tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/digital-transformation Latest Digital Transformation content from Econsultancy 2017-02-22T01:00:00+00:00 tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68825 2017-02-22T01:00:00+00:00 2017-02-22T01:00:00+00:00 Digital in Asia Pacific: Four things you need to know Frederic Chanut <h3>1. APAC is not just China</h3> <p>The rise of digital in China is definitely one of the most exciting opportunities in the APAC region for marketers, with <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67702-digital-in-china-10-things-you-might-not-know/" target="_blank">many unique quirks and nuances</a>. The behemoth nation also has incredible influence in the area, with many other APAC countries observing Chinese business customs.</p> <p>Digital marketers familiar with North America and Europe may feel they have a grasp on catering for multiple markets; however, APAC’s history and geography mean that there are far greater differences between countries in the region.</p> <p>Westerners should have few issues in Australia or New Zealand, but make sure you do your due diligence for any of the other countries. It is necessary to have “someone on the inside” in some countries in order to overcome cultural hurdles.</p> <h3>2. There's a huge variety in internet usage</h3> <p>Perhaps the most important difference between the APAC countries is the differing levels in internet penetration, i.e. the percentage of people online. There’s a huge variation, with Japan at the top of the list with 91.1% of the population online, compared to a tiny 1.2% in Timor-Leste.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4098/apac_internet_penetration.PNG" alt="" width="865" height="537"></p> <p>Markets where internet usage is already high will offer the easiest way into the region. However, markets where internet usage <em>growth</em> is the highest will offer the biggest opportunity for investment. To give you an idea of potential growth, although APAC internet users make up around 44% of users worldwide, less than half of the region is currently online.</p> <p>These stats collected by We Are Social show the APAC countries with the highest internet growth between March 2015 and September 2016.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4046/apac_user_growth.png" alt="APAC internet user growth" width="100%"></p> <h3>3. It’s all about mobile</h3> <p>With an average GDP per capita of around $11,000 ($3,000 below the world average) affordability is a huge factor for new internet users in APAC. That’s why most new users are accessing the internet through mobile devices — a much cheaper alternative to desktop. This is being facilitated by cheap phone and data bundles, which have been responsible for the huge growth in internet usage in Timor-Leste.</p> <p>To give you some idea of growth, <a href="http://www.gsma.com/mobileeconomy/asiapacific/" target="_blank">the GSMA estimates</a> that at the end of 2015, 62% of the population (2.5bn people) subscribed to mobile services. A further 600m subscribers are expected to be added by 2020, representing a 24% increase.</p> <p>Mobile users aren’t just going online, they’re actively engaging in m-commerce, and are twice as likely to do so than other regions <a href="https://www.globalwebindex.net/blog/3-reasons-mobile-will-drive-ecommerce-growth-in-apac" target="_blank">according to insight agency Global Web Index</a>. One reason for this is that most new mobile users in APAC are millennials, who are much more comfortable with buying on mobile.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4047/apac_mcommerce.png" alt="Mobile commercie in APAC" width="100%"></p> <p>We all know that mobile-first ecommerce strategies are becoming more important in the West, but if you’re seriously considering taking on the APAC region, any new product seems more likely to succeed if it incorporates m-commerce targeted at millennials.</p> <h3>4. It’s the epicentre of the emerging middle class</h3> <p>The amount of people with disposable income is set to explode in the APAC region over the next decade. <a href="http://www.ey.com/gl/en/issues/driving-growth/middle-class-growth-in-emerging-markets" target="_blank">A report from 2013 by EY Singapore</a> states that by 2030 two-thirds of the global middle class will reside in the APAC region, with the population in Europe dwindling to just 14%.</p> <p>The emerging middle class (EMC) is a group earning between $2 to $20 a day. This is important because it’s the point at which it’s considered people start to have disposable income.</p> <p>Unsurprisingly, a popular way to spend this income is to get online. In <a href="http://www.edenstrategyinstitute.com/a/media/Asia%20Emerging%20Middle%20Class%20Survey%20Report.pdf" target="_blank">a recent study of the emerging middle class in APAC</a> it was found that 42.2% of EMC consumers own a smartphone, computer or tablet. This shows that a great number of those coming online in the region belong to the EMC.</p> <p>Alexis Karklins Marchay, co-leader of EY’s emerging markets center, said:</p> <blockquote> <p>The emergence of a new middle class, with spending power to match developed nations, will offer tremendous opportunities to businesses.</p> <p>[These] opportunities will not be confined to consumer goods: the emergence of a wealthy middle class will also open up the markets for financial services or the health sector, for instance, in new territories.</p> </blockquote> <p>Up until now, however, many large Western companies have found it hard to break into the market. It’s thought this might be because there’s a mismatch in what we expect from the Western middle class, compared to the Eastern EMC.</p> <p><a href="http://www.edenstrategyinstitute.com/a/media/Asia%20Emerging%20Middle%20Class%20Survey%20Report.pdf" target="_blank">A study by the Eden Strategy Institute</a> into the EMC in Vietnam, Indonesia, India and the Philippines found that the greatest desires of these consumers are having a healthy life, and becoming closer to God — a far cry from the increasingly obese and atheist West.</p> <p>This is one reason why simply transplanting what works in the West to the East is not necessarily going to work: <a href="http://www.wired.co.uk/article/grab-taxi-company-asia" target="_blank">a problem Uber is currently facing</a>. Businesses that tap into the particular cultural needs of the region are most likely to succeed. This includes keeping an eye out for how things are changing.</p> <p>Although many countries still hold firm to their traditional values, Western culture continues to gain influence, especially in the younger generations. It's important to understand exactly how this paradigm shift is playing out in each country.</p> <h3>A final word</h3> <p>The main takeaway from this overview of APAC is that it's changing at lightning fast speed. There's a surprise around every corner, which makes it an extremely exciting area to work in. But this unpredictability also brings many challenges.</p> <p>One thing's for sure — if you want to work in APAC, you better have your fingers firmly on the pulse. The greatest prize will go to those that can spot the trends before they even happen.</p> <p><em>To learn more on this topic, check out these Econsultancy resources:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/understanding-the-customer-journey-in-apac/"><em>Understanding the Customer Journey in Asia Pacific</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-china-digital-report/"><em>The China Digital Report</em></a></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68795 2017-02-09T11:57:06+00:00 2017-02-09T11:57:06+00:00 UK Government publishes digital transformation strategy 2017-2020 Ben Davis <p>The strategy is written in <a href="https://www.gov.uk/guidance/style-guide">GDS's inimitable style</a> - with clear statements as to how the Government will "transform the relationship between citizens and the state" and "make government itself a digital organisation", as well as detail on successes so far.</p> <p>Objectives not only cover the continued development of world class digital services, but also:</p> <ul> <li>growing the right people, skills and culture</li> <li>building better workplace tools processes and governance</li> <li>making better use of data</li> <li>creating shared platforms to speed up transformation</li> </ul> <p>Each section in the document ends with a list of clear priorities up to 2020, and the strategy also includes detail on <a href="https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/government-transformation-strategy-2017-to-2020/government-transformation-strategy-government-beyond-2020">expectations for government beyond 2020</a>.