The beta blog

Showing all posts tagged with Agile organisation

< The beta blog | Jan 23, 2015

How predictive analytics can help business service firms succeed

Business services firms are ultimately people businesses. From facilities management, to recruitment, to legal and high end advisory services, intelligently managing your core asset – human capital – is vital. And with the UK economy back in growth mode, hiring, motivating and retaining your best people could mean the difference between success and failure.

In our most recent CEO survey, over half of respondents recognise the importance of digital technologies in finding, developing and retaining talent, whilst data analysis is seen as a strategic priority for 80% of CEO’s.

Recent PwC research highlighted the benefit of harnessing predictive analytics (testing hypotheses with relevant historic data) to gain more insight and ultimately be more proactive when making people decisions. It found that too many organisations are limiting their use of people data to describe what has already happened, rather than using analytics to predict what might happen and find ways to proactively address the problem.

We recently worked with a client to help them identify which top performers are most at risk of leaving the company, using predictive analytics. Our analysis produced a list of individuals identified as the top flight risks – it was so accurate that within a few weeks of completion, two of these people had resigned. Subsequent mitigation plans were put in place for the others, helping the organisation to prepare and prevent where appropriate. This kind of evidence driven insight into people risk is new, rare and potentially game-changing.

So, where could you leverage predictive analytics to stay ahead of potential people challenges, before they emerge? Examples include:

  • Which individuals are likely to really succeed in their career?
  • Who is likely to present the greatest risk?
  • Which hiring approach, or set of parameters, will bring me the highest quality of new-hires?
  • What will a failure to address an engagement issue cost me in the longer term?
  • Which employees are most likely to be successful as future leaders?
  • Where will I have long and short term workforce supply challenges, based on current employee data, business growth plans and macroeconomic trends?
  • Which wellbeing scheme will make difference to employee productivity?

So, as you look at your businesses’ 2015 goals, it may be valuable to ask yourself how predictive analytics can help you gain more insight from your people data, in a manageable and repeatable way. It may make for a more profitable and enterprising 2016 and beyond. 

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< The beta blog | Jan 19, 2015

Why governance is the first step in harnessing the power of social media for manufacturers

The other day I decided to check out the history of crowdsourced innovation in manufacturing. And guess what: I found that carmakers have some of the longest and most productive track records. It’s now more than four years since Fiat developed and launched the world’s first crowdsourced car, the Mio. And automotive rivals ranging from Ford to Jaguar – to name but two – have long been recognised for their smart use of social media to foster innovation.

As such examples underline, there are massive opportunities for manufacturing companies to use social media as a source of ongoing and effectively inexhaustible innovation. It’s a technique known as ‘ideation’: harvesting the ideas and creativity of large numbers of people, both across and possibly beyond the business, to accelerate and escalate product development. Experience shows that the costs of ideation are usually justified – and often dwarfed – by the resulting creation of high-value intellectual property.

Given the size of the potential benefits, I’m delighted that more and more of the manufacturing clients I speak to are keen on tapping into crowdsourced innovation. However, when first considering venturing into this area, companies often assume their initial priority should be to focus on the technology they’ll use and the type of innovation they want to achieve.

But if they take this approach, my experience shows they’ll be starting in the wrong place. In fact, the critical first step towards a successful social media strategy is to implement the right governance in terms of controls and ownership.

To explain why, allow me to step back and examine the wider context. Today, most companies accept they need some form of presence and voice on social media. But while social media has moved into the business mainstream, the way it’s used and organised in many organisations is still patchy, siloed and disjointed.

It isn’t hard to see why. By its nature, social media spans multiple functions within an organisation – IT, HR, marketing, customer relations – each with its own agenda and a different perception of social media’s role and value for the business. If all these groups are allowed to move out onto social networks in an uncontrolled way, the result is a kind of ‘Wild West’ of fragmented communications and conflicting messages, with nobody able to call all the shots.

To my mind, this situation is a bit like the early days of corporate email 15 or 20 years ago. Back then, individuals and teams would simply set up email accounts and start communicating on behalf of their businesses. The profound risks of this approach soon became clear, and control was pulled back to the corporate centre.

Before manufacturing companies can truly harness crowdsourced ideation, a similar reassertion of oversight and control must take place in social media. This need is further underlined by the embarrassing issues and scandals that are frequently emerging from employees’ use of social networks, ranging from inappropriate tweets to unauthorised disclosure of confidential information.

