Marketing and Sales are an integral part of any organization. Marketing would probably use the best strategy possible to attract the right customer and encourage and coax them to engage in the brand. Sales representatives can no longer sit back and wait for marketing to generate leads for them to follow up.
In-depth research with executives at a wide range of companies shows how managers can use technology to redefine their businesses. Executives in all industries are using digital advances such as analytics, mobility, social media and smart embedded devices as well as improving their use of traditional technologies such as ERP to change customer relationships, internal processes and value propositions.
Other executives, seeing how fast digital technology disrupted media industries in the past decade, know they need to pay attention to changes in their industries now. Where can you look for digital transformation opportunities? We interviewed executives in 50 companies to find out.
To provide balanced perspectives, approximately half of the interviewees were business leaders such as CEOs, line of business managers, marketing heads or COOs, while the other half were IT and technology leaders. The companies we interviewed are moving forward with digital transformation at varying paces and experiencing varying levels of success.
Some are transforming many parts of their organizations while others are still doing only the basics. Others are encountering organizational issues or other challenges that prevent them from transforming successfully.
But one thing we found was clear. The best companies — those we call Digirati — combine digital activity with strong leadership to turn technology into transformation. This is what we call Digital Maturity. Companies vary in their digital maturityand those that are more mature outperform those that are not.
Leading digital change requires managers to have a vision of how to transform their company for a digital world.
So, where can you look? What digital activities represent good opportunities for your business? Analysis of the interviews shows clear patterns. Executives are digitally transforming three key areas of their enterprises: And each of these three pillars has three different elements that are changing.
These nine elements form a set of building blocks for digital transformation. Currently, no company in our sample has fully transformed all nine elements. Rather, executives are selecting among these building blocks to move forward in the manner that they believe is right for their organizations.
In this article, we highlight some of the ways that companies we studied are changing these nine areas.
Transforming Customer Experience The three major building blocks with which companies are digitally transforming customer experience are customer understanding, top-line growth and customer touch points. Customer Understanding Companies are starting to take advantage of previous investments in systems to gain an in-depth understanding of specific geographies and market segments.
Some are exploring social media to understand what makes customers happy — and what leads to customer dissatisfaction. In addition, companies are learning to promote their brands more effectively through digital media. Companies are also building new online communities to advise and build loyalty with clients in medical, real estate or financial services products.
Others are building products that improve branding in lifestyle communities. Many organizations are building analytics capability to understand customers in more detail. Some insurance companies, for example, are improving their portfolios and cost structures through analytics-based underwriting and pricing.
Other companies are conducting analytics-based experiments to drive customer behavior. In one case, a restaurant company is actively conducting experiments in pricing and promotion across a set of franchised stores.
The experiment dynamically adjusts product prices in response to demand, weather, inventory levels and proximity to closing time.
Top-Line Growth Companies are using technology to enhance in-person sales conversations. For example, financial services companies are using tablet-based presentations instead of paper-based slide decks to make sales pitches.
Insurance firms are introducing mobile tools to help sales people and customers engage in analytics-based planning.
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