</p> <p>In a foreword, Ben Gummer MP, Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General, writes:</p> <blockquote> <p>The imperative is to change...and to do so at pace and at scale. This is the meaning of transformation. It is in essence a change of working, of culture and of disposition - changes that are made possible by digital technology.</p> <p>That technology is not change itself; it enables the change that is so transformative.</p> </blockquote> <p>Since its foundation in 2011, GDS has attracted much praise for its 'Digital by Default' strategy, the concept of 'Government as a Platform', and its work on service design such as GOV.UK Verify.</p> <p>In 2015, Mike Bracken, the leader of GDS since its inception, moved to Co-op along with some other former GDS colleagues, becoming Chief Digital Officer and implementing a similar programme of change.</p> <p><em><strong>More on this topic:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/digital-transformation/"><em>Econsultancy's Digital Transformation Hub</em></a></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66906-was-i-wrong-about-chief-digital-officers/">Was I wrong about Chief Digital Officers</a> </em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67420-what-is-service-design-who-uses-it/">What is service design &amp; who uses it?</a></em></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63430-the-digital-beauty-of-gds-government-digital-service/"><em>The digital beauty of GDS (Government Digital Service)</em></a></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68779 2017-02-06T14:15:37+00:00 2017-02-06T14:15:37+00:00 How will Donald Trump's policies affect fintech? Patricio Robles <p>While preventing another major financial crisis is a sensible goal, Dodd-Frank has been a source of controversy. At more than 2,000 pages, Dodd-Frank is, as one might expect, incredibly complex, and since it became law, it has been blamed for a number of trends, ranging from a decline in community banks to a decline in business lending by banks.</p> <p>During his campaign, then-candidate Trump promised to do away with Dodd-Frank and his directive last week is the first step in delivering on that promise. While this will almost certainly be a complex process that takes time, it's not too early for companies in the financial sector to start evaluating how the elimination of Dodd-Frank could affect their businesses.</p> <p>Specifically, the eventual death of Dodd-Frank could have a significant impact on fintechs, which <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68159-five-ways-fintech-upstarts-are-disrupting-established-financial-institutions/">have been distrupting established financial services institutions</a>. Here's what it could mean for these financial service upstarts.</p> <h3>The good</h3> <p>Dodd-Frank created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which has broad regulatory powers over a number of consumer finance markets. While the CFPB has been largely supportive of innovation in financial services, it has also taken action against fintechs.</p> <p>For example, it fined both startup payment provider Dwolla over its data security practices and subprime consumer lending startup LendUp for "failing to deliver the promised benefits of its products."</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3699/donald_trump.jpg" alt="" width="726" height="482"></p> <p>To be sure, few would argue that fintechs shouldn't be regulated and held to the same standard as established financial institutions. But if given the choice, most fintechs (and their investors) would probably opt for less regulation instead of more regulation, so to the extent that the repeal of Dodd-Frank results in less regulation, players in the fintech market would probably welcome it.</p> <p>In addition to the possibility that fintechs will have to deal with less regulation, if big banks are relieved of many of the regulatory burdens that Dodd-Frank has imposed on them, it could conceivably encourage them to more aggressively acquire, invest in or partner with fintechs.</p> <p>Already, large banks <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68350-digital-transformation-in-a-b2b-giant-jp-morgan-ge/">like JP Morgan</a> have made an effort to work with startups as part of their <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/digital-transformation/">digital transformations</a>, and they could get much closer to those startups if regulatory concerns diminish.</p> <h3>The bad</h3> <p>On the other hand, regulatory relief for big banks could put them in a better position to compete with fintechs. This effect could be particularly pronounced in the consumer and business lending markets, as Dodd-Frank has been blamed for significantly decreased bank lending. </p> <p>The void in the lending markets fueled the rise of non-bank lenders, which include <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68549-how-will-fintech-lenders-cope-with-an-economic-downturn/">online lenders</a>. If big banks aggressively re-enter the lending markets, the increased competition could make it much more difficult for fintech lenders to generate business.</p> <p>Other changes could harm a number of wealth management startups that have promoted the use of robo-advisors. President Trump wants to end the so-called fiduciary rule, which requires retirement account advisers to work in the best interests of their clients.</p> <p>Throwing out the fiduciary rule "will shrink the market for robo-investing" <a href="https://www.wired.com/2017/02/trumps-gifts-wall-street-threaten-retirees-robots/">according to</a> one industry executive, which explains why fintech startup Betterment went so far as to take out ads in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal with open letters urging Trump not to undo the rule.</p> <h3>The ugly</h3> <p>While reduced regulation would probably be welcomed by fintechs, there is one part of Dodd-Frank that many fintechs rely heavily on. <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/fintech-startups-want-to-save-one-key-page-of-dodd-frank-1486035001">Section 1033</a> of the bill essentially establishes that consumers have the right to their financial data.</p> <p>Using third-party platforms offered by companies like Yodlee, Intuit and Plaid, many fintech startups make it easy for their customers to connect to their bank and credit accounts to retrieve data. This is used for everything from spending analyses to underwriting of loans.</p> <p>If Section 1033 is eliminated, large financial institutions, namely banks, would conceivably have the ability to block third-parties from accessing data from customer accounts. If this happens, some fintechs could find it difficult to survive as they would no longer have a viable way to obtain the data they need from their customers' bank accounts in a quick, secure and automated fashion.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:Report/4388 2017-02-02T14:00:00+00:00 2017-02-02T14:00:00+00:00 Digital Intelligence Briefing: 2017 Digital Trends <p>The <strong>2017 Digital Trends</strong> report, based on the seventh annual trends survey conducted by Econsultancy and <strong><a title="Adobe" href="http://www.adobe.com/marketing-cloud.html">Adobe</a></strong>, highlights the key digital trends, challenges and opportunities which marketers need to be aware of during 2017, covering topics ranging from customer experience and mobile to data-driven marketing and personalisation.</p> <p>The 2017 edition of this research also investigates how committed organisations are to digital transformation, which is intrinsically linked to creating a great customer experience.</p> <p>The report is based on a global survey of more than 14,000 marketers and ecommerce professionals carried out at the end of 2016.</p> <h3>The following sections are featured in the report:</h3> <ul> <li>The hard realities of digital transformation</li> <li>Looking back on 2016</li> <li>Priorities and budget plans for 2017</li> <li>Keeping up with customer expectations</li> <li>Building a digital culture</li> <li>Design-driven transformation</li> <li>Looking forward to the future</li> <li>Fit for the future: three key areas marketers should focus on</li> </ul> <h3> <strong>Findings</strong> include:</h3> <ul> <li>Over one fifth (22%) of client-side respondents ranked<strong> 'optimising the customer experience' </strong>as the single most exciting opportunity for the year ahead, slightly ahead of other areas such as 'creating compelling content for digital experiences' (16%) and 'data-driven marketing' (12%).</li> <li>The <strong>priorities</strong> that sit atop marketers’ lists are content marketing (29%), social media engagement (28%) and targeting and personalisation (25%).</li> <li> <strong>Design </strong>is considered the next level on the path to digital transformation, with 86% of survey respondents agreeing that design-driven companies outperform other businesses.