So, how can companies go about taming this Wild West – and thereby position themselves to use manufacturing ideation securely and productively? Given the importance of social media to everything from the brand to the share price, the first component to put in place is very senior – preferably Board-level – sponsorship. Below this, clear ownership of all activities on social networks should be allocated to one leading stakeholder, usually the head of marketing or corporate communications.

Finally, companies should create a committee or working group made up of representatives from all teams with a strong interest in social media – IT, PR, HR, customer services, and so on. This group should meet regularly to discuss social media policies and everyday issues, and ensure all social media activities across the business are aligned and coordinated.

For any manufacturing businesses, social media opens up new vistas of opportunity for harnessing innovation. But to translate these opportunities safely and sustainably into business value, it first needs a solid bedrock of governance and control.

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< The beta blog | Jan 8, 2015

CCO Questions #6: Are you ready for disruption?

Game changer, innovator, paradigm shifter. They’ve all been used to mean a new product or service that fundamentally changes the nature of a market.

For a while now, we’ve tended to use the term ‘disruptor’. Its more aggressive tone is probably a better fit when you consider the scale of recent change in industries like content, travel and insurance.

Most stories of disruption paint a binary picture: Hungry upstart develops a clever piece of technology that leaves overweight and ill prepared establishment players in its wake. It’s an appealing narrative for sure but well established firms usually have better access to the talent, resources and network required to develop and bring disruptive ideas to life. The challenge is actually doing something with it.

The first job is recognising potential opportunity. Here are some useful tips that should suggest if your sector or industry is ripe for disruption:

  • Anyone is making more than 10% margin
  • Oligopolies where 3-4 firms share 80% of the market
  • Advertising that boasts about things that should be normal service
  • The press leaping on any opportunity to publish a negative story
  • Vested interest in the status quo
  • People saying things like ‘the barrier to entry is too high’
  • Desperation for moral authority – look for efforts to support veterans, kids education and the environment

Second is to start in the right place. Whilst great product and service ideas are at the heart of disruption, it’s customer desire that drives them. As a CCO, this needs to be the platelets to your bloodstream, the Midi-chlorians to your Jedi. Understanding what your customers want (whether they tell you or not) is critical. That means great research, social listening and analytics, then being able to turn all the output into meaningful insight and vision that’s accessible to the whole organisation.

Third is to set yourself up for success. Build the kind of agile operating model and organisation structure that allows ideas to flourish, protect the time and investment for development and be prepared for the majority to be wasted. Be prepared to disrupt yourself, putting established revenue streams at risk. Most of all empower your people. The vast majority of disruptive individuals worked for someone else once.

Finally – remember that disruptive ideas can be born of hard work and attentive effort, not just a personal epiphany. There’s no doubt that great vision plays a part, Henry Ford and the ‘faster horse’ being the most common example. But to disrupt Ford’s oft-shared aphorism, few people realise that he switched the steering wheel in American cars from right to left. Why? After much careful observation and engagement with customers, he realised that passengers (mostly female) would appreciate being able to get out on the safe, dry verge rather than the muddy road more than the (mostly male) drivers.

So take a step back and look at your market and organisation, get to know your customers far more intimately, be prepared to make big changes and have faith that elephants can dance!

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< The beta blog | Dec 4, 2014

Five mission-critical skills required in the digital age

The digital revolution is here and has fundamentally transformed how we live and work forever. The analogue age of old is gone and while many ‘traditional’ skills are still useful and transferable, this new world in beta requires professionals of all seniority and industries to adapt and embrace new, and what I call, mission-critical skills for the digital age. 

What are they? Below I outline five of them. 

1. Digital literacy

Having a proficient understanding of technologies, applications, software programs such as search engines, social media, spreadsheets, databases, and information storage and management is a must. These digital tools are ingrained in our day-to-day lives and are becoming more intuitive and complex as the technology develops. Besides this, familiarity with technological devices such as smartphones, tablets and (as the market develops) smartwatches will be a core requirement.

I would also argue, however, that less obvious and more abstract thinking patterns like algorithmic thinking, an analytical approach to challenges or application of network theory also should be part of an individual's basic skillset.

2. Embrace and welcome change 

Understand that the rate of innovation with digital technology is only increasing and therefore embracing new technologies from the broad spectrum discussed above and embedding them in to your life will be beneficial to your career. In other words, stop being a 'digital tourist' and become a native. This is easier said than done of course and where some people adapt to change seamlessly, for others it takes hard and conscious work.

Points 1 and 2 are about different levels of internalisation, that are the ‘knowing’ and ‘digesting’ of the digital environment. Once mastered, a major turning point comes, and that’s to the external.

