The Frustration of Digital Basics

Going Digital! This is what is now officially the flavor of the century. When in fact, it has been a strategy that existed since the mid-90s, yet with a snail’s-pace adoption; and the reasons are many: understanding, what it means, what’s the value, costs associated, etc.

The current economic climate has made it even more impressing as we see virtually every type of business going…. or trying to go digital. Some fail, many succeed and the rest, stuck in limbo. A halfway house between knowing exactly what was needed but no exactly knowing how to do it. Consequently, many see digital as simply the “App”. So, let’s start with the very simple definition of Digital:

“It’s a strategic direction and mindset that leverages technologies to enhance the customer experience and improve business performance”

Pure and simple. All the savings, efficiencies, etc. will all come on the back of this. Done well, this should produce several positive factors to a business which ultimately drives revenues and expands scope. For example:

  • Increased sales volumes vs traditional channels
  • Improved customer data and analytics
  • Streamlined logistics, procurement and operations
  • Reduced costs of doing business
  • Eliminating select barriers to entry
  • Quick access to markets and segment audiences

However, before you embark on this journey, get these facts all lined up like rubber duckies first!

  • What is your definition of Digital?
  • What are you seeking to achieve?
  • Do you know your customers of today and tomorrow?
  • What is your measure of success?
  • What are your current weaknesses and strengths?

What I am getting at is very simple. STRATEGY! 60% of businesses that are going digital, will FAIL! They will fail because they are rushing into it without the full knowledge and appreciation of what it truly is. Digital is not an app or simply a website. It’s not something you should do quickly because others are doing it. Yes, you need a sense of urgency, but you also need a strategy. Those who have been quick to the party had the market insight and foresight to see this happen.

So how does one go Digital? What does it mean and what will it take? Here are 5 ways to start the process:

  1. Customer Vs. You: It’s not about you, your product or business. It’s about the customer. Putting them first since they are the ones that will ultimately pay your salary. Customer centricity and understanding your customer type, their lifecycle, product relativity and patterns – is key. Placing them first makes defining the digital route easier.
  2. Understand the Customer problem: With social distancing, logistical stress, contactless payments and a general fear of the “new normal”, you need to be clear about what the problem is and what you want to fix. Once you know that, then you will easily deploy the most relevant solution(s) to address that problem.
  3. Map out the Customer Experience: What will your digital solution look like from start to finish for a customer? Draw it out and take into consideration your current business environment, costs, operations, etc. Can all of these meet and sync together? Or will changes and modifications need to be made?
  4. Find the right Digital Solution: You know, you understand, you mapped it out – now you need to find out what solution will work. Is it an App, a website, a partnership in the Cloud or a simple QR Code? Is it a combination of a few or perhaps digitizing internally to make the business more efficient?
  5. Automation vs Traditional: What percentage of your business will be automated? Digital should help streamline your operations and cut costs in favor of an improved sales cycle. Therefore, what will you change/add in the backend it to make it all come together? Are your transforming or creating? Is Automation a key factor relative to your business?

It may sound daunting at first and the above 5 points are by no means the only points to consider. Digital is so much more than the app around the corner. It’s a new way of doing business that should be easy, engaging and fun. It should drive cost reductions while improving your customer experience. It should help you better understand customer trends and how you can service them. It should accelerate your bottom line growth.

Since Feb 2020, the world has had a major “RESET”. Planned or unexpected, many of the digital trends are not new. We just got a right ol kick in the rear end to get moving…..and fast!

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My name is Marc Khaled Aubry. I am a professional marketer, strategist and consultant with over 20 years in experience gained across several business sectors in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. To contact me, please email me at maaubry@msn.com or by filling out the form on my blog.

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