tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/digital-transformation Latest Digital Transformation content from Econsultancy 2017-12-05T17:43:47+00:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:WebinarEvent/916 2017-12-05T17:43:47+00:00 2017-12-05T17:43:47+00:00 What do brands want from their agency? New Research <p>Virtually every business is under pressure to adapt to changing markets. For their agencies, there's a growing opportunity in helping them transform that's already valued at a quarter of a trillion dollars. Agencies’ participation depends on whether they themselves can adapt quickly enough to meet their clients’ emerging needs. </p> <p>Join us on December 14, 2017 for a webinar on the future of agencies.</p> <p>Econsultancy's VP of Research, Stefan Tornquist and IBM's Loren McDonald will discuss the findings from the report Partners in Transformation - What brand marketers need from agencies.</p> <p>The report examines pain points and successful aspects of brand/agency relationships as they exist today, covering topics from employing agency assistance in customer experience management, to agencies' evolving role in data analytics and technology investment.</p> <p><strong>The webinar will explore some of the key topics of the research:</strong><br>- Where do brands see their agencies adding value in customer experience management?<br>- Is there a role for agencies in sourcing, managing and benefiting from advanced marketing technology?<br>- How do brands view their agency relationships today?<br>- How are the most successful and forward leaning companies thinking about their agency relationships and how does that differ from the mainstream?</p> <p>Webinar attendees will also be sent a full copy of Partners in Transformation, complimentary thanks to IBM Customer Engagement.</p> <p>Join us on December 14, 2017 as we answer these questions, and yours.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69598 2017-11-23T14:26:20+00:00 2017-11-23T14:26:20+00:00 Four steps to successful digital transformation Jeff Rajeck <p>But every journey requires preparation and it can be difficult to know what organisations should do before getting started. What exactly needs to be in place for digital transformation to work?</p> <p>To answer this question, Econsultancy recently brought together a few veterans of digital transformation to discuss what organisations need to do before they take that first step.</p> <p>Below are the points summarized from the discussion, but as this was just one of the topics from the day <a href="https://econsultancy.com/hello/ask-me-anything-digital-transformation-getting-started-webinar-resources/">please do watch the whole discussion here</a>.</p> <p>So, the question was posed to both Damien Cummings, Lead DT Consultant at Econsultancy and CEO at Peoplewave, and Eu Gene Ang, Principal Trainer, Econsultancy - what are the basic ingredients required for a successful digital transformation?</p> <h3>1) Think differently</h3> <p>Damien was quick to answer that <strong>there is no set playbook for digital transformation</strong>. The process is different for B2B and B2C companies and can also be different, depending on the industry.</p> <p>He continued that <strong>digital transformation was typically the result of a catastrophe</strong>. Either one that had happened or one that was about to happen (e.g. Google/Uber/AirBnB entering your market).</p> <p><strong>The first essential ingredient of such a situation is for people to think differently. </strong>People in the organisation must first analyze their people, technology, go-to-market strategies, and all of the other things which they are comfortable with - and think about how these can be changed to meet the threat.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0622/digital-transformation-1.jpg" alt="" width="615"></p> <h3>2) Understand the details of your journey</h3> <p>Eu Gene followed up with another helpful tip.  <strong>Digital transformation, he says, must start with an understanding of why you are going through it.</strong></p> <p>It could be, as above, that your company's market is changing or it could be that your company is struggling to be profitable with all of the manual processes in place.</p> <p>Regardless, in order for digital transformation to be successful a number of details need to be thought out in advance: </p> <ul> <li> <strong>Vision</strong>: What does the end result look like?</li> <li> <strong>Skillsets</strong>: What do you have? What do you need?</li> <li> <strong>Resourcing</strong>: Who is going to do the work?</li> <li> <strong>Incentive to change</strong>: Who in the organisation is incentivized to change? Who needs more incentives?</li> <li> <strong>Action plan</strong>: What are some of the first concrete actions you will take? </li> </ul> <p> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0623/digital-transformation-2.jpg" alt="" width="615"></p> <h3>3) Have a strategy</h3> <p>Once you know the details, Damien continued, then you need to put a strategy in place.  </p> <p>This strategy should go beyond the steps you are taking toward digital transformation, but should instead encompass the whole company. For example, how is your company going to position itself to fend off threats from digitally-savvy companies?</p> <p>Additionally, you need a people strategy. In addition to evaluating the skillsets mentioned by Eu Gene, you also need to make sure you have the right level of people. <strong>If you want to compete with companies like Google, then you need people with talent and training at that level.