</li> <li>While over four-fifths (82%) of survey respondents believe that <strong>creativity</strong> is highly valued within their organisations and around three-quarters (77%) are investing in design to differentiate their brand, just over two-fifths (44%) don’t think that they have the processes and collaborative workflows to achieve a design advantage.</li> <li>A key part of delivering differentiated customer experiences in the future will involve looking beyond mobile and focusing on <strong>the Internet of Things (IoT), augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR)</strong>, channels which are regarded by survey respondents as exciting prospects over the coming years.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Econsultancy's Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefings, sponsored by <a title="Adobe" href="http://www.adobe.com/marketing-cloud.html">Adobe</a>, look at some of the most important trends affecting the marketing landscape. </strong><strong>You can access the other reports in this series <a title="Econsultancy / Adobe Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefings" href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/quarterly-digital-intelligence-briefing">here</a>.</strong></p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68731 2017-01-26T15:15:00+00:00 2017-01-26T15:15:00+00:00 Your 2017 marketing plan should be defined by change and transformation Stephanie Miller <p>If you are placing all your hopes for digital transformation <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68356-what-is-an-innovation-lab-and-how-do-they-work/">into a 'lab'</a>, you are missing a huge opportunity to keep up with customers and their ever-evolving digital lifestyles and workplaces. </p> <p>Instead, invest in making adapting to change part of your culture. Every marketer needs to challenge the status quo as part of their regular job. Sequestering innovation into a separate group may be great for ideation, but it will never actually transform your business.</p> <p>Transformation requires the proverbial thousand points of light - every pair of hands, drawing new insights from data by asking different questions, and testing out new campaigns.</p> <p>This year, engage every marketer in the work of keeping ahead of customer need, and taking advantage of the right set of new platforms and digital tools. Not just marketers, actually, but also everyone in all those cross-functional teams on whom we rely so heavily to create great customer experience - from sales to customer service to IT.</p> <h3>People power</h3> <p>This time of year, lots of columnists predict what the future will hold - <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68706-ashley-friedlein-s-marketing-and-digital-trends-for-2017/" target="_blank">including our own Chairman</a> Ashley Friedlein who urges every marketing organization to adopt the "F" word (Focus). (Anyone who doubled down last year with <a href="https://blog.medium.com/renewing-mediums-focus-98f374a960be#.jsiaquiy2" target="_blank">advertising on Medium</a> can attest to the worth of this advice. What seemed like an obvious opportunity based on traditional rules of business, just isn't.)  </p> <p>Ashley also talks about the increasing attention on "marketing transformation", which refers to the internal marketing organization transformation which complements the customer-journey focused <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/digital-transformation/">digital transformation</a> work that is already underway at so many Econsultancy clients.</p> <p>Scott Brinker, author of the popular ChiefMarTec blog <a href="http://chiefmartec.com/2017/01/marketing-prediction-need-2017/" target="_blank">predicted</a> that change is the only trend you need to watch in 2017.</p> <p>People empowerment is just as important as the right technology, where he advises, "For people, you need to carve out time, resources, and executive enthusiasm for learning and experimentation. Having people take courses, attend conferences, join local meet-ups, and voraciously read (or listen to podcasts) is good. But the real learning happens when they’re encouraged to apply new ideas in their work, through silo-busting collaborations with their peers."</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3417/iStock-528622704.jpg" alt="" width="724" height="483"></p> <p>No matter what your position on trend watching, there is one thing that is clear. Nothing will get done to meaningfully transform your business without people.</p> <p>And not just any people. People who are skilled in <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/skills-of-the-modern-marketer/">modern marketing</a>, working collaboratively across functions with shared goals, in an organization that is structured to help them and the company succeed. People are inextricable from culture, process and strategy.</p> <p>It's a truth universally acknowledged that bottom-up ideas tend to be more practical and data-driven. Why not train your teams how to capture change and turn it into opportunity, while you give them the skills and tools they need to increase your digital marketing muscle?  </p> <p>Why not challenge marketers to talk to customers and solve their problems? Why not embrace change as a constant, and filter that "lab" mentality into every role? Really. Why not?</p> <p>It's a simple concept: Trust your teams to know their key audiences and to be committed to optimizing the customer experience. Help them master the concepts and foundational principles, show them what "good" looks like for your company, and teach them to how to evaluate new digital opportunities. </p> <p>The learning programs and ecosystem that you create to support your teams have to be as agile and open to change as the software you use. In the golden triangle of people, process and technology, transformation will only occur as fast as the slowest leg of the triangle allows. Don't isolate your people from their ability to innovate.</p> <p>What are your thoughts on transformation and change management in 2017 for marketing? We'd love to hear your challenges and what has worked for you already.</p> <p><em>If you’re planning a digital transformation project or want to find out more, visit Econsultancy’s <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/digital-transformation/">Digital Transformation Hub</a>.</em></p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68707 2017-01-25T13:53:00+00:00 2017-01-25T13:53:00+00:00 How does the biggest company you've never heard of recruit digital talent? Ben Davis <p>I'm doing RS (and Corby) a disservice in setting the scene. There aren't many companies that are evolving as quickly, particularly within B2B.</p> <p>A whopping 70% of the company's EU sales were online in 2015, up from 15% in just 10 years. And to give you an idea of the extent of sales, RS ships 44,000 packages globally every day, offering 500,000 products to 1m customers in 32 countries.</p> <p>It makes for a fascinating case study (in fact, you can read previous Econsultancy articles about <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67239-the-ultimate-ecommerce-cro-ux-case-study-rs-components/">RS's conversion optimisation</a> and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67955-how-one-simple-a-b-test-helped-rs-components-increase-add-to-cart-conversion-by-159/">A/B testing</a>).</p> <p>Certainly, visiting the Corby HQ, you get a real sense of a business in the middle of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/digital-transformation/">a transformation</a>. The enormous, '80s-vintage distribution centre looks, from the outside, as it probably always has done - it's built for functionality and won't be picking up a <a href="https://www.architecture.com/Explore/Home.aspx">RIBA</a> prize any time soon (nor should it).</p> <p>However, once you make it past the rather corporate reception with its green potted plants and an enormous company timeline, the digital departments are a scene of relaxed productivity, recently refurbished to more millennial tastes and belying the warehouse setting.</p> <h3><strong>Changing the furniture</strong></h3> <p>There are breakout tables made cosy and private with high-sided benches (the sort you see in airports to allow transfer passengers to get some sleep). Meeting rooms are neither plate glass nor windowless, again affording the right level of inclusivity, with slatted windows decorated in bright primary colours.</p> <p>There's a corner of the office where brainstorming can occur in the round, with an almost amphitheatre-like set-up - banquettes facing a whiteboard. High tables and chairs provide a place to eat lunch away from the desk.