“I want to have more digital?” – Transition management

February 24, 2008 at 12:54 am | Posted in Digital thinking | 4 Comments

Like many senior business decision makers, I lose sleep concerned if my staff and clients realize what ‘going digital’ means.

Many believe that it is including marketing using the latest gadget or simply including internet advertising in their communications mix.

Actually, going digital has very little to do with the technology. Digital represents a culture of change.

Digital is more about business becoming more sophisticated, evolving its capabilities and moving from a reactive to a proactive posture to attend to a faster and more detailed flow of content.

“Who moved my customer?”

Digital content is changing consumers expectations, and the most disrupted are extremely influential customers. E.g. AB SEL <40.

Businesses need to quickly realize that these disruptive experiences are permanently shifting customers perception of value. The challenge now is to identify which are fads and which are the true disruptive experiences e.g. will new content interfaces like Joost, Wii, iPhone have the same effect that Palm pilot had on Filofax, mobile phones had on fixed lines, Napster had on CD´s, Broadband is having on dial-up etc.

Digital evangelism retarding cultural change

Unfortunately, separation of digital within business has alienated the majority of business decision makers, exacerbating the problem by increasing the perceived risk associated with communication related investments.

There are few professionals who currently have a holistic view of communication and understand how to integrate across both traditional and emerging communications and also through the purchase process.

In the medium-term, Integration is a far more scalable approach and much more effective in balancing the ongoing needs of disrupted and conventional customers.

The emerging business professional

The new measure of the value and equity of a business professional is the ability to filter through the noise, isolate and deconstruct the dynamics of change, reconstruct the elements (connect the dots) to uncover trends , form a vision, provide thought leadership and resolve business problems in an innovative way.

To achieve this, we first all need to have opinions. A good place to start is to analyze our own content and delivery device experiences. E.g. is the user interface intuitive, will it change my value proposition. Right or wrong, opinions are critical to help us initiate a conversation to refine our point-of-view.

Ask the tough questions to innovate

For many industries and business professionals, the opportunity cost of doing nothing is greater than trying and failing.

Ignorance, politics and business culture unfortunately, force many business professionals to be risk-averse. The mix of innovation in a marketing plan should be treated like a financial portfolio. Even the most conservative portfolio has a small proportion of risk built in to keep up with the market.

Although easier, uncontrolled tactical risk is counter-productive to the digital economy. The most practical approach to innovation is to: create a vision, map a path to the vision, determine the gaps in knowledge or capabilities to achieve the vision and construct a research and development plan to evolve your capabilities.

Remember, once a problem is defined, it is much easier to resolve. Encourage your staff to be curious to ask the tough questions.

Good news: The fundamentals of marketing haven´t changed

Contrary to evangelistic prophesies, the marketing model is not broken. It is just evolving to a more sophisticated model (driven by the new disciplines of the digital economy).

Customers still go through the same process to form opinions or reaffirm existing beliefs when deciding on a product purchase (but now the decisions can be quicker). Marketing is still about creating big ideas that open the door, get our customers attention to start a conversation.

The secret to integration success is not to concentrate on differences, but to draw parallels between the old and new economic models.

Digital is the catalyst for broader change

Digital thinking accentuates many of the dynamic elements of the emerging economy. i.e. the need to:

  • better understand customers and uncover ownable insights to effectively converse with them and influence their purchase decisions
  • innovate content and contact channel forms to encourage customers to engage with our communication messages
  • plan to an increasing level of detail and integrate to harmonize all elements in the marketing mix to provide a consistent brand personality across all phases of an increasingly accelerated purchase decision process
  • anticipate customer trends to gain a competitive advantage
  • define success metrics to ensure our marketing programs have benchmarked objectives and relevant measurement tools

Cheers, BC



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  1. I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

    Tina Russell

  2. […] terminar, recomiendo este interesante artículo sobre el cambio hacia lo digital dentro de las […]

  3. […] Para terminar, recomiendo este interesante artículo sobre el cambio hacia lo digital dentro de las empresas. https://babelfishcommsplanning.wordpress.com/2008/02/24/%e2%80%9ci-want-to-have-more-digital%e2%80%9d-transition-management/ […]

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