</strong></p> <p>Finally, you do need a technology strategy. Without a step change in technology and new sources of data, your plan will not have enough innovation for it to succeed in the long term.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0624/digital-transformation-3.jpg" alt="" width="615"></p> <h3>4) Don't worry about processes, empower your employees</h3> <p>Finally, Damien added that with the right strategy you won't need to worry so much about processes.</p> <p><strong>If you have great people with the right training who understand the strategy, then they will develop the right approach to implementing your strategy.</strong></p> <p>This is particularly important for companies whose markets change quickly. As things evolve more rapidly and data becomes more real-time, then the company's reaction must be more agile.  And for this to happen, you must empower employees to make the right decisions.</p> <h3>So...</h3> <p>So, according to our experts, before launching into digital transformation ensure that you have a: </p> <ol> <li>New, resilient approach to your market</li> <li>A solid idea about why you need to transform</li> <li>A strategy which encompasses the whole company, and</li> <li>People who can execute the strategy. </li> </ol> <p>Then you will have the key ingredients in place for a successful digital transformation project.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69569 2017-11-13T15:00:00+00:00 2017-11-13T15:00:00+00:00 Messaging platforms could even boost NPS – businesses should get on-board now Blake Cahill <p>With 1.2 billion people using the Messenger app today and a staggering 2 billion messages <a href="https://en-gb.facebook.com/business/products/messenger-for-business">sent between people and businesses each month</a>, this bet has well and truly paid off. </p> <p>And he wasn’t the only one. Tencent’s <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67490-10-things-you-didn-t-know-about-wechat">WeChat</a>, launched in 2011, was an early adopter of the integrated model, partnering with businesses and restaurants to provide users an extended offering before even the likes of Facebook. Although its user base isn’t as broad as the social media site or Whatsapp, in its native China it is expected to have a staggering <a href="https://www.emarketer.com/Article/WeChat-Users-China-Will-Surpass-490-Million-This-Year/1016125">84.5% market capitalisation</a> on all mobile messaging apps this year. </p> <h3>The move to Messenger</h3> <p>As such a large proportion of communication traffic between businesses and consumers now plays out across messaging channels, companies need to recognise and act on the fact that today’s consumers often prefer to use messaging apps to get in touch with them.</p> <p>Research into our own consumer base here at Philips underscored this preference, revealing that our customers want their brand interactions with us to be low effort and humanised. These criteria are instantly met by messaging channels which are easy to use and enable a business to communicate in an empathetic, human manner with their customers.</p> <p>It therefore made complete business sense for us to incorporate messaging channels into our customer care strategy as such channels map directly into the needs of our customers; facilitating ease of conversation with our customer care team, all at the tap of a touch screen.</p> <h3>Impact of messenger channels on Net Promoter Scores</h3> <p>For businesses looking to satisfy their customer base and interact with them in the way they want, while achieving high Net Promoter Scores (NPS) at the same time, messaging channels are the way forward.</p> <p>Testament to this, we have seen that across markets, NPS scores are consistently high for consumers using instant messaging applications to communicate with us; in many cases higher than when using traditional channels like email. This stands to reason as messenger apps can be used from any device at any given moment, giving consumers the instantaneous, human interaction they are looking for.</p> <p>Messenger apps are, after all, the way that we interact with our friends and family, so it’s an easy and natural transition to use these as a means to communicate with businesses too.</p> <h3>Frictionless customer-to-business interaction</h3> <p>Despite all the best intentions, barriers to successful customer interaction remain, such as Interactive Voice Response (IVR) Menus or difficulties finding relevant information on websites. To combat this, we found that messaging channels enable consistent, frictionless interactions.</p> <p>One benefit of is that customers can easily share photos or videos with our customer care agents – just like sharing photos with their friends. This enables our teams to best respond to questions in real-time, with increased accuracy.</p> <p>Additionally, by using messaging apps, conversations are digitally documented, meaning that consumers can leave a conversation and come back to it as they wish, without losing any of the information they previously shared with us.