Digital disruption is happening
everywhere you look. It is impacting businesses of any size, in any industry,
market and geography.
Digital technology is changing the way we socialize,
communicate, research, learn and work.
If organizations do not adapt to
this fast-changing paradigm, then extinction may be closer than they think.
Digital technologies overwhelmed
Kodak, a true titan of the film business. Other big brands like Borders,
Circuit City and Blockbuster suffered the same fate. The dominance of
Blackberry and Nokia was overshadowed by Apple and Android smartphones.
According to a report entitled “The
Future of Business is Digital”
by Nigel Fenwick of Forrester
Research, to survive this digital extinction, businesses must integrate digital
practices into their entire business model, from customer experience to
There are only a handful of
leaders who have successfully managed to turn the tables on these disruptive
forces and breathe new life into their companies.
- Nike transformed from a sneaker
company to a digital sports licensing company.
- The Sprint “Ninja” training program
encourages employee engagement and enables outreach to thousands of
customers they don’t hear from in formal channels, or can’t respond to
through social media.
- AT&T is entering the home
security market with its Digital Life service, enabling customers
to remotely control everything in the home, from alarms to lights to door
- Starbucks overcame a commodity product
like coffee by designing a unique digital experience for customers via Mystarbucksidea.com where
customers can share, discuss and vote on ideas to make their digital
experience with Starbucks richer. They now have a bank of 200,000+ ideas
to implement from.
Many businesses get stuck on
enhancing efficiency and decreasing costs, as opposed to taking risks to
innovate and boost agility.
To avoid digital extinction,
successful organizations have adopted the following broad steps:
- Understand the online landscape and build
- Utilize search engine optimization (SEO) techniques for
quicker hits to web sites
- Train employees and customer-facing stakeholders to use
all forms of social media to engage customers
- Adopt mobile enablement in every customer interaction
- Use Big Data analytics for better customer insights and
- Modernize their legacy systems to address real time on demand data requests
Today’s consumer expects easy
access to information anytime, anywhere, on any device. To successfully deliver
this digital expectation, enterprises must understand their customers as
people, not transactions.
A great example of this deeper
understanding is Starwood hotels, who analyzed customer data and launched nine
separate brands, segmented by affordability ranging from value brands like
“Four Points by Sheraton” and “Westin” to its “Luxury Collection” and “St.
This demonstrates that although
customers may not be able to completely control their journey, businesses need
to carefully map the customer journey and be present where they are. In
addition, digital transformation provides more real-time engagement platforms
to acquire, retain, and grow consumers than traditional models.
Enterprises that adapt, evolve and
exploit this new digital reality will thrive, while those that do not, will be
lost to the sands of time like Dinosaur !!