</p> <p>Elsewhere, there are more clichéd touches, such as a large cardboard robot and another whiteboard covered in magnetic emojis, which my guide, digital marketing strategy manager Adam Pridmore, points out are just a bit of fun, in a room where employees are encouraged to express themselves.</p> <p>It's important not to scoff at fun, though. If you've ever worked in '80s-built offices in a warehouse complex (I have), you'll know that these touches can make a big difference. With fewer places to walk on lunch and nowhere to go for a beer after work, this commitment to a flexible and enjoyable workspace is vital.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3313/SAM_0940.jpg" alt="rs workspace" width="300"> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3314/SAM_0952.jpg" alt="rs workspace" width="300"></p> <h3>A new digital hub in London</h3> <p>Alongside improvements to the Corby offices, RS has recognised the need for a London base to gain access to a greater pool of talent. Like many other companies headquartered outside of London in the UK (such as Tesco), RS has created a digital hub in the capital. This office opened in early 2016 and now houses around 40 digital team members and some board-level staff.</p> <p>RS recruited for around 35 digital roles in 2016 and 70% of these were into this London digital hub. These London-based positions are chiefly in the digital advertising and SEO department.</p> <p>Harriet Quick, VP of digital marketing, told me that SEO, particularly link building, and digital advertising are the skillsets that are trickiest to recruit for. As language skills are often also required in these roles, for RS's work with international offices in EMEA and APAC, a London base is helpful in finding the right candidates.</p> <p>However, the digital hub is by no means a silver bullet for recruitment. Emily Garvie, HR business partner for innovation, points out that RS "has access to more talent [in London], but there is added complexity in that it’s fiercely competitive". This competition provides a challenge for staff retention, with skilled employees coveted by headhunters.</p> <p>There's also the question of cultural fit when recruiting staff in London (who are often ex-agency) to work remotely with the Corby head office. Quick picked up on this, saying, "People who are used to working at agencies aren’t necessarily used to working in an international matrix environment."</p> <p>She continues, "Obviously, not being in Corby, where the majority of the rest of the UK business is, there’s that difficulty of integrating a London hub which is predominantly made up of agency-based expertise."</p> <p>This is where soft skills come in.</p> <h3><strong>Softer skills are imperative</strong></h3> <p>Though technical skills in digital can be tricky to recruit for, both Quick and Garvie were adamant that soft skills are much harder to come across and also much more important to the success and the development of any new hire.</p> <p>"We’re quite clear - the technical training, we can go and get that. It’s an attitude we're looking for," said Garvie. "Being able to work with other people effectively, to influence, to thrive in the culture we are trying to create. People have to have the ability and the motivation to go and find the answer themselves. You can't teach that."</p> <p>"There’s complexity, as there is in any organisation and... deep technical experts may not necessarily have worked in larger environments where building collaborative relationships and influencing people has been as relevant, due to the nature of their role."</p> <p>Garvie's sentiments mirror Econsultancy's findings in the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/skills-of-the-modern-marketer/">2014 Skills of the Modern Marketer Report</a>, where the key softer skill mentioned by interviewees was 'articulation and persuasion'. These skills can be honed, of course, but they often come from broad experience across customer-facing and business roles, something RS is keen to encourage its digital employees to seek out.</p> <p><em>Chart below shows answers to question 'How important would you say the following softer skills or behaviours are to being an effective marketer in the modern digital world?'</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0004/8333/soft_skills-blog-full.jpg" alt="soft skills" width="615" height="547"></p> <h3><strong>A people strategy, not a recruitment strategy</strong></h3> <p>A detailed and tailored approach to the personal development of its staff is at the core of RS's digital HR strategy and this comes across clearly when talking to Quick and Garvie.</p> <p>The company understands what competencies each employee or prospect should have and, according to Garvie, is "trying to develop a very open and challenging culture, to give people breadth of experience, opportunities and differentiated development plans, rather than a sheep dip approach."</p> <p>Quick, in her role as VP of digital marketing, says that regular sessions are held with heads of teams to "look at each team's strengths, opportunities, and their succession plans". She adds that "when there’s a gap between [an individual's] capability and the next opportunity, we identify ways to help them so that in the next 12 months, say, they can fill that opportunity."</p> <p>"There isn’t just a recruitment strategy", Garvie adds, "there’s a talent strategy, a people strategy".</p> <p>This people strategy is demonstrated by the policy for secondments between digital teams. Digital is made up of digital marketing, digital analytics, digital content (onsite product content), and ops (development). Quick tells me that two people from the content team are currently on six-month secondments working on email in the marketing team, and another employee is on secondment from Madrid to London.</p> <p>These opportunities are particularly important when you consider that a proportion of the digital staff have backgrounds as print specialists, working on RS paper catalogues. As the company has changed, moving from print versioning and sign-off to a more flexible approach to web, these employees have had to develop new skills.</p> <p>As Garvie puts it, the strategy is "Attract, retain and develop. Rather than just attract. That’s a big differentiator." </p> <h3>But how to convince the best candidates?</h3> <p>Getting this message of personal development and progression in digital roles across to potential hires can be difficult - what company doesn't claim the 'possibility of progression? - but RS is beginning to build out its content to better paint this picture.</p> <p>Recruitment in digital is changing and is no longer about posting an advert on a jobs board and sitting back and waiting. Content and communities matter.</p> <p>RS uses an Oracle talent management programme called Taleo, which helps to manage and grow the company's social media presence to gain better reach with candidates. This approach involves making the most of the current expertise in the digital team to create content that will attract the best talent.</p> <p>Though these efforts are still scaling up, HR has already created compelling video content, for example, showcasing the culture and the people within the organisation. It's a far cry from the dry B2B recruitment videos of old.</p> <p>"Our latest video hopefully gives people a snapshot of our culture...We’ve got some really great stories where people have moved across the organisation and we know that these are the people that have really great insight into our business," Quick explains.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/q7d2V_GKgcQ?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <p>"It's the same as marketing," Quick continues, "In marketing you have to be where your customers are, and in recruitment you have to be where potential candidates are. It’s not even job search engines (Indeed etc.) any more - we are using skills and expertise to find candidates within their own online communities."</p> <h3><strong>Creating a digital culture</strong></h3> <p>RS's efforts are bearing fruit, with cultural change and talent management seemingly chicken and egg. Employees are given accountability, without "bags of governance", according to Garvie.</p> <p>Over the past 12 months, the company has reduced the remaining agency retainers it had (social media and advertising) and brought the activity in-house.</p> <p>The operations team - 100 strong and managing 30 digital properties - has adopted agile methodology, split into five teams prioritising <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66658-24-best-practice-tips-for-ecommerce-site-search/">site search</a>, product pages, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/10936-site-speed-case-studies-tips-and-tools-for-improving-your-conversion-rate/">site speed</a>, filtering and checkout, with changes prioritised in product sprints. The gains have been impressive, with a 40% improvement in site speed in 2016 and vastly improved search relevancy just two of the highlights.