</p> <h3>Making the most of messenger: Things to keep in mind</h3> <p>Our experience to date has provided some valuable insights and lessons in addition to the obvious benefits. Firstly, we have seen that to truly derive value from instant messaging apps, you need to have a centrally aligned consumer care team. Put simply, it’s vital to work closely together with all marketing teams as many questions are the result of wider company activities such as product offers, or campaigns. If this doesn’t happen, you will be unable to respond as rapidly to inbound enquiries on new campaigns or products.</p> <p>We have also seen the importance of being ready for the volume of messages and inbound requests that opening a messaging channel permits. At Philips, instant messages now exceed the volume of inbound messages from some other channels, and this shift has happened very rapidly. Therefore, other businesses considering messaging apps need to be ready and have the resources in place to manage this new conversation flow.</p> <p>Recently, Nielsen found that <a href="https://messenger.fb.com/blog/messenger-highlights-from-f8-2017/">53% of people surveyed</a> stated that they are more likely to do business with an enterprise they can message, highlighting the importance of messenger apps like Facebook and WhatsApp to remain competitive in today’s digital age.</p> <p>For those businesses yet to launch a channel, the message from the Nielsen study comes across loud and clear. Get on board now and reap the rewards that interacting with your consumers via messenger affords or risk falling behind. </p> <p><em><strong>Further reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67697-does-the-rise-of-messaging-apps-mean-brands-need-a-bot-strategy/">Does the rise of messagign apps mean brands need a bot strategy?</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68363-will-messaging-apps-be-the-next-walled-gardens/">Will messaging apps be the next walled gardens?</a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/3366 2017-11-13T03:50:09+00:00 2017-11-13T03:50:09+00:00 Fast Track Digital Marketing - Singapore <p>This intensive 3-day course is a great place to start your digital marketing training. The course gives you a complete overview of the exciting areas of digital marketing, knowledge on how to effectively leverage the new media and integrate them into your overall marketing strategy.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/3354 2017-11-13T03:06:13+00:00 2017-11-13T03:06:13+00:00 Fast Track Digital Marketing - Singapore <p>This intensive 3-day course is a great place to start your digital marketing training. The course gives you a complete overview of the exciting areas of digital marketing, knowledge on how to effectively leverage the new media and integrate them into your overall marketing strategy.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69565 2017-11-06T13:30:00+00:00 2017-11-06T13:30:00+00:00 From zero to CMO: Five essential steps Jeff Rajeck <p>But the road to the top isn't always clear and many wonder what it takes to become a CMO. Is it just a matter of becoming a great marketer and then applying for the position when there is an opening?</p> <p>Apparently not, according to Damien Cummings, former CMO and currently CEO of Peoplewave. At our recent Digital Intelligence Briefing in Singapore, Damien dispelled myths about how people get to the top of the marketing chart and laid out the five steps all aspiring CMOs must go through to even be considered for the position.</p> <h3>Step 1: Understand the CMO's job</h3> <p>The role of the CMO is not, according to Damien, just the top marketing manager. Instead, the CMO is now expected to be the CGO, or chief growth officer<strong>.</strong></p> <p>This means that the CMO, in addition to leading marketing, must also know how to grow the company's business, and this requires a whole different set of skills.</p> <p>Those who are aiming to be a CMO in the future, then, need to understand all aspects of the business: </p> <ul> <li>Sales</li> <li>Go-to-market</li> <li>Market share</li> <li>Margin</li> <li>Customer acquisition</li> <li>Customer experience </li> </ul> <p>And they also need to know how to plan and execute strategies which take each of these disciplines into consideration.</p> <p>So the first thing to know is that the CMO role is not just about being a great marketer. You must be an excellent business strategist as well.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0200/becoming_CMO_1.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> <h3>Step 2: Know the whole marketing career path</h3> <p>Damien continued by explaining that there are four phases of a marketing career and aspiring CMOs must ideally experience each of them on their way to the top.</p> <h4>Entry level</h4> <p>First off, there is entry-level marketing. Most people start here and have a basic understanding of marketing principles and how digital fits in.</p> <p>In order to move on from this phase, though, marketers who want to be CMO must be curious and treat their entry-level experience as an expansive learning experience.</p> <h4>Mid-career</h4> <p>After around 5 to 10 years on the job, marketers may find that they are not actually doing much marketing. Instead, they have outsourced their jobs and are busy managing staff and agency partners who are responsible for most of the creative, placement, and analytics.</p> <p>Marketers looking for a CMO spot one day should, at this stage, develop a laser-like focus on customer acquisition metrics and be able to talk at length about related costs on various channels</p> <h4>Senior marketer</h4> <p>After 10 years, marketers gunning for the CMO role will have moved on from managing day-to-day marketing and be more focused on brand leadership, customer experience, and providing inspiration to other marketers.