3. Become a meaningful content creator

Becoming a contributor by creating digital content. Being a contributor is not only sharing content per se, but sharing in a meaningful context by matching your messages with the right audience and channel. Whether it is a blog, tweet, LinkedIn post, video, image or presentation all depends on your content and the audience.

When you are on this level your sharing should not be by chance, but by choice, knowing why you do what you do.

4. Be an active contributor to a community

Shaping and building digital communities and allows you to connect with like-minded people in a meaningful way. To become a useful member (or indeed leader) of a community requires continuous participation in the form of providing useful information (links, articles, research etc.) to being personable, helpful and friendly. Of course, understanding the interconnection of networks and nodes and knowing what type of content resonates with the influencers within that community will allow you to become an influencer within that community yourself.

Ultimately becoming an active contributor to a community takes time, thoughtfulness and an understanding of network dynamics, and will take you to true cognitive and emotional influence over a well defined group of individuals.

5. Become a trust agent

Building trust in the digital world is the most critical digital skill you can acquire. Creating trust is impossible without personal interaction, and experience shows that continuous participation within online communities will help you acquire trust among relevant groups. If you become a ‘trendsetter’ or innovator in your own right by being a valuable source of information will ultimately allow you to build trust.

Uniqueness is key here: replicate your online personality offline and re-create your ego in digital space. You may argue this is more art than science, to which I would reply, is classical leadership not? Originality and being an innovator is just one element to developing trust however. Having consistency with a digital style or brand is just as important. What would you like your own personal online brand to convey?

Bonus tips: The enabler approaches

Besides these digital skills I would mention three enabler approaches which are not skills but rather mind sets or attitudes. These are:

  • Be open to learn. As the late Steve Jobs said, ‘stay hungry, stay foolish’. Being genuinely curious to trying new ‘things’, practices, technologies, disciplines that you may not know a great deal about. This is to protect you from ‘this is the way we’ve always done things’ syndrome. Break your routines, routinely.
  • Critically self-reflect. Look at yourself from the inside out and also ask a group of trusted people of their constructive critical view. Use tracking tools to see your progress (or lack of) objectively.
  • Manage your cognitive load. The digital world is an ever-changing and always-on beast so for balance it’s important to maintain a sustainable digital drive without digital burnout. Instead participate in non digital recreational activities (sports, the arts, etc) to keep a level of equilibrium.

What do you think are the mission critical digital skills to stay relevant in a world in beta? 

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< The beta blog | Sep 26, 2014

iOS8 & three waves of digital development: What this means for businesses in the digital age

A lot has been said and written about iOS8, what works, what doesn't work, whether one should install it or whether one should wait. There are statistics on the number of installations compared to iOS 7 and both my colleague Simon and I have received numerous calls from our friends asking us whether we felt it was safe for them to go ahead and download it! Well, we did download and install iOS8 on our devices and were pleasantly surprised with to see how nice the features were!

Put a Digital Strategist (Simon) and a Digital Transformation Specialist (myself) together and what you are bound to get is a conversation around customer journeys and need gaps addressed by the new features. And here were the conclusions that the two of us came to:

i. The new features could help us do things we couldn't do before (send an audio message, get reply notifications, see when a message was sent, manage mails quickly, Siri knows the tune)

ii. The new features could help us accomplish more than what we could do before (Reach your favourite people, actionable notifications, Extensions, Quick Type, Selfies on a timer)

iii. If we chose to share some of our personal data, we could get a differentiated experience and enjoy both a cost advantage and a knowledge advantage (Healthkit, Share with your family)

This neatly ties up with PwC’s Three Waves of digital development:

  • First wave: Economies of products and services

This is all about successfully offering new digital capabilities to customers and stakeholders

  • Second wave: Economies of outcomes

This is all about enhancing digital capabilities to enable customers and stakeholders to accomplish more

  • Third wave: Economies of wishes

This is about providing a differentiated experience and a clear advantage/benefit when a customer or stakeholder provides access to his or her data

Putting the two together, it seemed safe enough to infer that companies that were highly successful in this digital age (a.k.a Apple – one cannot argue with that):

  • Tended to have product releases that addressed all 3 waves at the same time.
  • Seemed to have a “magic ratio” of features in each wave for every release (for example it could be argued that the iOS 7 release with the movement away from skeuomorphism was skewed towards the first wave – economies of products and services).
  • Had greater integration with what was “good” out there with each release while still differentiating themselves on core brand value. A fearless market stance seldom exhibited before! (Apple taking tentative steps into opening up iOS for integration with extensions and widgets)

