The Digitization of Everything: Gaining a Competitive Edge
In a world where everything is digitized and increasingly more customer interactions are happening digitally, businesses need to pursue innovation, leverage digitization and do so at a pace that reflects the rapidity of the technological revolution itself. What’s more, Gen Z (born between 1995 and 2012) who are the true “digital natives,” are on track to become the largest generation of consumers by the year 2020 and account for $29 billion to $143 billion in direct spending. If companies don’t keep up with the pace of change, they will lose relevance and be left out in the cold. Those that stay ahead of the curve will be delivering a world-class experience and gain a competitive edge.
To understand what digital engagement means to a business, companies need to develop an end-to-end holistic response with a strategy that goes beyond the marketing department. The strategy must enable continuous engagement with customers, prospects, suppliers, employers and investors. It needs to bring all of the company’s digital channels together for seamless, meaningful cross-channel customer engagement. Forward-thinking companies are those that take elements of each digital channel that their customers value most and combine them to deliver a more valuable experience overall. Digitization also enables each consumer to have his or her own journey, with his or her own set of touch points. Digital technology should enable and support companies in dealing with consumers or customers on their terms, not a company’s term. This is what makes a world-class experience.
Additionally, a company’s strategy must be agile so that it can evolve as new digital channels come on board with a focus on customer feedback to help drive the type of experience users are expecting. In fact, the proliferation of digital channels and devices has given birth to the “prosumer” where consumers advise each other on brands – putting the power of organizations into their own hands to make purchasing decisions. Organizations that embrace and further ignite the power of the consumer to engage in two-way communication and conversations on products, services and ideas will come out the winners.