Successful disruption in a digital age

While you are still struggling to wrap your head around the buzz of Big Data and trying to develop a digital strategy for your business, here’s news for you: It’s not the hype of Big Data, or digitalization, or social media that characterizes those who are on today’s winning team. It’s not about digital strategies – it’s strategy in a digital age:

Slide1

This was the most retweeted phrase of the entire session, delivered by McKinsey speakers at the Salesforce Speed of Change city tours across the Nordic capitals.

When you evaluate the steps needed to win in today’s fast changing markets and business environments, it becomes clear that your company must focus on what you are really providing. Not what you think you are selling, but what your customers need to fulfill a basic need. Regardless of whether you are in B2B, in B2C or a government or non profit organization, take it one step further and you can learn from the winners of the past.

Remember the Maslow pyramid of basic human needs? Try to match them against the game changing technologies we see today, and you will see that the main driver behind change is not technology itself but what it can do for you.

Slide1

The privileged among us are catered for at the bottom of the pyramid. That’s when  “social” takes over.

The success formula behind all social networks is not that they deliver an app to your mobile device. As Martha Bennett from Forrester suggested during the Speed of Change Nordic City Tour: “You sell the outcome not the device or the service”.  Social networks have changed the way we do business, the way we connect in our professional and private lives, and the way machines and devices are connecting simply because they use data to fulfill the needs at the top of the pyramid. Through the mining of this data technology – by making your data speak –  vendors and disrupters in the digital world  provide a sense of belonging, help us to gain respect for our achievements and put ourselves at the centre. Which – by the way – is why we manage to survive from the moment we are born and make the first fierce cryout for food and comfort.

There are many examples of industry or market disrupters but despite being disruptive in their day, they do not necessarily survive and thrive, as competitors catch up and technology evolves to create new patterns of behaviour in business processes. If you look at the companies that have changed an industry, such as how media is consumed or how basic grocery goods and services are delivered, they successfully disrupted because they catered to a basic human need.

So what is your strategy in a digital age? Disrupt, reinvent, adapt – or be disrupted.** It’s as simple, or complicated, as that.

Slide1

A new success criteria has emerged – Speed

 “The clock starts ticking as the customer starts clicking” (Jody Sarno, Forrester)

Companies that are able to anticipate their customers’ needs have a clear advantage in our world of rapidly changing customer demands. Speed is of the essence. Companies across the world are looking for ways to understand not just what has happened, but what would happen next so that they can meet the customer without having to cross a divide.

The challenge is how to adopt a framework that provides the platform for speed.  Everything is becoming more and more connected.  Many call this the internet of things, but we could also look at it as simply an opportunity to connect with our customers in a whole new way, an Internet of Customers. In fact, over 75 billion things will become connected by 2020, and this leads to trillions of customer interactions.

Making the data speak

Each interaction represents a data point, a piece of history that can be used to understand what will happen next.  Today, retail companies like Rossignol create a social profile of their customers to offer services like modifications to the equipment to help the skier’s performance, or a training regimen based on his actual use. Hospitals want to track patient behavior – from patient activity levels to blood pressure to help provide a better standard of service and care. And energy companies are collecting data from big machine performance, or seismic activity and weather data to try to get more effective at preventative maintenance of their oil rigs. It’s using the data to predict the future which should be the foundation of the Big Data hype.

Companies want to transform how they sell to a customer, deliver better service, create targeted campaigns, build better products, optimize operations. And business people need the right insights to take action, instantly.

Join Salesforce at our Nordic Speed of Change City Tour in April. We are coming to Helsinki, Oslo, Copenhagen and Stockholm. More information and registration for free at www.salesforce.com/eu/speed