</p> <p>Rolling out changes to the site has been up to four times quicker using agile methodology. And marketing teams, too, have also taken on some aspects of agile, for example sitting together with stakeholders at the beginning of a project and understanding the objectives behind each piece of work. This represents a big change from previous methods of receiving, reviewing and updating proposals over lengthy email chains.</p> <p>"The whole approach for the agile team is to put the customer in the middle," says Quick. "We ask what the problem is then build out from there. Rigorous testing plus an increase in UX resource has helped to turn the way we build our website on its head."</p> <p>To that end, RS has built a new customer lab within its Corby ops offices, and a second in London. Qualitative tools like Foresee, along with session tracking, are utilised by UX experts who are regularly recording user feedback. </p> <p>This customer- and digital-focused approach is something you can see starting to come through from the new CEO, Lindsley Ruth, who has been in place since 2015. As you can see in <a href="http://www.electrocomponents.com/media/videolibrary/2017-half-year-results-lindsley-ruth">a video where he discusses half year results</a> for the 2017/2018 year, the commitment to CX is clear, with Ruth even praising that aforementioned 40% increase in site speed over 2016.</p> <p>You have to wonder how many other CEOs know how much their site speed has improved over the past 12 months.</p> <p>However, Quick and Garvie said that the next big challenge is one that faces many forward-thinking organisations - embedding digital skills across the organisation, not simply within digital teams.</p> <h3><strong>Digital culture should not be siloed</strong></h3> <p>"By having a digital team, you almost take away the requirement of the rest of the organisation to be digital. That segregation shouldn’t exist. We should be rebalancing our focus whether teams are customer facing or not. It could be picking in the warehouse, for example," says Quick.</p> <p>Digital represents 70% of RS's business, but the digital team represents only 180 people out of 6,000 staff. Understandably, this can generate tension if the digital department is seen to be allocated disproportionate resources.</p> <p>Quick comments that a broader focus on digital has to be a combination of upskilling and sharing digital expertise, as well as a topdown approach, and that this is very much in the offing through CEO Ruth. Departments such as sales, HR and finance should become empowered to develop digital skills that increase their efficacy.</p> <p>However, Garvie adds a note of realism saying that "the business has many different cultures (finance, digital, supply chain) and in a company of such size this is quite natural."</p> <h3>The future of innovation</h3> <p>So, what's next for the RS digital team and the hunt for talent?</p> <p>Well, the company is continuing to encourage innovation, to add to successful projects such as <a href="https://www.rs-online.com/designspark/home">DesignSpark</a>, a community of industrial designers making use of RS Components' free CAD tools. This software, alongside initiatives such as RS's high profile partnership with the Raspberry Pi Foundation, is great for sales, brand awareness and RS's education work (CSR), but it may also help attract great candidates.</p> <p>Not only do these innovations provide more content to shape recruitment efforts, RS also has one eye on the apprenticeship levy that will be introduced by the Department for Education in Spring 2017. This greater funding for apprenticeships, Garvie says, "will challenge what we do... Apprenticeships and digital is a great partnership and could be a good area for us to attract more people who are very junior in their career."</p> <p>"Getting them in earlier," she continues, "means we can give them technical expertise but also give them rounded business expertise too."</p> <p>So, the next time the RS sales team takes its new innovation truck (engineering's cross between a transformer and an episode of Pimp My Ride) to a school, perhaps the children there will be inspired to start a career at RS.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/JjqPVVSAWxM?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <p><em>For more on digital recruitment, check out the below posts. You can also benchmark your team’s expertise using the Econsultancy <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/digital-skills-index-lite/">Digital Skills Index</a>:<br></em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68487-how-can-companies-attract-and-retain-talent-in-the-digital-age/"><em>How can companies attract and retain talent in the digital age?</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68483-hiring-digital-talent-what-skills-characteristics-do-startups-value/"><em>Hiring digital talent: What skills &amp; characteristics do startups value?</em></a></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68717 2017-01-20T10:11:00+00:00 2017-01-20T10:11:00+00:00 What exactly is marketing ops? Ben Davis <p>Here's what he has to say about the latter:</p> <blockquote> <p>The area that I find most interesting is the idea of ‘marketing ops’: the operating system for marketing. This is one effective way of keeping focus but also dealing with complexity and delivering operational efficiency.</p> <p>Just as (enlightened) IT has ‘dev ops’ it makes absolute sense to me that marketing needs ‘marketing ops’. Marketing is adopting ‘agile’ from the world of tech (incorrectly in many cases, but still…) and could do well to adopt ‘ops’. </p> </blockquote> <p>Justin Dunham of Urban Airship gave <a href="http://www.slideshare.net/MarTechConf/marketing-ops-is-a-philosophy-not-a-department-by-justin-dunham">a talk</a> at the MarTech Europe conference in November and attempted to explain the concept of marketing ops, its principles and how it draws on lessons learned from DevOps.</p> <p>Here's a very quick digest of some of Dunham’s points, alongside some wider theory.</p> <h3>Marketing ops; a definition</h3> <p>Marketing ops should allow marketing to adapt quickly to changes in the market, in business strategy, and in customer behaviour.</p> <p>The increasing influence of digital technology in marketing has expanded the scope of marketing ops from project management and governance to areas including: </p> <ul> <li>marketing performance measurement</li> <li>strategic planning guidance and execution</li> <li>resource allocation</li> <li>process development</li> <li>marketing systems and data</li> </ul> <p>Marketing now has tighter relationships with IT, operations and sales, and is considered a driver of efficiency, rather than simply a cost centre, with a concomitant increase in infrastructure, process and reporting.</p> <p>However, it’s probably easiest to think of marketing ops as planning, process and measurement. Dunham uses the more inspiring word, ‘prioritization, synchronization, execution.’</p> <p>In layman’s terms: getting stuff done and improving results. Marketing ops does this by managing the more traditional marketing teams that are often aligned with disciplines or with stages of the customer lifecycle.</p> <p>Dunham sums this up with two example org charts, seen below.</p> <p><em>Example one</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3171/org_1.jpg" alt="org structure" width="650" height="205"></p> <p><em>Example two</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3172/org_2.jpg" alt="org structure" width="650" height="267"></p> <p>You may think this long definition of marketing ops is a bit dry. Dunham livens up the outline of marketing ops by providing some generic examples of how it might work, alongside some guiding principles.</p> <p>Let’s have a look.</p> <h3>Marketing ops; some examples</h3> <p>When it comes to <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/topics/content-marketing-and-strategy">content marketing</a>, Dunham describes the role of marketing ops as tackling questions and tasks such as:</p> <ul> <li>What content performs best?</li> <li>Which paid media campaign has been most effective?</li> <li>Make this content available on our site. Deploy this content via email.</li> <li>Can we give the sales team a template to follow up with event attendees?</li> </ul> <p>In product marketing, marketing ops might attempt to answer:</p> <ul> <li>Who’s visiting the site?</li> <li>Where are they coming from?</li> <li>What assets are the sales team using?</li> <li>Can we build an ROI calculator?</li> <li>Help us understand who’s in the database.