</p> <p>Senior marketers should also be able to write and execute a marketing plan, not just aim to hit sales targets.</p> <p>Additionally, those wanting to be promoted should be known for something besides customer metrics in the organisation. They should associate themselves with projects such as digital transformation, new data initiatives, or proving marketing return on investment (ROI).</p> <h4>CMO</h4> <p>Then, at the fourth stage, the aspiring marketer reaches their goal and is the chief marketing officer.</p> <p>This role is very different from the three which precede it as the focus of the CMO, as mentioned previously, is on growing the company's top and bottom line as well as managing change throughout the organisations.</p> <p>Those who desire this job must realize that being a CMO requires crafting long-term (5 to 10 years) plans and delivering it using large-scale project management, often encompassing the whole organisation. Those who lack a passion for managing enterprise-wide projects may want to rethink their career goals.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0202/becoming_CMO_3.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> <h3>Step 3: Acquire the required soft skills</h3> <p>Besides knowing the career path, marketers who want to be considered for a CMO role need to be strong in three areas:</p> <h4>a) Vision</h4> <p>This includes setting short and long-term targets and explaining complex strategies through frameworks</p> <h4>b) Leadership</h4> <p>CMO candidates should always be able to do the job of everyone on the team - and be able to put aside their management hat and do them on a moment's notice.  At the same, they need to be a thought leader and one step ahead of everyone else.</p> <h4>c) Digital outlook</h4> <p>Nowadays, marketers aiming for the top need to be digitally savvy and be considered a leader in their company's digital transformation programme, never a follower.</p> <h3>Step 4: Talk the language of data</h3> <p>Moving on from everyday tasks and soft skills, CMO-bound marketers should also lead company-wide initiatives to make data an essential part of marketing.</p> <p>They need to do the work which makes data: </p> <ul> <li> <strong>Real-time:</strong> So that marketers can get digital, social, marketing, sales, and service data on a real-time basis.</li> <li> <strong>Aggregated:</strong> So that data is available on desktop and mobile and can be used to make decisions wherever marketers are</li> <li> <strong>Visual:</strong> Because if data is not seen, it is not used.</li> <li> <strong>Physical:</strong> Finally, marketers should put data at the centre of your sales, marketing and service centres.   </li> </ul> <p>True leaders in this space often push for a 'command centre' which brings together brand marketers, agency partners, and data display for social and web analytics.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0203/becoming_CMO_2.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> <h3>Step 5: Be ready to lead change management</h3> <p>Damien's final point was that the CMO is the most likely person in an organisation to lead digital transformation because they will typically have flexible budgets, a customer focus, and the ability to run small tests unlike the CEO, CTO, or CIO.</p> <p>But leading change means more than knowing how to spend budget. One of the most important parts of leading the change is to have the soft skills (see above) to foresee who in the organisation will be the loser due to the change process and then work hard to make sure they will still have a place in the transformed company.</p> <p>Having this level of personal influence and leadership requires that aspiring CMOs have strong communication skills and that their leadership style is, perhaps ironically, more personal and less digital.</p> <h3>A word of thanks</h3> <p>Econsultancy would like to thank Damien Cummings, CEO of Peoplewave, for his excellent presentation on the steps required for marketers to become a CMO.</p> <p>We'd also like to thank all of the marketers who attended the presentation and helped with this post by asking many intelligent questions.</p> <p>We hope to see you all at future Econsultancy events!</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9938/3.jpg" alt=""></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69467 2017-11-02T15:00:00+00:00 2017-11-02T15:00:00+00:00 What marketing leaders can learn about professional development from the military Seán Donnelly <p>Iain Herron, retired Warrant Officer Class One in the Adjutant General’s Corps and now Operations Director of consulting and recruitment firm J1, had some interesting insights about the strategic importance of providing access to structured learning and development opportunities to personnel. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9313/Iain_Herron_J1.png" alt=""></p> <h3>On structured careers in the armed forces </h3> <h4>Common Military Syllabus </h4> <p>Iain explained that everyone who joins the British Army completes a 14-week training course known as the Common Military Syllabus (CMS). This means that everybody has the same foundation training and that no matter what role somebody eventually finds themselves in, every person in the military is a trained soldier. This makes sense. According to Iain, “the organisation is set up in such a way that everyone is on the same playing field”.  </p> <h4>Command, Leadership and Management Programme</h4> <p>Recruits don’t just complete the same foundation training. To progress in the military, members need to complete standardised courses. For example, Iain explained that those selected for promotion to the rank of Non-Commissioned Officer must complete a Command, Leadership and Management (CLM) programme. The CLM programmes develop leadership and management competencies as soldier’s progress through the ranks.</p> <p>Successful completion of different parts of these programmes are a key element of qualifying the individual for immediate or subsequent promotion by giving them the skills and knowledge they will require in order to operate effectively in leadership positions. Each course builds on the previous one, while introducing new material as appropriate.</p> <p>What’s interesting about these programmes is that as well as developing military knowledge, these courses cover leadership, management, communication, professional and personal development.</p> <p>Iain went on to explain that the structured training programmes and pathways offered by the military equip members with a shared understanding of the organisation, solidify culture, encourage teamwork and provide a sense of camaraderie.</p> <h4>Further education and career development in the military </h4> <p>In his 23-year military career, Iain estimates that he received as much as four years of leadership training. This consisted of formal training including the CLM programme as well as structured on-the-job training. “Every day you are being taught something,” he said.</p> <p>In fact, Iain explained that not only are members of the defence forces encouraged to change roles every few years, but that they <em>have to</em> change roles every two to three years.</p> <p>In order to be successful in those roles, members are equipped with the skills to do the new job via structured training courses and are given six weeks to learn the new job. They will be expected to become a subject leader within six months of starting the new position.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0159/british_army.jpg" alt="" width="650" height="434"></p> <h4>Q. What is the rationale behind ordering people to change job every two to three years?  </h4> <p>Iain: “The idea behind changing job every 2-3 years is basically to keep people and the organisation fresh. People can bring fresh perspective into roles. Also, the structured training and handover phase ensures a smooth handover, removes unnecessary stress and prevents people who aren’t equipped with the knowledge and skills finding themselves operating in a position where they are out of their depth.</p> <p>"If you think of civil servants who may find themselves in the same role for a long time, they may unwittingly become jaded and find themselves following old procedures purely because they were ‘always done that way’.”</p> <h4>Q. This suggests that there is room for bottom-up ideas as opposed to following rigid procedures. How can new thinking be introduced?<em> </em> </h4> <p>Iain: "We used terminology called ‘Mission Command’ which basically means that once the goal of a mission is made clear, it is up to you to come up with the plan. The point is that the achievement of the task is the priority, not necessarily how that task gets completed. This means that the military is a lot more collaborative than you would think.</p> <p>“For example, usually when a young officer has learned how to lead, they will be assigned with a mission. They will then surround themselves with their best soldiers to gather feedback on the best ways to complete that mission. There is a clear recognition that subordinates may well have good ideas based on their own operational experiences. These subordinates are encouraged to share their thoughts and ideas to the officer. Ultimately, it is the officer who takes responsibility for the mission.”</p> <p>With so much being written about the need for organisational agility, it is clear that this concept already exists in the military, whether it is called agility or not. Everyone, regardless of their rank, has been equipped with the same foundational knowledge (Common Military Syllabus). Those same people have been supported via structured and relevant training.</p> <p>This means that everyone in the organisation understands the context and complexities involved in introducing a new idea or procedure, and can use their own learning and experience to make recommendations as to how their mission can be achieved.</p> <p>As well as ensuring that the organisation doesn’t become stifled by top down rigidity, such an approach supports autonomy, empowerment and initiative, all basic tenets of a culture that supports employee engagement.</p> <p>Iain also advises: “The military has a process for capturing good ideas called GEMS. GEMS is a Ministry of Defence Scheme which encourages ideas with the aim of improving the organisation. The scheme allows members of the defence forces to submit innovative ideas to save money and improve procedures.”</p> <p>The GEMS Scheme was introduced in 1996 as the single defence-wide suggestion scheme and in that time dozens of suggestions from all over defence have saved the department millions as well as improved the working lives of thousands. According to figures published by gov.co.uk, the scheme generates savings of an average of £13m per year. <a title="" name="_ftnref1"></a>It is considered the third most successful of its type anywhere in the world and more than 2,000 ideas were put forward to the GEMS team in the last year.