Three building blocks for creating a successful digital business

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Companies have started to see their tech stacks differently since the arrival of Covid-19. As digitization has become essential to current resilience and future relevance, they recognized that IT is more than just the engine that powers day-to-day operations – elevating its position from a back-office role to an essential asset for the company.

While all eyes are on the recovery, many are now looking to accelerate post-pandemic growth by investing in new hardware, software and systems. Global IT spending is expected to grow significantly to $ 4.2 trillion in 2021, 8.7% more than last year, Gartner says, and will continue to grow 5.5% through 2022 .

But before rushing “honeymoon” decisions, it will be crucial to ensure that a higher appreciation does not overestimate the impact. While the value that technology can offer has certainly been highlighted by recent disruptions, its ability to make a tangible contribution depends heavily on the strength of the base of organizations.

For those hoping to become high-performing digital businesses, that means they must first cultivate a solid foundation of three key elements: people, processes, and data.

Harnessing the collective power of people

Most businesses understand the importance of customer focus, especially in an environment where 78% of consumers are now heavily focused on convenience. They are also aware of the role their employees play in supporting this goal. But while it’s essential to bring together people with the right skills, there is another previous step that is just as essential to enable the consistent delivery of customer-based digital experiences: establishing the right team framework.

The typical structural approach is to create multiple internal verticals, such as data and analytics, CRM and loyalty, media and advertising, and product teams. This is not illogical: placing people on teams that match their abilities makes sense and ensures that all facets of the digital experience are covered. This can, however, cause problems when teams operate in separate silos.

While they often try to achieve the same basic business goals, using different KPIs means that each team will have a rambling view of customer interaction. For example, CRM teams that track “email clicks” may miss “purchases” from the same user, which would have been detected by the ad team who measured sales generated by paid ad campaigns. In addition to missing a customer’s sign-in behaviors, the business can also send them messages that don’t match.

Contrary to expectations, the best solution is not simply to remove these verticals. Instead, the introduction of a new global ‘customer success’ team will allow them to maintain their specific mission, but also coordinate cross-functional activities and apply aligned customer-centric KPIs as well as independent metrics. . From there, they can then coalesce around a shared, multi-faceted strategy for cross-channel, device-to-team, and team communications.

Or in other words, being under one roof will help teams work together to deliver seamless and interconnected experiences across customer journeys.

Organization of the experience by the process

Once teams are integrated, standardizing processes can dramatically improve efficiency and minimize variances. But the mapping practices to govern the entire customer experience are far from easy. As with any large-scale project, the smartest decision is to break this colossal task down into manageable pieces:

1. Customized course framework:

As simple as it sounds, the priority when setting goals should be increasing customer value, with revenue generation goals coming second and never set on arbitrary numbers. This may involve striving to empower prospects who become loyal customers by targeting advertising campaigns to new user groups and continuously optimizing efforts to meet specific needs and fuel meaningful connections, with results. bringing mutual incremental gains.

Likewise, experience planning should revolve around the habits and requirements of those customers, instead of implementing general messages, such as tailor-made reminder emails for those who have left articles. in their shopping cart for 24 hours or who have unique discount offers through social media.

2. Stay tuned to customers:

A successful journey mapping must take into account the entire customer lifecycle, including each critical step that brings about a change in mindset; from pre-purchase to shipping, cart building, conversion and post-purchase. When correlated with an experience roadmap, this allows teams to keep their approach tied to real and evolving audiences, rather than archetypes, thus increasing their chances of not only acquiring, but also retain customers.

The metrics teams they are working on should also provide flexibility. At the individual level, it is essential that the KPIs reflect the broader cross-channel roadmap in every sense of the word; Align with goals and evolve as customer trends change, without getting bogged down in ever-growing lists of redundant metrics. Holding bi-weekly meetings where holistic data is evaluated can be a smart move to regularly review the relevance of these metrics and reorient the strategy.

Detect and resolve data inefficiencies

Data is, of course, the factor behind the customer experience. Essential to understanding individuals, it also generates the information needed to highlight where businesses can reach target audiences and identify channels, devices, and times to focus on for best results. All of this means that finding and correcting the flaws in the use of data is essential to pave the way for personalized experiences at scale.

While the challenges obviously vary from business to business, there are several start-up questions that can help them spot particular issues. For example, is every byte of data they collect used for purposes related to primary business objectives? Do companies have full oversight of demand and processing, both internally and by external partners? Do they feel completely confident in the accuracy of the data? And perhaps most important: Are they secure that the collection and use of data is compliant, transparent and clearly understood by customers?

While being unable to give affirmative answers to these considerations doesn’t necessarily remove data-fueled personalization, it should at least raise a red flag and mark specific areas for consideration before launching initiatives or making technology investments. . In addition to avoiding mistakes such as messed up messages and wasted advertising budgets down the line, proactively addressing data inefficiencies could even negate the need for new tools by allowing businesses to harness the full capabilities of their technology. existing.

With digital increasingly intrinsic to lasting success, the expansion of business toolkits is inevitable. But businesses need to remember that no matter how smart or advanced new technologies are, they won’t be enough to solve every problem or unlock every opportunity. To ensure that spend generates maximum return, it is imperative to first ensure that the basic building blocks of people, processes, and data are in place for effective implementation and continued use.

Steve Carrod, co-owner and general manager, DMPG


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