</li> </ul> <p>In Dunham’s third example, he looks at demand generation, where marketing ops may consider:</p> <ul> <li>How much revenue does a lead from <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/paid-search-marketing-ppc-best-practice-guide/">AdWords</a> generate?</li> <li>What tech can we use on the website to shorten our forms?</li> <li>How can we decrease page load time so we can rank better in Google?</li> <li>Can you suggest some A/B testing ideas to us?</li> </ul> <h3>Marketing ops; the principles</h3> <p>Dunham argues that marketing ops relies on collaboration and has four principles. These are: </p> <ul> <li>Accountability through data.</li> <li>Test and learn.</li> <li>Technology as a competitive advantage.</li> <li>Use workflows and process to go quicker.</li> </ul> <p>I’ve seen other definitions of marketing ops which state that ops may manage the so-called ‘six As’. These are:</p> <ul> <li>Alignment (<a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-convergence-of-marketing-and-sales/">marketing with sales</a> and more broadly with the customer and the business)</li> <li>Accountability (metrics, measurement, results)</li> <li>Analytics (including models)</li> <li>Automation (technology infrastructure and training)</li> <li>Alliances (with finance, IT etc.)</li> <li>Assessment (benchmarking and improvement)</li> </ul> <p><em><strong>Does your organization have a marketing ops function, or is planning to create one? If so, let us know how it is panning out in the comments below.</strong></em></p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68696 2017-01-11T15:05:00+00:00 2017-01-11T15:05:00+00:00 Digital transformation in the Premier League: Southampton FC's fan-first strategy David Moth <p>So it’s a pleasant surprise to see <a href="https://southamptonfc.com/">Southampton FC</a> buck this trend and create a website that offers a decent UX and interesting content.</p> <p>My colleague Ben Davis has already written <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68445-can-southampton-fc-break-the-hegemony-of-crap-football-websites/">a comprehensive review of the site</a>, but this post looks in more depth at how the website was developed and its role in a larger <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/digital-transformation/">digital transformation</a> project that Southampton is working on with digital agency <a href="http://www.deleteagency.com/">Delete</a>.</p> <h3>The business case</h3> <p>While Southampton FC accepts that it can’t yet compete with mega-clubs like Manchester United and, ahem, Tottenham, it can aim to consistently be among the ‘best of the rest’ in the Premier League.</p> <p>In order to maintain and improve its on-pitch performance, the club needs to increase its sponsorship revenues. And in order to become more attractive to sponsors, it needs to grow a larger group of engaged fans globally.</p> <p>It’s fair to say that few people really dislike Southampton, and it has a reputation for nurturing young talent that could act as its USP if packaged correctly. In marketing speak, the club is a challenger brand.</p> <p>But how can you turn a general feeling of warmth into genuine support for the club? The sense was that a great digital experience would help nudge people towards becoming fans.</p> <p><em>Southampton's club manifesto</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2983/Southampton_s_manifesto.png" alt="" width="800" height="450"></p> <p>However, up until two years ago the club didn’t have a firm understanding of its fan base, so it set about doing some old fashioned marketing.</p> <p>A market sizing exercise revealed that the club’s global potential customer base was around 190m people, but it was only monetizing 11% of that audience.</p> <p>Obviously only a very small percentage of that number will be able to attend a match at Saint Mary’s, so the club needed to find other revenue streams, whether that be from advertising, sponsored content, or a digital membership scheme.</p> <p>All of these potential avenues would require the club to improve its digital platforms and bring in more site traffic. </p> <p>To really make the most of the opportunity the club would also need to vastly improve its data strategy. Until recently the main website, ticketing and club shop all used different databases and none of the systems spoke to each other.</p> <p>One of Southampton’s aspirations is to gain a single customer view so it can deliver a more consistent customer experience, and also maximize revenues. This latter part will take a while longer to come to fruition, but the new website is the start of the process.</p> <h3>New tactics</h3> <p>Southampton is attempting to turn its site into the destination for fans looking for news about the team during the week and live updates on match days.</p> <p>This is a huge challenge, as the club is trying to teach fans a new behaviour, something which many brands have tried and failed to achieve in the past.</p> <p>Delete also recognized that the club is competing for people’s attention with other entertainment brands, such as Netflix, so the user experience is key if it is to stand a chance of success.</p> <p>Research undertaken by Saints and Delete showed that football fans are constantly grazing on content during the week, jumping from sites like the BBC, to social networks, to sites like Sports Bible, to Sky Sports, and so on.</p> <p>On a match day fans will habitually turn to sports sites like the BBC which give them live updates from every Premier League game. What, then, can Southampton do to get itself included in that list of sites that fans visit each week, rather than just being seen as another boring official club site?</p> <p>The answer was to take a fan-first approach (this is the era of customer-centricity after all). </p> <p><em>Southampton's new website</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2969/Southampton_homepage.png" alt="" width="800" height="462"></p> <p>According to Tom Dougherty, UX director at Delete: “We asked what do the fans want, and then created that experience for them to make sure they keep coming back. If you put business needs first it impacts the fan experience negatively, which then harms the club’s sponsors.”</p> <p>The outcome of the fan-first approach is the new Saints Live broadcast hub, which aims to provide a constant stream of engaging, unique content about the team.</p> <p>There isn't a homepage as such, just a content feed which can be filtered based on different themes. The entire site is built on a single application, meaning it never reloads and navigation is simplified. Again, see <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68445-can-southampton-fc-break-the-hegemony-of-crap-football-websites/">our review for more detail</a>.</p> <h3>Content strategy </h3> <p>During the design phase the club developed seven different audience personas, and everything is created with one of these groups in mind.</p> <p>The content team, headed by Tom Biggs, aims to be constantly refreshing the feed with snackable content such as images, videos and tweets, so there’s always something new for fans to engage with.</p> <p><em>Southampton's content feed</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2972/Saints_Live_feed.png" alt="" width="858" height="677"></p> <p>This involved developing new publishing processes and making content work harder, as the content team of nine people is still relatively small compared to other Premier League teams.</p> <p>Fans are hungry to know what’s going on at their club, so Southampton needed to get better at utilising its existing content assets, such as press conferences, youth teams, player stories, training programmes, diets, etc</p> <p>Rather than publishing one video in its entirety, how can it be chopped up and packaged into different digital formats to extend its shelf life?</p> <p>Also, sports fans love stats, but few teams make good use of the data they hold on players. Southampton's content team realised the value of these stats and is developing new ways of bringing the information to life to tell engaging stories.</p> <p><em>Southampton player stats</em></p> <p><em><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2970/Southampton_player_stats.png" alt="" width="800" height="391"></em></p> <p>Implementing new working processes required a new, slicker CMS, which Delete built using Sitecore.</p> <p>Previously Southampton’s site was built by Football League Interactive, a centralised web platform offered for free to Football League clubs that want to outsource their website in return for giving up the right to any ad revenue.</p> <p>While it’s a useful service for lower league clubs looking to reduce their overheads, the UX is poor and every club in the nation logs into the same CMS, which can cause long publishing delays on busy match days.