Gartner’s view is by 2020, 75% of businesses will be digital businesses – hence there are implications of these inferences on almost every business and client we provide advice to. Simon and I have taken a look at these inferences and interpreted these into actionable suggestions at the strategy level:

  • From Agile Development To An Agile Mindset

The world is truly in beta and internet and mobile banking product owners, heads of development and customer experience specialists need to think of their platform capabilities as versions and plan on quarterly, yearly or minor and major releases. This mindset is very prevalent in the digital and IT departments in banks, but this mindset needs to move into Business and the Board.

  • The Rise Of Three Dimensional Capabilities

As explained in the 3 waves of digital development; digital capabilities, like physical assets exist in 3 states. Digital capabilities exist either as products & services, as outcomes or as wishes just as physical assets exist in solid, liquid or gaseous states. And just as physical assets behave differently when they are in different states (water has different properties to steam, energy can be generated from both but through different ways), digital capabilities in different states need to be leveraged differently (example OAC through actionable notifications is a capability as a product, when we use actionable notifications for employees in customer care to react instantaneously to customer queries, it is an outcome.) Digital capabilities like physical assets can move between states, so business leaders need to clearly understand the state and the resultant properties of each digital capability to get the desired impact in the marketplace.

  • Customer Empowerment May Be A Sharper Differentiator To Customer Experience

As platforms and capabilities between competitors open up, to allow customers to configure what they consider “best” (for example, I can choose the Apple keyboard or choose to use Swiftkey or Swype), we will enter the bold new era of truly unified, best in class customer experience as defined by customers. The question that customers are likely to ask is “where am I empowered more?” and make choices based on that rather than pure play best in class customer experience. So we may need “Customer Empowerment” departments rather than “Customer Experience” skills.

We may already have iOS8.0.1 to handle all the bugs that have cropped up, but we know that Apple will solve those, and all of these features will become “best in class” and will herald in the age when beta became mainstream.

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< The beta blog | Sep 23, 2014

'The world is in beta' event 30 September, Science Museum, London

We believe the world is exploding with potential and the way organisations embrace emerging technology will allow them to create value, reaching more customers, more quickly, and more directly. Because of this, we believe the world is in a perpetual state of beta and companies need to develop not a digital strategy, but a business strategy for the digital age.

On 30 Sept at the Science Museum in London's South Kensington, we are hosting the world in beta event to discuss the opportunities and implications of digital transformation and what companies need to do in order to gain an advantage in this increasingly complex environment. The full agenda is below and I'm happy to say we have assembled a fantastic list of speakers from both inside and outside of our firm.

The event starts at 15:30 GMT and for those interested in keeping up with it, follow the Twitter hashtag #worldinbeta or the PwC UK Twitter account. We will be tweeting live from the event and sharing materials, insights and videos of the sessions post-event.

'The world is in beta' agenda

Registration - 15:00-15:30

Welcome address - 15:30-15:40

Welcome from the event host Mike Greig (@_MikeGreig), Digital Leader at PwC and Warwick Hunt, our CFO and Head of Operations.

The world is in beta – Digitally driven change and its impact on your organisation - 15:40-16:00

PwC Partner, Carlo Gagliardi (@_carlogagliardi), will discuss what it means to be in a world 'in beta' and what companies must do to adapt and prosper in this age defined by digital opportunities.

Five emerging technologies shaping today’s world - 16:00-16:30

Tom Standage (@tomstandage) is Digital Editor at The Economist, overseeing its output on digital platforms, and is the editor-in-chief of its website, He previously served as Business Affairs Editor, Business Editor, Technology Editor and Science Correspondent.

Tom will be focusing on five key emerging technologies that are cutting across and breaking down the boundaries between sectors and the opportunities they present for those organisations willing to challenge their perception of themselves.

The consumer of the future - 16:30-17:10

We have all heard lots about digital natives and their impact, but the fact is, the expectations of digital natives are changing every day. In this session we will put ourselves in the shoes of children today and look at how the technologies they are using now will mean new challenges for organisations tomorrow.

This fun and engaging session will be delivered by our dynamic Emerging Technology team; a group of young entrepreneurs and business people. Our speakers are Mia Bennett @mialomo and Kiran Earwaker.

