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Going Digital: Harnessing the Power of Digital Innovation

Going Digital: Harnessing the Power of Digital Innovation

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Going Digital: Harnessing the Power of Digital Innovation

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315 página
2 horas
Editora:
Lançado em:
Sep 23, 2016
ISBN:
9781483581484
Formato:
Livro

Descrição

Digital technology poses fundamental questions about the way we live, the way we structure organizations and institutions, the way we build up communities and its members, and the way governments are dealing with increasing digital divides around the world. On the one hand, digital technology presents us with opportunities to connect, work, think, and interact in ways we never thought possible. And yet, as innovation sweeps across the world, companies, people, and governments alike are exposed as ill equipped to keep up with the pace of change.

Going Digital: Harnessing the Power of Digital Innovation, is an exploration of digital strategy and digital transformation as a mindset: an interconnected way of seeing reality and the people in it in order to create adaptive, agile, and amicable work environments that champion innovation by harnessing individual differences, all while navigating a fractured macroeconomic landscape, revealing disruptive trends and new ways to thrive in business.

This is a book of bite-sized chapters written by digital & management guru Anurag Harsh. Through his experience with digital transformation in an industry under fire, he has recast our fraught relationship to all things digital.
Editora:
Lançado em:
Sep 23, 2016
ISBN:
9781483581484
Formato:
Livro

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Going Digital - Anurag Harsh

Revolution

We live at a crucial period in time. The rate of technological innovation has outpaced our ability to see into the future with a reliable degree of accuracy. Yes, we are still able to cope with the vagaries of the world, yet no one can precisely say where we will be even 5 or 10 years from now. The 21st-century and its people are marked by great change, staggering accomplishment, and unprecedented uncertainty.

For all this, we’ve managed to change the course of humanity in ways our ancestors never dreamed. We have prolonged human life well beyond what was typical. We’ve engineered machinery and digital technology that reduced the need for human involvement, putting more time and energy at our disposal to pursue happiness outside the workroom. We’ve deconstructed the command-and-control corporate hierarchy that created the concept of work-life balance, an antidote to the pernicious absorption customary of the workplace. Perhaps in equal measure we’ve opened gaping divides of global proportions. This is the natural fluctuation of human affairs. There has not been, and maybe will never be, a perfect society. We are flawed in all too human ways. And yet, it is those very flaws, when looked at dispassionately and honestly that can reveal the doorways to a better world for us all.

In this book, I have aggregated many years of writing on the subject of digitalization at the corporate, individual and global levels. The topic of digitalization itself is an incomplete one. As such, to speak on the effects of digitalization will inevitably leave questions unanswered, points unaddressed, and perspectives unrecognized. Nonetheless, I have done my best to cover these topics from as many perspectives as possible as they relate to the subjects of business, economics, and psychology. My goal here is to present the reader with a comprehensive understanding of the myriad ways digital technology and the mentality its engendered has changed the course of human history, has changed the way people view each other, and has affected business practices. Beyond describing these effects, I provide practical measures for people and business owners alike to create a culture of innovation that acknowledges individual differences and seeks to harness them; while contextualizing that culture in a broader discourse about government’s role in the digital divides we see opening between peoples today.

I’ve done my best to present the chapters in a way that scaffolds, so that by the end of each section the reader will have an understanding of the central topics orbiting discussions on the economic, social, and psychological effects of digitalization at the corporate, individual and global levels. However, I urge the reader to treat this book as a unique journey. When you look over the Table of Contents, decide where you want to start based on your interests. After all, customizability is the hallmark of digitalization. When a person or company has truly crafted a digital journey, it matters not where on the path you enter: You will always see, repeated endlessly, every element in the journey. That is the guiding spirit of the next frontier in digital thinking.

Anurag Harsh

Brands skillful at exploiting digital technology along the consumer choice and purchase voyage are gaining a sizable lead over competitors. The Internet has spiraled into a vital instrument for marketers, although there are fractures in accepting its role in influencing how consumers cherry pick between brands.

With the support of a potent record set, one can analyze the correlation between the extent of digitization throughout the consumer’s choice and purchase voyage and the possibility that a consumer will desire a brand after deliberating and appraising its merits. There are specific elements that form part of a consumer’s buying choice, which, within the digital industry, is termed brand conversion.

Largely, the setting demonstrates an age where technology and culture are progressing quicker than businesses can instinctively acclimate. Brand rivalry is progressively mounting with mushrooming channels and messaging. As consumers become further digitally invested, brand messaging starts to fail with reduced control, and the probability of translation to a purchase tends to decrease.

The brands with the highest prospect of purchase also boast the beefiest of digital participation. These up-and-coming companies appear to be pulling away from less resilient digital brands and realizing further momentum as they proclaim an optimistic presence on social media.

All Roads Are Digital

Digital is progressively becoming the predominant passageway for the consumer purchase voyage. The quantity of digital connections is escalating by nearly one fifth each year as extra-disconnected consumers pass over to digital tools while entering the ranks of buyers.