</p> <p>Southampton’s new CMS is custom built to allow rapid publication of different formats during the week. While the content team don’t have the resource to publish 20 long articles a day, they can easily update the feed with tweets, photos and other social content.</p> <p>All content is given a master tag which dictates where it will eventually live. This tagging system means content is organised around themes rather than formats, and ensures the content is dynamic and readily available in relevant spots around the site.</p> <p>For example, each player has their own content feed, as do matches and club sponsors.</p> <h3>Match days</h3> <p>Match days are obviously the most important day of the week for football fans, so this is where Southampton really wants to stand out.</p> <p>Before a game the site automatically switches to a match day design, reflecting the fact that fans are only interested in one thing.</p> <p>All content at this stage will be related to the upcoming match, and during the game the site switches to a micro-update platform giving detailed, real-time match information.</p> <p><em>The matchday experience</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2996/saints_image.jpg" alt="" width="677" height="474"></p> <p>This format is what fans will be familiar with from other football sites such as the BBC, but as far as I’m aware Southampton is the only football club that has created a similar experience on its own site. </p> <p>Teams will often provide updates via Twitter, but Southampton wants to bring fans to its site rather than providing content for a third-party platform.</p> <p>This is a bold move that bucks the recent trend among publishers for specifically creating content that lives within social platforms. It’s a big challenge to get Saints fans to break from their usual routines and turn to the site on match day, but so far the signs are promising. </p> <p>Since the relaunch the site has seen:</p> <ul> <li>80% year-on-year increase in traffic.</li> <li>101% increase in return visits.</li> <li>362% increase in match day traffic vs. same matches in 2015/16 season.</li> </ul> <h3>The next steps</h3> <p>There’s obviously more to digital transformation than just a flashy new website. The next phase is the somewhat less sexy but equally important overhaul of the backend systems so Southampton can gain a single view of its customers.</p> <p>Until recently the club’s retail and ticketing systems were handled by different third parties, so even regular customers remained largely anonymous. Cross-sales opportunities which should have been a no-brainer were impossible due to data constraints.</p> <p>Delete’s end goal is to simplify the club’s tech stack, bringing it under a centralised system built around Sitecore. A single sign-on will be used to identify fans across the website, content, ticketing and store.</p> <p>Currently fans have to sign up to view video content and listen to live commentary on match days, so there isn’t a huge leap to use this sign on to access other services.</p> <p>There will also be a new digital offering for foreign fans, with the aim of providing a content and membership platform that they’ll be willing to pay for. </p> <p>When seen in these terms, the website seems like a fairly easy challenge compared to building an entirely new CRM and single customer view.</p> <p>You could equally argue that it’s something that should have been done a long time ago. However, in the context of Premier League football, Southampton’s commitment to delivering a fan-first digital experience is praiseworthy.</p> <p>And while it would be silly to suggest that digital transformation will guarantee success on the pitch, in the battle for foreign fans Southampton's culture, commitment to excellence, and digital strategy definitely give it an edge on the competition.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68693 2017-01-11T14:46:00+00:00 2017-01-11T14:46:00+00:00 The importance of the blockchain: The second generation of the internet Nick Hammond <p>The profile of bitcoin (powered by a blockchain network) has often masked the <a href="https://www.businessesgrow.com/2016/07/20/blockchain-101/">rising importance and relevance of the underlying blockchain technology</a>, but this is changing rapidly.</p> <p>One perspective is that the blockchain is the ‘second generation of the internet’.</p> <p>According to an article <a href="http://raconteur.net/business/the-future-of-blockchain-in-8-charts">published on Raconteur</a>, ‘The first generation brought us the internet of information. The second generation, powered by blockchain, is bringing us the internet of value; a new, distributed platform that can help us reshape the world of business and transform the old order of human affairs for the better. But like the internet in the late-1980s and early-1990s, this is still early days.’<a href="http://raconteur.net/business/the-future-of-blockchain-in-8-charts?utm_source=pardot&amp;utm_campaign=wed50117&amp;utm_medium=email"><br></a></p> <p>The initial paper regarding bitcoin (and blockchain) entitled <a href="https://bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf">Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System (2008)</a> was authored by a mysterious individual, likely a pseudonym, going under the name of Satoshi Nakamoto.</p> <p>While the original paper was written with financial transactions in mind, blockchain has far wider potential. Time will tell, but it may be that Nakamoto’s paper will have ramifications on a par with Tim Berners-Lee’s innocuously titled 1989 paper <a href="http://info.cern.ch/Proposal.html">Information Management: A Proposal</a>.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Gc2en3nHxA4?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <p>In December 2015, the UK government’s Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir Mark Waldport, stated in his report <a href="https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/492972/gs-16-1-distributed-ledger-technology.pdf">Distributed Ledger Technology: beyond blockchain</a>, that: ‘The technology [blockchain] offers the potential, according to the circumstances, for individual consumers to control access to personal records and to know who has accessed them.’  </p> <p>Canadian writers and researchers, Alex and Don Tapscott, authors of the recent book <a href="https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/Books/Blockchain-Revolution-Technology-Behind-Bitcoin-Changing-Business/1101980133">Blockchain Revolution</a>, believe that the blockchain goes way beyond the second coming of the internet. The pair, like so many others, stumbled across blockchain via the bitcoin association, quickly realising the genie is out of the bottle. </p> <p>Alex Tapscott observes, ‘With blockchain technology, a world of possibilities has opened and we now have a true peer-to-peer platform that enables personal economic empowerment. We can own our identities and our personal data; we can do transactions, creating and exchanging value without powerful intermediaries acting as the arbiters of money and information.’</p> <p>The blockchain, essentially a database and a giant network, known as a distributed ledger, records ownership and value, and allows anyone with access to view and take part. The asset database can be shared across a network of multiple sites, geographies or institutions. All participants within a network can have their own identical copy of the ledger. Any changes to the ledger are reflected in all copies, like a Google doc. </p> <p>The blockchain is currently having its biggest impact in financial services, with the largest changes caused by infrastructures using blockchain APIs, which are delivering in the areas of speed in data processing, transparency (amongst the right people) and security. </p> <p>But what does the blockchain mean for businesses outside of the financial sector? The answer lies in the areas of - privacy/information control, disintermediation, and business processes. </p> <p>As mentioned above, the blockchain offers consumers opportunity to achieve greater control over their information. This will impact on most organisations, as they increasingly rely on the acquisition and application of customer data.</p> <p>The importance of privacy is obviously a sensitive issue. One current solution for consumers is the selection of ephemeral applications like Snapchat and encrypted messaging, but the future might lie in the anonymity of blockchain technologies. </p> <p>Another change will affect business sectors where there are many intermediaries, for example travel and tourism. Here, the blockchain’s ability to simplify and speed up interactions, will likely lead to a process of dis-intermediation.