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Doing digital right

Christopher Vollmer | Nov. 26, 2014
When it comes to going digital, companies often make three big mistakes

Personalization. Remember what I said about having a customer-focused strategy? It's vitally important that your company create experiences that feel highly engaging and personal to the users of your products or services. This is a form of personalization. It's a matter of giving someone a solution they're not getting from anyone else. Personalization drives adoption of your products and services, it drives heavy repeat use of those products and services, and ultimately it drives customer advocacy -- advertising you can't buy at any price.

Big data. Businesses today have access to seemingly endless streams of data -- from enterprise systems, from social media sites, from point-of-purchase and point-of-use sensors and more. Data offers a massive opportunity to drive decision-making and growth and to customize the customer experience across your entire operation. Make sure your systems are equipped to allow you -- and every employee in your company who has the ability to influence its success -- to take advantage of big data.

If you think you can afford to do less -- to simply re-engineer rather than reimagine, to move slower rather than faster, to focus inward rather than starting with your customer's point of view -- you're taking a big risk. Your most dangerous competitors, including the startup down the street and the company in a neighboring industry that's looking for new areas of growth, aren't moving slowly. They sense opportunity. They have a bias for action. They know exactly where they want to go. And they create expectations for behavior and culture that inform and motivate all levels of their digital-first organizations. You want -- and need -- to get there first.


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