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Digital Transformation – What Every Business Owner Needs to Know

In 1964, the most valuable company, AT&T was worth $267 billion and employed 758,611 people. Today’s telecommunications giant, Google is worth $370 billion but has only about 55,000 employees.

Digital disruption is forcing all industries to change how business is done – businesses can either adapt or face the possibility of being made redundant. 

What is Digital Darwinism?

Digital darwism is a fate that threatens most organizations in almost every industry. Because of this, businesses not only have to compete for today but also for the unforeseeable future. 

Digital Darwinism is the phenomenon when technology and society evolve faster than an organization can adapt…

This may sound strange, but most organizations have no idea what their consumers want. They develop products and services, with little to no perspective and this has been going on for centuries.

A more consumer-centric approach looks at the world through the eyes of your customers, seeing what they see, allowing you to give the customer what they actually want, not what you think they need. 

It’s important to note that in the age of digital disruption there has been a fundamental shift in control from the business to the customer….

The customer now defines your brand, the companies that will thirve are the ones that add more value and create raving fans.

What is a customer journey map?

A customer journey map allows your organisation to develop empathy with your customers. It is a tool that allows you to step through the customer experience and understand what it is like to interact with your company.

Customer journey mapping begins with identifying and cataloguing the touch points where your customer interacts with your company as a whole. Once these are catalogued you will then be able to group them in stages and plot them on a timeline. 

See example below;

What’s driving change?

Executives leading digital transformation were motivated by the substantial differences between connected and traditional customers. The way today’s consumers use screens and what they expect to accomplish does not mirror traditional customers of the past. Their values are shifting. 

Organisations are being forced to ask themselves:

  • What uniquely defines the persona of our customers?
  • What is different about their customer journey?
  • What are the touchpoints they frequent, how do they use them, and with what devices?
  • What are their expectations, what do they value, and how do they define success?

How are they influenced, and by whom? How and whom do they in turn influence?

Example of a customer persona;

A buyer persona is not merely a description of your buyer. As hundreds of our partners and customers can tell you, simply profiling your buyer results in too many personas and not nearly enough marketing guidance.

When you have insights into what your buyers think about doing business with you, including actual word-for-word quotes from people who have recently bought from you, you have the knowledge you need to align your marketing decisions with your customer’s buying journey. The ROI is massive for those that bother to do this properly! 

Those that have adopted the customer journey approach have shifted as much as 40 percent of marketing spend to activities that generate more sales and improve customer retention. 

Businesses are now faced with connecting the dots to understand behavior, map customer journeys, and redefine them to create experiences that deliver more value than ever possible in the past. 

I love this quote from Tony Robbins…

This is just the beginning…

Digital transformation represents a journey for businesses who seek to compete for attention and affinity of a different type of customer, a customer who requires a different set of human-centered paths, touch points, and outcomes.

Technology is just one part of the equation. Behind most of the change is the story of changing human behavior, both on the customer side and with employees within an organisation. 

In conclusion, B2B (business-to-business) and B2C (business-to-consumer), is gradually becoming P2P (person-to-person). 

In order for businesses to remain competitive it is imperative that they develop a customer-centric marketing strategy and gain a much deeper understanding of buyer behaivor. The result is companies are being forced to deliver a more natural and meaningful experience. 

If you don’t have a customer journey map or buyer personas for your business, don’t waste anytime losing market share.

Posted on September 14, 2016

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