</p> <p>Current examples of businesses and categories active in the blockchain include: Peer-to-peer payments (Abra, BTC Jam), <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68612-how-the-internet-of-things-will-fundamentally-change-marketing/">internet of things</a> (Chimera-Inc, Filament), collaborative transport (La’Zooz, Arcade City) and online gaming (Auckur, SatoshiDice).</p> <p>As the number of applications that utilize blockchain technology increases, so will its relevance. Not only will we be selling products through the blockchain, but marketing companies that run off it as well.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68667 2017-01-11T02:55:00+00:00 2017-01-11T02:55:00+00:00 Five things to include in your digital transformation playbook Jeff Rajeck <p>To update Disney World to the digital age, CEO Bob Iger secured a $1bn budget from the board and introduced the MyMagic+ wristband with radio frequency identification (RFID) chips build in.  </p> <p>These wearables serve as the park admission ticket, queue-jumping FastPass, hotel room key, and even a wallet. Customer experience vastly improved and <strong>now over 90% of visitors rate the park as 'very good' or 'excellent'.</strong></p> <p><strong><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2672/disney.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="525"></strong></p> <p>Making the MyMagic+ wristband work, though, was an enormous digital transformation programme. Some of the many tasks required included:</p> <ul> <li>Updating DisneyWorld.com at a cost of $80m.</li> <li>Designing a custom RFID wristband, now used by more than 10m people per year.</li> <li>Installing 30m square feet of WiFi coverage in the park.</li> <li>Fitting 28,000 hotel room doors with RFID readers.</li> <li>Training 70,000 employees on how the new technology worked.</li> </ul> <p>The impact of this initiative - 90% favorable customer experience ratings - is impressive, but how did Disney make such an enormous effort happen? <strong>What steps did the digital team take from the initial idea to the realisation?</strong></p> <p>While we may never know what specifically was required to make this happen at Disney, we were able to talk to a number of brand marketers at Digital Cream Singapore about their digital transformation story.</p> <p>There, delegates told us about how their brands are updating their company's customer experience for the digital age. </p> <p>Below are an overview of the items that participants felt were most important for digital transformation and what should, ideally, be shared internally through a project document or playbook.</p> <h3>1) A north star</h3> <p>Attendees felt that for digital transformation to be successful, <strong>the digital team should know what they want to accomplish.</strong> That is, what does the digitally transformed organisation look like?</p> <p>While the answer to this broad question will be different for every company, participants provided some questions which they asked themselves while going through digital transformation:  </p> <ul> <li>Can we use our existing data resources to attract more business digitally?</li> <li>Is ecommerce only for the website, or can we offer an in-store digital purchasing experience?</li> <li>Is it possible for us to use customer data to personalise the delivery experience?</li> <li>Should we provide ongoing customer service with social media?</li> </ul> <p>The point of having this vision, or a 'north star' as one participant put it, is that <strong>the result of digital transformation should be company-wide adoption of digital technology and processes</strong>.</p> <p>For this to happen, marketers should be clear about what needs to be changed and how these changes will be made operational.  </p> <p>Just saying 'we will improve sales with big data' won't work, noted one participants.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2673/1.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> <h3>2) The road map</h3> <p>Agreeing on a goal is a good start for a transformation process, but attendees said that <strong>organisations should also know how they are going to get there.</strong></p> <p>Many delegates who had been through digital transformation felt that<strong> a phased approach was best</strong>. Summarised by Neil Perkin in a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/festival-of-marketing-2015-digital-transformation-stage">recent presentation</a>, a multi-stage approach starts with digital resources dispersed throughout an organisation and then arranges them into digital 'centres of excellence'.  </p> <p>This allows companies with limited digital resources to start digital initiatives across the organisation via a single team.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2582/dt.png" alt="" width="800" height="405"></p> <p>Then, as transformation progresses, resources will be relocated throughout the organisation to support digital programmes on an ongoing basis. </p> <p>Participants warned that dispersing resources was difficult, though, as digital experts preferred to work in small digitally-savvy teams. Because of this, the roadmap should also include training existing staff during the transformation process.</p> <h3>3) Team members</h3> <p>Apart from whether the organisation will have centres of excellence or take another approach, delegates said that <strong>the digital transformation plan should be clear about who will be on the digital team.</strong></p> <p>Some organisations built teams with existing staff from IT, marketing, and the call centre while others hired people specifically for the digital transformation programme.</p> <p>For those who are hiring, <strong>attendees felt that it was important to make the team structure clear during the hiring process</strong> and to discuss the career paths for those who join.  </p> <p>Reason being that once the transformation is underway, hires with strong digital expertise will need to know whether they will be responsible for ongoing maintenance.  </p> <p>Letting them know whether they will or not sets correct expectations from the start and will help keep them on board and motivated.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2674/2.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> <h3>4) Success metrics</h3> <p>In addition to having an overall goal for the digital transformation effort, <strong>the digital team should also have some everyday 'success metrics'.</strong></p> <p>These should be clear and achievable goals so that the team can see incremental progress toward the digital goal and regularly celebrate small wins.</p> <p>Some ideas for potential success metrics included the number of in-store digital sign-ups, an increase in revenue from digital, and a reduction in calls to the call centre.</p> <p>One attendee pointed out that<strong> each success metric should be tied to some digital team activity</strong> so that they can be certain of their role in the small win.</p> <p>For example, they should measure calls to the call centre before and after they rearrange the customer service web page so that they know that their efforts made a difference.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2675/3.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> <h3>5) 'Customer hygiene' factors</h3> <p>Finally, marketers channeled the Hippocratic Oath and said that <strong>a digital transformation project should first and foremost 'do no harm'.</strong></p> <p>To make that happen, they argued, <strong>the digital transformation plan needs to include 'customer hygiene' factors.</strong> These are things which may not necessarily make customers happy, but if they are not present, then customers will certainly be unhappy.</p> <p>Examples of customer hygiene factors include: </p> <ul> <li>Ease of purchase (online and offline)</li> <li>High availability of customer service</li> <li>Perks for customer loyalty</li> <li>Sensible customer care policies (returns, refunds, etc.)</li> </ul> <p>Attendees agreed that all digital initiatives should improve the existing customer experience at all touchpoints and avoid having 'increasing efficiency' as the main goal.</p> <p>Doing so could result in negative customer feedback for digital transformation initiatives and risk the support of the business for the programme.</p> <h3>A word of thanks</h3> <p>Econsultancy would like to thank all of the marketers who participated on the day and the moderator for the Digital Transformation: People, Process &amp; Technology table, <strong>Caitlin Nguyen, Global Lead for Digital &amp; CRM at Fonterra.</strong></p> <p>We hope to see you all at future Singapore Econsultancy events!</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2665/end.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p>