Session 2 - 17:40- 18:50

‘You are here’ – Discover your organisation's digital starting point in this live and interactive diagnostic session

During this interactive diagnostic session, our speakers will ask the audience a series of questions and highlight best practice so you can build a picture of where your organisation is relative to others in the room. All data will be available for you to take-away after the event and explore further.

There will also be a chance to hear how other organisations are leading digitally driven change and the challenges they face in doing so.

Our speakers for this session are Richard Horne; Partner and Cyber Specialist at PwC and Matthew Tod (@LoganTod), Mike Greig and Carlo Gagliardi; Partners within PwC's Consulting practice.

Close - 18:50-19:00 

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< The beta blog | Sep 17, 2014

The digital world of freight haulage

It is hard to think of an industry less likely to conjure up an image of digital revolution than freight haulage, which is more associated with heavy vehicles, roadside cafes and the movement of physical goods around transport networks.

However, at the forefront it is, with haulage firms around the world grasping the potential of the ‘internet of things’, and busily harvesting data from all possible sources and applying advanced analytics to address their biggest business challenges. The industry now abounds with examples:

  • Locus Traxx, a specialist in refrigerated cargo haulage in the US, has wired up its entire fleet with sensors to detect a range of metrics on its containers and the goods inside them – temperature, vibration, door opening events – all of which send data back to HQ in real time. As a result, Locus Traxx is able to immediately identify when its cargo is in danger of being damaged, causing wastage with the inevitable impacts on costs and customer relationships. Through its data approach, Locus Traxx claims to have reduced wastage to zero.
  • Other operators have started to combine vehicle telematics and other journey log data, with HR data on lorry drivers to predict which drivers are most at risk of having a road accident, in order to proactively intervene and address risk factors.
  • Some innovative European haulage firms are collecting journey log data from on-board vehicle systems, and combing this with external data sources – such as weather data - to optimise route planning and freight scheduling, with claims of up to 10% in fuel savings.

Cargo wastage, accidents, fuel costs – data analytics is now having a major impact on some of the haulage industry’s biggest cost drivers, in some cases making a genuinely transformational difference to the operator’s bottom line.

The lesson? Analytics is powering a revolution in the transport and logistics industry. The new digital age is not just about consumer devices, apps and disruptive online businesses. It is also profoundly changing some of the most – ostensibly - old world industries, by enabling the better management of physical assets and real world operations.

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< The beta blog | Sep 5, 2014

The importance of social media policies

Over the last number of years social media has become a useful communications channel for both our personal and work lives. The rise of mainstream social networks such as Facebook and Twitter has been nothing short of phenomenal as people have joined in their millions and, in Facebook’s case, billions to communicate with friends, loved-ones and colleagues regardless of their physical location.

Social media is certainly here to stay and is growing in more importance as organisations of all kinds understand the benefits it can bring. However, social media is still a relatively new form of open and transparent communication and one which has legal and ethical implications in a work setting if employees don’t understand how to use it properly.

For example, a recent BBC report indicates that police forces in England and Wales are making use of social media policies to discipline employees who have posted inappropriate content online (both during working hours and outside of working hours). This is with good cause as some examples of cases investigated by police forces included:

  • A community support officer with Devon and Cornwall Police who received a final written warning after posing with weapons on Facebook
  • A sergeant with the same force who was given a written warning after making remarks about senior officers on the site
  • A Gwent police officer who was using Facebook was given a written warning for sending an "abusive" message to a member of the public

While a social media policy is not restricted to the police force the examples above illustrate that even the professionals working in the emergency services are not immune to inappropriate use of social media.

Rolling out a social media policy

Drafting a pragmatic social media policy can allow an employer to minimise risk associated with employees’ use of social media (in both a business and a personal capacity), by proactively defining acceptable and unacceptable uses in the context of the employment relationship, and ensuring that disciplinary action can be taken if required. Social media policies can be aligned to company-wide employee policies and there is often an overlap between the two. Aggressive behaviour online and off is never tolerated, for example.

What should the policy cover?

When drafting a social media policy an employer should carefully consider its purpose and objectives, weighing up factors such as the employer’s attitude towards social media use in the workplace (will use be encouraged or discouraged?), the nature of the employer’s business (a young, cool, table tennis playing start up at Silicon Roundabout is unlikely to want to have the same social media policy as a more traditional City organisation), the workplace environment, and just how stupid some of its employees have the potential to be (if in doubt just dig out the damning snaps from the most recent office Christmas party).

