“Customers don´t measure you on how hard you tried.
They measure you on what you deliver.” Steve Jobs
Companies across all industries face the challenges of digitalization. “Social Media“, “Micro-Influencer“ and “Cloud Computing“ are just a few examples of this revolution. Soon it becomes clear that new technologies not only enable disruptive product innovations. Rather, entire processes and business models need to be adapted to digitalization. Customers, especially digital natives, expect new ways of managing relationship as well as advanced products and services. Therefore, the development of a digitalization strategy needs to be at the top of companies’ agendas.
Status Quo – are we ready to leave familiar business routines?
The “Digital Maturity Model“ enables the analysis of your company’s digital maturity level. This not only provides transparency on the status quo of the enterprise-related digitalization process, but also represents the basis for a future roadmap aiming for a mature strategy.
As part of a study conducted by the University of St. Gallen, data collected in an online survey was analyzed to calculate the individual maturity level of 152 companies based in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The “Digital Maturity Model“ of this study is based on nine dimensions:
1. Customer Experience
2. Product Innovation
5. Process Digitalization
6. Collaborative Model
7. Information Technology
8. Culture & Expertise
9. Transformation Management
Based on these dimensions, maturity levels between 1 and 5 were calculated and evaluated by industry. It comes as no surprise that the segment of “IT, Communication & Consulting” is leading the ranking with an average maturity level of 3.20.
Sales, service and marketing 4.0 – individuality of the customer as focus!
New technologies enable, or rather demand, the enhancement of traditional sales and marketing models. So what’s the added value of big data and advanced analytics in customer relationship management? What’s the impact of automation? What is the added value of the „Internet of Things“ (IoT)?
Aiming for personalized products and services as well as for establishing an effective customer dialogue, a systematic enhancement of strategic alignment, analytical approaches as well as organizational set-up and operations is crucial. The “Digital Customer Journey” is the new keyword. As an example, by applying “analytics tools” on customer data and usage profiles the most effective sales channel mix can be identified.
The optimal sales channel mix, for example, can be evaluated by using “analytics tools” in the context of customer and usage profiles. „Prediction tools“enable a need-oriented customer dialogue. After Sales offerings are facilitated by mobile service applications. Regarding intelligent networking of devices via the internet, the so-called „Internet of Things“, the smartwatch can only be regarded as a first initiator. As a future vision, highly automated and real-time customer interactions are becoming a given standard. Taking even further drivers of digitalization into account it surely becomes obvious that these new opportunities in sales also require more innovative marketing measures.
The “influencer” trend makes it obvious that traditional marketing activities such as newsletters, complex campaigns or television advertising are on trial. Social media, PR and image management are becoming central aspects while being referred to as “Content Marketing”. By focusing on individuality and personal needs of the customer the identification of an individual “Next-Best-Offer” is aimed for. By applying the described data processing and analytical methods, an individual offer is derived, and customer satisfaction increased sustainably.
Success factors – more than just technology and methodology!
The successful implementation of digitalization requires a specific strategy. Organizational and operational implementation not only depends on technical and methodical know-how, but corporate culture and employees acceptance are crucial success factors. Therefore, it is necessary to scrutinize which implications need to be considered by transferring innovative business models to traditional corporate structures, and how employees can explicitly be involved in the change process.
Now or never – your roadmap for a digital kick start!
A derivation of the digital roadmap is based on the “Digital Maturity Model” referred to at the beginning of this article. Only after analyzing the individual maturity level of your company and the performance of individual dimensions, the required change process is defined. In practice there is a various number of different approaches to successfully realize the digital transformation. Albert Brenner, founder of the CDO Excellence Circle, has developed the following 8-point plan:
-Berghaus, Sabine/Back, Andrea/Kaltenrieder,Bramwell, Digital Maturity & Transformation -Report 2017, Institut für Wirtschaftsinformatik, St. Gallen, 2017
-Elste, Rainer, Digitalisierung im Vertrieb: Strategien zum Einsatz neuer Technologien für das Kundenmanagement, Wiesbaden, 2016
-„Digital Business Leasership: Digitale Transformation – Geschäftsmodelle-Innovation – agile -Organisation – Change-Management“
-Digital Leadership. Erfolgreiches Führen in Zeiten der Digital Economy; Thorsten Petry