</p> <h3>Managing job rotation every two to three years</h3> <p>According to Iain, the military has a very robust approach to resource management in order to allow people time away to train and also to support them to move into new positions every few years. In fact, the British Army has an entire team of Resource Managers whose job it is to manage this very issue.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0161/british_military_2.jpg" alt="" width="650" height="432"></p> <p>A key challenge that many commercial organisations have around sending people for training and even encouraging employees to change positions within the organisation is that of maintaining service levels and ensuring that work continues to get done.</p> <p>Because they may not have the right structures in place to manage these challenges, organisations may stifle staff opportunities both to upskill and to add value to the organisation by not allowing them access to training or secondment. On a macro level this may impact organisational culture including morale, turnover levels, organisational agility and ultimately profitability, although this is difficult to measure.</p> <p>Iain discussed how he worked with an international audit and consulting firm that seconded consultants to client offices for the duration of those engagements. He described that clients would regularly request that the same consultant return for each engagement.</p> <p>While this gave the client confidence in terms of ensuring projects were delivered on time, it also meant consultants’ own careers were being stifled by enabling this approach. The consultant returning to the client was prevented from working with new clients and expanding their knowledge and skills. Also, other consultants that would benefit from such an engagement were being precluded because their pathway was being blocked by the existing client/consultant relationship.</p> <p>Iain worked with this firm to centralise all resource management into a single location so as to get a clearer picture of the synergies available by deploying consultants more strategically. This meant politely but assertively communicating with clients that they couldn’t always demand that the same consultant return for each engagement. When this was communicated appropriately, clients were happy to accept this arrangement.</p> <h3>What can commercial organisations and marketers learn from the military approach to L&amp;D? </h3> <h4>The strategic importance of investing in staff </h4> <p>Military organisations need to invest in staff for obvious reasons, but on a more macro level, providing learning opportunities for staff keeps them engaged and stops them from stagnating in their position, losing motivation and becoming unwilling to accept change.<br>  <br> On this level, providing learning opportunities also lets organisations be dynamic and able to deal with the exponential change that characterises today’s economy.  </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0009/0004/staff_dilemma-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="218"></p> <h4>Competence</h4> <p>In his book, <em>An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth</em>, Commander Chris Hadfield discusses the importance of competence. In any task, the absolute minimum that staff should be is competent. The challenge that marketers face is that as consumer behaviour changes and technology plays a bigger role in their job, what represents competence today may not represent competence next year. This means that marketers require access to learning and development opportunities.</p><p>One of the things that makes the military so good is understanding capabilities and providing structured opportunities to develop those capabilities via training. According to Iain: “Hard-won competence via training and practice provides military personnel the knowledge and skills that they need to not only remain calm in high stress situations but also the ability to focus on only the outcomes that will lead to success.”</p><p>If marketers and their organisations can learn one thing from the military, it is the importance of providing access to and actively encouraging and rewarding training. By doing this, marketers and their organisations can remain competent and be better able to respond to challenges presented by new business models, changing technology and consumer behaviour.</p> <h4>Trust</h4> <p>Competence is not only about being able to do one’s job well. Trust is also a key element of high functioning teams and organisations. In the military, trust in your peers is a matter of life and death.</p> <p>The establishment of trust and underlying competence in commercial organisations means that business leaders can be confident that their staff have the skills they need to do the job and to make decisions relative to their role.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0009/0011/trust_issues-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="353"></p> <p>US General Stanley McChrystal, in a Harvard Business Review article titled ‘What Companies Can Learn From Military Teams’<a title="" name="_ftnref1"></a>, said: “I try to exhibit trust in small ways. In a briefing, if somebody asks me for a decision, I might turn to a subordinate and ask them to handle it. I don’t ask for specifics, and I’m very overt – almost theatrical – about it. Everybody else sees it. The message is: ‘I trust you guys to handle this stuff,’ and that can grow virally throughout an organisation. Trust is essential in any high performing learning organisation.”  </p> <h4>Engagement</h4> <p>The value of learning and development opportunities familiarises people with new concepts, equips them with new skills and opens up their minds to new possibilities. What it is really doing is building up individual and organisation flexibility to adapt and avoiding the trap of people becoming jaded in their roles.  </p> <h3>Control points</h3> <p>Finally, Iain Herron discussed what he called ‘control points’ in people’s military career. These are points in an individual career where if a person hasn’t met certain criteria or displayed a willingness to develop themselves then they will be asked to leave the organisation. ‘Manning control’ is a policy in the British Army which allows the army to terminate the service of soldiers at the end of three, six, nine, 12 or 15 years’ service.</p> <p>‘Manning control’ was created to allow the army to maintain a balance of experience and to ensure that there were opportunities for talented soldiers to progress through the ranks.  This is reminiscent of one of the key insights derived from the research of Jim Collins. In his book <em>Good to Great</em><a title="" name="_ftnref1"></a>, Collins writes about how the right people in the right place are the foundation of greatness. He also writes about removing people who don’t add value. </p> <p>Readers might be familiar with a famous quote from the book: “Get the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats.”</p> <h3>How Marketers Learn</h3> <p>Econsultancy's <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/how-marketers-learn-research-findings/" target="_blank">How Marketers Learn report</a> will benefit leaders and managers in organisations of any size or sector by providing insights into the importance of having a learning and development strategy.</p> <p>It provides an overview of how marketers are currently managing their learning requirements. The research in this report will also help marketing leaders by highlighting the value of L&amp;D in marketing and demonstrating its business case. </p> <p><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/subscribe/">Subscribe to Econsultancy</a> to gain access to a wealth of Digital Best Practice content, or learn new skills by booking yourself onto one of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/">our training courses</a>.</em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69541 2017-10-26T13:18:52+01:00 2017-10-26T13:18:52+01:00 What is automatic buying and could it kill your business? Stefan Tornquist <p>One of the most intriguing trends we see is an inevitable increase in automatic and assisted purchasing. The signs are already here.</p> <p>Amazon is the obvious example. In Jeff Bezos’ world, you can already arrive home to find the heat up, refrigerator <a href="https://www.theverge.com/2016/1/19/10788758/amazon-dash-buttons-replenishment-service-ge-launch">stocked</a>, and packages <a href="https://www.cnet.com/news/amazon-key-takes-deliveries-to-a-new-level-inside-your-home/">inside</a> the front door. The only thing left is to ask Alexa to play that song you like with the title you can’t remember, because it <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Aurnik-Song-Genius/dp/B01MRHJI6R">can</a>. </p> <p><em>By the way, if you’re in New York next week (November 1-2), join us at <a href="https://ny.ad-tech.com/register">ad:tech</a> where I’ll be <a href="https://ny.ad-tech.com/programme-session-item/complexity-of-distribution-frenemies-of-retail">speaking</a> about our automatic future. </em></p> <h3>It will happen because we want it to</h3> <p>If there’s an overarching theme to the consumer research we’ve conducted over the last couple of years, it’s the desire to simplify. The control that consumers have wrenched from brands has led to the rise in a customer experience-driven economy, but it’s exhausting being your own travel agent, financial advisor, supermarket cashier and media curator.</p> <p>Combine nearly limitless choice, the 24-hour media cycle, updating social media and the obligation to touch your phone <a href="https://blog.dscout.com/mobile-touches">2,617 times a day</a> and we’re ready for help. </p> <p>In response, our own research with over 2,200 American adults reveals an enthusiasm for automatic buying. Asked whether automatic repurchasing of standard products would be appealing, over 90% of the sample responded that it would “make my life better.”</p> <p>Even when the question is less general (and more tangible), consumers like the idea. Asked whether they would like their digital assistant to reorder specific items like alcohol, household goods and food items, almost 60% say the capability would be “life changing” or “very useful.” Among consumers under 35, the number goes up to 72%.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0008/9966/chart-blog-flyer.png" alt=""> </p> <h3>But Siri can barely set an alarm</h3> <p>A time when our digital assistants play a powerful role in our lives may seem a long way off. Today they are a collection of individual features without cognition or context, but their potential doesn’t have to wait.