Most are expansively using digital outfits with 39% of consumers engaged from the beginning itself. Consider that 42 in 100 people use digital tools for deliberations, and 1 in 5 are using digital kits lock stock and barrel. It’s a new market environment entirely, supercharged by technology.

Certain significant deviations among businesses reside throughout this continuum of purchase passages. The software, air travel, and utilities businesses see consumers that tend to be almost entirely digital. The research and evaluation phases of the auto, telecom, insurance, appliances, banking, and food industries see a large number of digital consumers as well. However, most of these customers end up transacting offline or over a phone once their digital research is completed, thereby not entirely realizing their all-digital voyage.

The hurdles for brand-marketing managers will undoubtedly surge as consumers choose more comprehensive digital collaborations. The probability of brand conversion is worse for consumers who are all-digital than it is for those who are testing the waters, so to speak. Particularly, when testers become cognizant of a brand, nearly 40% follow through and make a purchase, compared to just 25% for digital-only consumers.

Digital consumers are pre-disposed to deserting a brand midway for any apparent motive or none at all. These consumers are prone to have joined Facebook, Twitter, or similar social media sites for discussions about the merits of a company’s merchandises or services. The larger the number of digital-only knowledge hubs a consumer accesses before the actual buy, the more likely it is that the consumer will find something that will make them pause, and the less likely it is that the consumer will make the purchase.

Furthermore, these veteran digital-only consumers conduct their pre-purchase research autonomously. Due to the fact that the rate and effect of advertising within social-media is yet to achieve those of the offline non-digital channels, any brand advertising tends to fall on deaf ears and is thus unable to materially impact consumer choice.

Several businesses, however, have succeeded in steering through this turbulence fairly effectively. To recognize the distinguishing digital elements of this victory, one has to assess the brands’ capacity to generate awareness amongst these large numbers of veteran digital consumers, offer enhanced levels of digital customer service during the research and purchase phases that mirrors or improves the offline one, and finally, track consumer comments related to the experience in order to utilize them effectively to fundamentally improve the business at its core.

It’s not surprising to note the rather remarkable distinctions between the best and worst performing companies based on their ability to convert digital researchers into buyers. Businesses with the best distinguishing digital elements as described above convert 1.5x to 2.5x more into sales than the ones with the worst digital record. In sectors like consumer electronics, software, electric appliances and detergents, the 1:1.5 elasticity ratio means the sector’s ability to master the distinguishing digital elements leads to a 1.5x increase in purchase conversion.

The digitally sophisticated brands have built a marketplace reputation so strong—creating a sea of positive commentary, consumer recommendations, word of mouth and earned media momentum—that the digitally-challenged dawdlers have a tough time catching up.

Adaptability Is the Key to Success

The above revelations have reminded me of a sentence I had read in Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, which is one of the most important books ever published. Darwin forever changed the fields of science, philosophy, and theology and placed himself at the crux of a dramatic turning point in human thought, discussing natural selection, adaptation, the struggle for existence, survival of the fittest, and other concepts that now form the foundation of modern evolutionary and business theory.

In that book, Darwin said: It is not the strongest species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change.

In my article above, change is synonymous with being digitally sophisticated, with embracing the new digital era with open arms and using it to convert skeptics into buyers.

What’s interesting is that the conventional quarters of business are also embracing the new digital fabric, which should be a loud alarm-bell for the status quo. I look at Telecom as one such sector, where digital-savvy has made a tremendous difference. Just look at what the young telecom companies Mobile Vikings and Free have done in France, as well as the Benelux with their all-digital, ultra-modern, ultra-high customer service and active involvement in social media. The two businesses have massive brand recognition with a near 80% rate of sales conversion compared with the telecom industry average of 45% to 50% in the region. In fact, the telecom company FREE hardly does any major advertising and instead uses social media, blogs and websites as the main means of creating brand equity and sales conversion.

And this is not just in telecom. It’s no different in the media sector. Just look at The New York Times, or hop the pond and check out London’s Financial Times. Both of these traditional publishers have created a very successful digital ecosystem that generates substantial awareness of their brands around the world, selling more digital subscriptions each month as print circulation and advertising revenues continue to spiral down an inevitable path.

If a brand’s online digital consumer experience is a positive one, it dramatically affects its equity, awareness, and stickiness, which in turn results in the possibility of repeat paying customers. In retail, for example, it is positive social media that helps convert sales, while in banking, online searches push product off the shelves.

In Sum

The crucial aspects are to identify and recognize your buyer, determine the appropriate digital outlet, and use your full insights while building an ecosystem. Brands that have scurried rapidly to invest in digital have enjoyed the profound appreciation of their customers, fashioning digital experiences, and refining social sentiments to work in their own favor. These are the brands that are creating a significant economic advantage that may be tough to beat.

Almost every company wants to Go Digital. That’s great! But the first step is to lay out what that means for your company. Before figuring out what that means for your company you should know what digital is.

Although pundits may be at odds about the best definition of digital, I believe that digital refers to a procedure, a way of doing things. It subsumes all of the tactics, tools, and strategies under one banner and necessitates better processes, risks, experiments, and constant communication with the consumer.

