Triggering Your Brand’s True Digital Media Transformation In 2014

With change leadership, innovative technologies and connected consumerism playing a significant role in the reshaping of business and the way work is done, 2014 is the time to see the importance of customer and employee experiences in triggering a true revolution in the digital existence of brands. World-renowned sociologist, futurist and principal analyst at Altimeter Group, Brian Solis, outlines his predictions for this year and what brands need to do now to achieve true digital transformation in 2014.

1. Social business will become a way of business and not a stand alone, isolated functional strategy.

Social media, as channels, are just part of the bigger picture. The challenge we face today is that where we invest time, energy and budget assumes that social’s role in the transformation of business is limited to just marketing and customer service, or other functions such as HR. Even then, businesses continue to struggle with aligning disparate social media strategies across an enterprise. In 2014, the evolution of social business will become more specific as businesses become social from the top down.

What you can do now:

Think less about technology and more about how transparency, authenticity and internal engagement are used to influence new vision and strategies, and in building meaningful relationships with customers, employees and stakeholders alike.

2. The role and importance of Customer Experience (CX) will escalate to the C-Suite and create new roles in the process.

Today CX is relegated to those who already believe in its importance to improve relationships and loyalty. What CX discovers affects every stage of the dynamic customer journey. How companies plan engagement is largely disconnected today – this needs to change. By becoming a strategic imperative at the C-Suite level, teams that are currently disjointed will unite around the vision to modernise and lead customer engagement throughout a new dynamic customer journey.

What you can do now:

Create new roles – starting at the top – with someone owning the customer experience: for example, a Chief Digital Officer or Chief Experience Office. Whilst seemingly trendy, this function will unite marketing, sales and even IT. New areas of expertise will also be necessary to support these new efforts, ranging from experience architects, digital anthropologists, data scientists and cross media strategists. Be prepared to observe new touch points and changes in your customers’ personal value systems and how these insights lead to digital transformation.

3. Digital transformation is going to be driven by the desire to integrate and enhance an evolving customer experience.

New business models are emerging as brands invest in new technology and processes to compete in the digital economy. The most common term for this movement is digital transformation. It’s not just about technology though, it’s about vision and how businesses are transforming from the inside out using tech as an enabler for a more integrated customer and employee experience.

What you can do now:

You might have already replaced outdated legacy systems for new tools and products, but this change needs to be also recognised in relation to how customer and employee expectations and values have changed. Research your competitors to learn how other businesses are creating new models that marry technology, people and processes to create a more integrated and collaborative experience throughout the customer lifecycle.

4. To encourage adaptation, companies will need to create a culture of innovation: the core of future of work and competition.

Today, disruptive technology is shaking the foundation of business from the outside in and inside out. Again, it’s not just tech though: people are also a large part of the success or failure of any company. At the moment there’s a notable disconnect between older and younger customers and equally employees. One is held to current standards and workflow – the way things are done – whilst the other wonders why processes don’t reflect the times – the way we buy and work. At the same time, customer preferences are also transforming.

What you can do now:

Competitors and threats nowadays can arise from anywhere. Empathy is the key to bridging this gap. Form innovation teams that explore new trends, threats and opportunities. Their insights gathered will ultimately influence your company DNA and lead to changes in how people learn and work, what they’re tasked to do, and how they’re rewarded to take more risks and introduce new ideas into the workflow.

Hear Brian Solis’ agenda for the future of social business, as well as a suite of speakers and some of Australia’s most well-known brands at Social Business 2014, to be held at the Melbourne Recital Centre from February 18-19. Tickets are selling fast, so register now!

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