Data and technology
Article 4 of 5 in the series "The management's 5 steps to digital transformation".
The 4th channel that we find stands in the way of many companies' digital transformation concerns, paradoxically enough, data and technology. It’s a paradox because this is where most companies place their focus when talking about digitalisation "We need a plan for how we utilise digital technologies".
The problem is that technology and data are rarely incorporated across the organisation. The need for new systems and technologies is identified, planned and purchased down in the respective departments. And the reality is that using technology and data offers a unique opportunity to bind the business together.
Imagine the following 4 scenarios and what these demand in terms of data and system sharing in the organisation:
1. Working together on lead generation and sales optimisation
Sales and Marketing should work closely together to generate more and better leads and to optimise your sales. If these two areas are to succeed with this task, they will need to share data about:
- How qualified their leads are
- Which products or services they are interested in
- When the leads are ready to be contacted
- Any other information you have gathered about their behaviour, preferences etc.
This also requires access to the same systems or, as a minimum, that the two departments' systems are connected and can exchange data.
There is no such thing as your and my customers. It’s the same customers who contact you via your different channels. If your respective teams are to utilise the information they receive about customers from the other channels, then all channels must gather and share information about the customers, customer behaviour and customer purchase history.
So, for example, when Lisa calls the call centre to ask a question about Product A, which she just bought, then John in the call centre can see on his screen that 3 days ago Lisa visited their website and read about product B, but she left the site without buying. John now knows that there is a significantly greater chance of selling Product B to Lisa than if he tries to sell a different service in which she hasn't even shown any interest.
This prioritises and targets the messages in the online channel based on specific visits, purchase history and behaviour in the other channels. For the customer, it means greater cohesion in the overall message and a much more relevant experience. And for you it means higher conversion
This situation requires a data management platform that can collect data from the respective channels, and which, based on various sets of rules, is able to prioritise and present the relevant information in the relevant channels.
3. Predictive analysis
You want to create a more cohesive and targeted 1-2-1 dialogue with customers, which also helps retain their engagement and relationship after the purchase.
What challenges do you expect the customer to come across next, for example based on your information about the customer journey? What is the next likely purchasing need you can anticipate by finding a pattern in the historical purchasing data and the most frequent combination of products and services? And how can you use this insight across the business to meet the customer in the pre-purchase phase via communication, services and great offers, thus making the customer feel seen and helped?
Once again you will need access to and use of both data and systems across the organisation.
Sharing technology and data across the organisation is essential if you want to:
- Implement omnichannel and personalisation initiatives
- Create value and cohesion in the Customer Journey
- Gather information to use in your next innovation project
Step 4 to success with digital transformation
When you prepare a plan for your digital transformation, use your data and technology to bind the business together. This will give you a strong but also necessary foundation for the forthcoming digital initiatives that will transform your business.
The next problem then is: Once you have bought and implemented the new technology, you often only use a fraction of what it can do. I will discuss why this happens in the final article.