</p> <p>An assistant doesn’t need true artificial intelligence to stock more ice cream. The individual skills associated with brands and services are already able to reliably perform simple tasks, and that includes ordering and reordering. The factors needed for automatic buying are known in advance, such as price, usage, availability and location, so it’s a relatively easy task and the capability should progress quickly. </p> <p>The assistants are also getting smarter. Thanks to more than 25 interviews with scientists, futurists and engineers, we got a glimpse of the future and it's not that far off. The building blocks of consumer AI are already advanced and capabilities like natural language recognition, <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69431-how-machine-learning-can-set-fashion-ecommerce-strategy-product-assortment">machine learning</a> and smart bidding are in use today. </p> <h3>So what?</h3> <p>From a brand’s perspective, automatic buying is highly beneficial to the incumbent, and a steep obstacle for the challenger. This will affect certain sectors dramatically and introduce a challenge in fostering product discovery. </p> <p>For affected lines of business, marketing must adapt. Media spending is targeted at audiences, but automatic buying will mean that large swathes of consumer groups are no longer in-market because inertia and time savings will encourage the deep loyalty of convenience.</p> <p>This extends to purchases that are made by people but intermediated by machines, such as ordering coffee before picking it up, saving a place in line or ordering take-out food. Some choice remains, but the straightest path to convenience is repetition.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9993/starbucks.jpg" alt="" width="350"></p> <p><em>In the future, your Starbucks app may well place an order on your behalf</em></p> <p>Strategies will be built differently, with high emphasis on those who are about to “age into” a product line, before they’ve committed to a default brand and spending for the rare opportunities for displacing an incumbent. Broadly this might displace brand spending, but in these specific cases, brand will never be more important. </p> <p>In sectors that are particularly prone to automation such as grocery, home goods and refillable products, the primary decision maker may well be another machine. A new kind of marketing at the intersection of ecommerce, live auctions and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/seo-best-practice-guide">search engine optimization</a>, the practice of targeting and negotiating with buying agents may be the seminal marketing capability for 2022.</p> <h3>Robot assisted buying won’t necessarily be limited to staples</h3> <p>Readers under 30 won’t remember the world of limited choice, but not so long ago, consumers outside of major cities were happy to find clothes that fit or electronics in their price range at local retailers. Today the problem is reversed. Combining the internet with an efficient global supply chain has led to a superabundance of choice in virtually every category.</p> <p>Consumers say they could use some help in this regard; over 80% agree that “There are so many choices today, it would incredibly useful if [technology] could help me easily find the products that are right for me.”</p> <p>Of course, we want choice at a reasonable price, but more than that we want the time to make the choices that matter. The trend of this era is no longer the proliferation of choice, but of curation. We want someone or something to help us sift through the possibilities. We want most choices off our shoulders and simply to receive the right wine or cheese or tie or snack or sock pairing at our door.  </p> <p><em>For more on the subject, join us next week at <a href="https://ny.ad-tech.com/register">ad:tech New York</a>. I'll be speaking on Thursday afternoon about our <a href="https://ny.ad-tech.com/programme-session-item/complexity-of-distribution-frenemies-of-retail">automatic future</a>, and there’s a strong agenda over both days of the conference. You should try to catch <a href="https://ny.ad-tech.com/programme-session-item/keynote-2">Tech as a Creative Canvas</a> with Intel Labs, <a href="https://ny.ad-tech.com/programme-session-item/keynote-1">The End of Advertising</a> with Andrew Essex and definitely <a href="https://ny.ad-tech.com/programme-session-item/keynote-3">Trust, Transparency and Ad Quality</a>.</em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/3294 2017-10-26T13:18:23+01:00 2017-10-26T13:18:23+01:00 HR in the Digital Age <p>HR and Learning and Development practice is shifting significantly in response to the impact of digital technologies and changing organisational contexts. This 1-day course covers the need-to-know shifts, and the latest thinking and approaches, in order to help you and your company succeed in the digital age. </p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/3276 2017-10-26T12:45:41+01:00 2017-10-26T12:45:41+01:00 Fast Track Digital Transformation <p>Digital Transformation. The buzzword of the moment. Everybody from IBM to the British Government claim to be in the throes of digital transformation. But what is it and what does it mean in practice?</p> <p>This course will cut through the hype and answer a simple question. What does digital mean for how you do business? You will learn how digital has changed consumer behaviour. You will discover what steps you will need to take if your organisation is going to survive in this new business reality.</p>