Nevertheless, most policies should at least include appropriate restrictions to:

  • Limit personal social media use during work time
  • Protect the employer’s confidential information and intellectual property
  • Prevent infringement of third party IP
  • Prevent discrimination, harassment or bullying
  • Prevent liability for discriminatory or defamatory comments posted by employees
  • Prevent the misuse of personal data belonging to other employees, or customers
  • Protect the employer’s reputation.

Can employees’ use of social media be monitored?

A policy can address use of social media outside office hours, and regardless of whether an employer’s device is used. However, employers should remember that the Information Commissioner’s Employment Practices Code explains that employees have legitimate expectations that they can keep their personal lives private and that they are entitled to a degree of privacy in the work environment. If employers wish to monitor their workers, they should be clear about the purpose, and satisfied that the particular monitoring arrangement is not excessive, and is justified by real benefits that will be delivered. This is increasingly becoming an area of focus for Claimants who may try to allege that an employer’s actions in monitoring their personal messages is a breach of their right to a private life. A well drafted social media policy could help employers rebut such an argument.

When is disciplinary action appropriate?

Employees can do and say unwise things when using social media, often in the heat of the moment and without thought, or on the mistaken assumption that their words won’t be seen by anyone except their friends. As with all disciplinary issues, employers should follow a fair procedure (with reference to its disciplinary policy) and ensure that any sanction is reasonable in all the circumstances. They should consider whether employee training on the topic may be appropriate.

As social media continues to grow and become even more ingrained in our day-to-day lives, the need for a tailored social media policy will only increase.

If you’d like to know more, please contact John D. McGonagle, (PwC Legal IP/IT and Commercial team) or Jonathan Harries, (PwC Legal Employment team).

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< The beta blog | Sep 1, 2014

20 Questions for the CCO: #3 Are your marketing communications a fair exchange for customer attention?

‘From interruption to engagement’ has probably featured loudly in the title of a major marketing conference or paper every month for the last fifteen years. In an era of time shifted TV, the decline of print and rise of ‘skip ad’, why on earth would anyone watch, read or interact with an advert that gets in the way of something they are trying to do?

In truth it’s still possible to buy ad space, fill it with ordinary creative and see something happen as a result, it’s just got harder, more expensive and less rewarding. This is not a sustainable strategy.

The best marketing communications of today (and by extension those that will form the table stakes behaviour of tomorrow) are about a fair exchange between you and the customer. Do you offer them enough of value to warrant their precious time and attention? This fair exchange could be one, or ideally a combination of the following things:

It arrives at the right time – I’m in the market for something and you reach me at the right time. In the old world this just meant keeping your car ad running in What Car? every week. In the digital age this is about developing a sophisticated understanding of your customer’s behaviour, both on and offline and using the right data and tools to be present when it suits them.

It entertains me – Marketing communication that reaches people on an emotional level, making them laugh, cry or think is always more effective than a straight ‘buy me now’ message and generally builds brand as well as driving action. It can be hard to justify the investment required but just ask Cadbury, Honda or Nike if they thought it was worth it.

It’s useful – Great marketing isn’t just about what you say, it’s about what you do, sometimes to the point that your product is its own marketing. What useful products or services are you offering to your customers for free as a way of building a relationship? Whilst examples like Strava and Tesco Clubcard come to mind, remember this isn’t new, it’s a fundamental human truth. In fact the original Michelin Restaurant guide was a piece of free content designed to encourage people to drive out of Paris and wear out their tyres!

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< The beta blog | Aug 20, 2014

20 Questions for the CCO: #2 The best digital experiences are available to all, do you measure up?

In pre-digital era, the best customer experiences were only accessible to the wealthy. If you didn’t ‘turn left’ in life you didn’t get to enjoy them. Equally, normal customers couldn’t miss what they didn’t have, ignorance was bliss. Consequently the standards a company had to reach to satisfy those customers were lower.

Today it’s a different story. In our democratised digital world, the best experiences aren’t just accessible to all, they are often free. Everyone has access to the most seamless, intelligent and thoughtful experiences like watching content on Netflix or finding music on Spotify. And whilst services might come with premium features, the basic process of interacting and using them is the same for everyone – rich people don’t get buttons that are easier to click.

There are no shortcuts in how to respond to this. Great digital experiences are rarely just about hiring the right design agency or paying for testing, they are born from businesses that either start the right way, or those that are prepared to make the often difficult and expensive structural changes necessary to put customer experience at the heart of what they do. It’s about defeating internal politics about who owns what part of the process and making an investment in something that doesn’t always have an obvious and directly measurable return.

Next in this series we'll be asking if your marketing communications are a fair exchange for customer attention.  

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