflix, Starbucks & Coca Cola are using hyper-personalization for increasing revenues.

Travel is the place where hyper-personalization gets the most exciting where remote check-ins and specialized door keys are used.

Today by looking at your digital footprint, companies can offer you additional insurance when you move into new house, or education loan for your child’s post-graduation, increase credit limit on your cards based on expenditure specially customized only for you.

Welcome to hyper-personalization!!

Sunday 12 June 2016

9 steps to Successful Digital Transformation

Today nobody is bothered about if you need to go for Digital Transformation but when and how you are doing it.

All new programs or initiatives should now take a ‘Digital First’ approach, with the rapid evolution in social media, mobile, big data analytics and cloud. 

Consumers of all ages are using wide range of digital channels and are increasingly expecting high standards of digitization.

If an organization fails in attempt to digitally transform its business, then there will be multiple predators to eat them out.

Digital Transformation will involve various leading edge technologies like:

Here are the steps to be successful in digital transformation:
  1. Boardroom/Senior management buy in, decision to go Digital and drive it across organization
  2. Cultural alignment & commitment to Digital from board of directors to entry level employees
  3. Identify and assess the current state of the organization on Digital
  4. Put Customer first - Prepare customer journey maps to identify all the touch points with organization
  5. Find out pain areas at each touch point and respective stakeholders involved who can correct them
  6. Prioritize and break them in small projects to adopt fail fast approach. If anything did not work, just accept the failure, publish the learnings and move on.
  7. Seek partners to help you in your journey, who take shared risk and shared rewards
  8. Deploy agile implementation approach for quick results
  9. Market your successes to whole world

Some of the successful Digitally Transformed organizations are:
  • Apple – do you need introduction?
  • Uber – disrupted taxi industry
  • Airbnb – disrupted hotel industry
  • Disney – most loved brand in the world
  • Tesla – disrupted auto industry
  • CVS Health – leader in pharmacy
  • Burberry - retail
  •  John Deere – manufacturing

Digital Transformation can be achieved only with change of mindset and commitment across the organization. 

There is very little time now for businesses to capitalize on Digital Transformation opportunity to win and serve their customers, to create new products and services that customers want.

Sunday 5 June 2016

Do you need a Chief Digital Officer?

Today introducing basic digital capabilities and creating some pilots for customer interaction are days of the past. The challenges of the new digital age make the jumping on Digital Transformation inevitable and subsequently the need of executive like Chief Digital Officer is a no-brainer.

The recent times have seen the rise of the Chief Digital Officer, who sits next to CEO and is seen as instrumental to the future of the organization.

Traditionally, for the past several years digital was looked up as ownership of the marketing function, responsible for driving the organization’s online presence and connecting with customers, but now it is every department that has to contribute to digital enablement of customer journeys.

The spike in demand for Chief Digital Officers has been felt globally to drive digital across the organization.

Some of the CDO responsibilities are as below but not limited to:
  • Define the digital strategy
  • Map the digital capabilities to business strategy
  • Leads digital transformation and customer centricity
  • Providing detailed analysis of industry trends and developments in technology and customer behavior, both inside and outside the business sector
  • Deliver analytics across customer touch points to enable better business decisions and enhance the customer experience  
  • Use of all the digital transformation technologies like Social, Mobile, Analytics, Cloud, Internet of Things, API, UX etc.
  • Responsible for the strategy for digital consumers, identify and implement relevant Omni-channel solutions 
  • Embark on use of latest trends of Robotics, Drones, Artificial Intelligence, Beacons or NFC based payments, Blockchain etc

As digital is becoming a norm, every CXO will have to integrate their business and benefit from the CDO’s efforts.

Over the next decade, the Chief Digital Officer will be very exciting and strategic role for going near to customers.

Some of the well-known brand’s CDOs who have steered their companies on digital are:
  •  Adam Brotman of Starbucks
  • Ganesh Bell of GE
  • Daniel Heaf of Burberry
  • Atif Rafiq of McDonald's
  • Lubomira Rochet of L’Oreal

The true measure of a CDO’s success is when the role becomes redundant, as a high-functioning digital company does not need a CDO.
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