Digital Is a Procedure

To put this into perspective, there are various competencies that a company should possess to eventually go digital and then be digital.

Experimentation

Going digital demands openness. You must be open to change, to experiment, to try things out and happily accept the possibility of failure. In several firms, establishing fresh boundaries would entail creating fully branded businesses in adjacent categories, while for others, it would entail recognizing fresh value pools in predominant sectors.

Commitment

Commitment must emanate from every person in a company, especially its higher ups (if applicable). Going digital requires dedication and commitment from every person. It takes time, energy, patience, creativity, and innovation — all things that are sustained by an unshakeable commitment and dedication to the company.

Sharing Ideas, All the Time

The Internet has created a number of opportunities for information sharing and for totally disruptive platforms to take root in the workforce. Efficiency can and must be enhanced by digital technology, and an entire new line of workers has emerged that can provide specialized services at a margin of the cost compared with previous rates. Outsourcing, freelancers, and contract work is far more typical and often most cost-effective.

Consumer Behavior

I would like to think that in the abstract we all understand what this means. Consumers wield a tremendous amount of power: their commentary, their feedback, their decisions are arguably more entwined with the success of companies than ever before. Research into consumer behavior is a well-spring that can lead a company to success if used intelligently. The consumer will tell you what to change, what works, what doesn’t, and where to send more money. Today’s market is far more democratic than it used to be.

Consumer Journey

Consumer journey refers to the experience that an average consumer goes through when they deal with your company. In an ideal situation, every aspect of this journey has been premeditated, calculated, and constantly surveyed for useful information.

Being mindful and utilitarian about consumer journeys means reviewing data and targeting consumer preferences so you can meet them. In doing so, you will save time and money and guarantee that your strategies hit your target demographic and cater to their preferences, expectations, and needs.

Brand Presence

Brand presence goes hand-in-hand with consumer behavior and consumer journey, and it spills into customer experience (which is the proceeding point). The brand should be wherever the consumer is, and the content and messages should be adjusted accordingly so you can capture and retain as much as possible. For example, if you notice that your target consumer has started relying more heavily on their desktops, or one of your new products is mobile-oriented, then make sure your brand is present.

Customer Service

Customer service is the pièce de résistance. In the past customer service was headed up by human beings. Now you can automate certain processes to ensure streamlined customer experiences and attention to complaints and to create conduits for information gathering without needing to have a single human on the front lines. Do this wherever possible. Consumers have come to expect expediency and flawlessness. Of course, it isn’t possible to guarantee that every time. When it doesn’t happen, call it a failure, remediate the situation, and move on.

Digital Decision-Making

Going digital involves the use of data to enable the organization to make enhanced and swift decisions—with the decision-making delegated to smaller teams—while establishing highly repetitive and quick approaches to carrying out tasks. Such reasoning should not be restricted to merely a few tasks. The thinking ought to be integrated within all of the operational processes of an enterprise, as well as resourcefully forming partnerships with outside firms in order to broaden the needed capabilities. With a digital approach, a business is able to even out organizational silos, stimulate cross-functional alliances, and create a company culture that fosters new idea creation.

A Different Perspective on Going Digital

From an IT perspective, the move to digital involves the establishment of a dual ecosystem that dissociates legacy systems taking care of an organization’s more acute tasks while operating at a slower speed, from those nourishing swift-paced, typically consumer-facing interfaces.

Digital IT is characterized by a progressive delivery approach where cross-functional tech teams gather and improve upon existing processes and software systems in order to assiduously release new software features in a swift manner. In that sense, going digital means creating new conduits of business evolution.

In Sum

Although there will be variations in the diverse interpretations of what it means to go digital, there are commonalities inherent to successful digitalized companies. At the very least, that provides a starting point for action so that the philosophical debate can continue without as many casualties.

In most cases, the commonalities of successful digitalized companies are experimentation, commitment, idea sharing, attention to consumer behavior and an emphasis on the consumer journey, which in turn enhance brand presence with noticeable positive effects on customer service. All this within the edifice of digital decision-making, powered by machine learning, algorithmic technology, and automation. There are some management and cultural commonalities that I explore in The Key Attributes of Successful Digital Firms.

I’m going to start this article on a prescriptive note: Companies should stop toying around with digital cosmetics and focus instead on transforming themselves into full-fledged digital businesses so as to keep pace with fluctuating market trends.

The era of digital pilot projects is long gone. In the dreary business fabric of modest economic progression, digitalization offers a new lease of life for economic growth. Companies that have infused themselves with digital technology wherever possible have experienced major success and resilience in an ever-changing market environment.

Transforming a company into a fully-digital enterprise is considerably challenging because the process influences all operations and business units and demands rapid skill development and investments in new business ventures that are completely different from existing ones. That is why when company management makes minor changes here and there without a clear plan to overhaul the entire company, it can easily be called cosmetics. That’s a waste of time, money and other resources.

Unfortunately, there is no single guide to success, nor does one formula fit all. As is the case in many areas of life, we can learn from others, analyze their

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