As you probably already know, I really like the work that Altimeter does and there latest offering is up to their usual standard. Digital transformation can come across as a little marketing campaign or a ‘hey look what this company did with an Instagram selfie and a well planned spontaneous flashmob’ but you get none of that lightweight nonsense from Brian Solis, Jaimy Szymanski, Charlene Li and the team.
It’s the real issues that people butt their heads up against everyday like silos, lack of top-level understanding and buy-in, slow investment and urgency to prioritise projects. In some ways you could take the old classics like The Goal and In Search of Excellence and update it with mobile and more intarwebby terms and you’d be talking about the same issues because it all points to one thing: change.
Take a look at this quote from Marc Pritchard at P&G:
Instead of “digital-first,” P&G is currently embracing a culture of “Digital Back.” Speaking at Dmexco, P&G’s Global Brand Building Officer, Marc Pritchard, stated that “digital marketing” as a focus on channels and technologies is “dead.” While controversial, his vision reflects a grander perspective of the evolving customer ecosystem. He believes that companies can’t embrace a strategy toward digital transformation based on the tools and trends. “Try to resist thinking about digital in terms of the tools, the platforms, the QR codes, and all of the technology coming next. Instead, start in the digital world and build your way back to the rest of the marketing mix. It’s an approach that is building our brand equities, our sales, and our profits.”
So start with the customer and map the processes back based on their behaviour and the best way to serve them? Yes.
The customers have changed and we haven’t? Yes.
The technologies and media available to serve customers and communicate ideas have changed and we haven’t? Yes.
I’m increasingly convinced that no amount of jumping up and down by humans is really going to drive the change. I think that ultimately, software will kick down the walls as it is pervasive and no respecter of silos, departments, or internal empires. Either that or something really big breaks and you have the change forced upon you like what happened to retailer Myer a few months back when a fantastic free shipping marketing campaign took out the online store for a week at Christmas. Oops. And as long as customer service, IT and marketing are not working hand in hand to serve the customer, no amount of big data or QR code enabled mobile omni-channel dashboard interactive solutions are going to mean much to customer experience, sales and profits as it just means that the piles of data get bigger and richer in the silos.
Altimeter really gets this and the report is an interesting read. Other people obviously thought this too as the download link broke when I went to get it so thank you to Leslie for emailing me the report. Very good marketing and customer care integration :)