Organizations must develop a "defensible response" to data breaches and fraud incidents because of the likelihood of a regulatory investigation or legal
Corporate & Business Strategy Planning / Execution in the Post Industrial, Digital Economy. Want to know more? Visit me on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/karlwabst/
Curated by Karl Wabst
People make strategy much harder than it needs to be. For some, the problem is that they focus too much on the tools: environmental scans, SWOT analyses, customer analyses, competitor analyses, financial modeling, and so on. Other people get into trouble because they think it’s all about the broad, conceptual, future-oriented, big picture stuff — […]
First, understand the questions and then read Playing to Win
It’s a story as old as business itself: a company generates a byproduct in the course of its routine operations, then discovers that another company is willing to pay for it. A profitable new line of business is created.
The journey toward such a big, hairy, audacious goal (BHAG) will teach many great lessons. Not all will be welcome, but most are necessary.
The best companies make a strategic choice to engage customers or satisfy them -- or both.
Customer engagement is an emotional topic. Customers may buy from you out of convenience or necessity. How do they feel? They may desire Starbucks, but they’ll settle for a coffee. Whether that is good enough for your brand is a choice.
A great customer experience is one where customers feel good, even look good, during their time spent doing business. So, it's important that a business invest in whatever will improve a customer's feelings and self-esteem. I was recently reminded of this customer experience principle in, of all places, the bathroom.
What business are you really in? One resort might pride itself in providing a quality guest room. Another prides itself in helping a guest see the person that they want to be looking back in the mirror. Which resort would you rather compete with?
Remember that customers will see more in your business when you cast them in a good light. Make them the star, and the customer is likely to return. They are likely to tell others about how you made them feel, not how the room looked.
It's a pivotal moment for technology and marketing. These two industries have collided to augment and even build worlds from scratch, telling comprehensive and compelling stories.
This is a pivotal moment. Not just for marketing and technology, but for people. There will be major changes in the relationship between customers and companies. There may be some spectacular successes. There will be spectacular failures. Before you go down that road, prepare for both.
The amount and types of data that will be collected so that companies can provide the level of experiences that customers expect crosses a boundary. The boundary is not the fuzzy concept of privacy, but of trust.
Our current US Presidential election provides an example. Consider the potential for personal and brand damage possible from what we consider normal behavior, coupled with relatively simple technologies that have been in our hands for many years.
There is an Internet of Things. It is cool! The technology does not have a motive, but the results will have very real effects on peoples’ lives and careers’.
Go boldly where no marketer has gone before! Think before engaging. This is sound advice for both company and customers.
Your toothbrush, refrigerator, Fitbit and who knows what other electronic devices are talking about you. What might they reveal? What they know now is kid stuff. What if they had real insight to your thoughts, dreams and desires?
The potential for good and evil is vast. Just ask the Donald and Hillary. Ask yourself what could happen in the best case. Do not ignore the worst case. Go now, the future is waiting.
Here's an example....a savvy political operative was using a GMail account?
Clinton campaign chairman ties email hack to Russians, suggests Trump had early warning
What does it take to make a robot tractor? A batch of free software, some drone parts, a tablet computer, and one curious farmer to cobble the bits together.
Life in the city has you down. You yearn for the simple life. If you get the urge to chuck it all and buy a farm, you may also want to study robotics first. Innovation is a state of mind.
Robots are taking over factories, and now even the people who write the software on which these automated workers rely have to worry about being replaced.
The end of the world as we know it. At least manufacturing has a bright future. What will the people do after their dreams of the future come true?
Read more on manufacturing here.
FANUC to Build Factory of the Future Using NVIDIA AI Platform
The Paradox of Productivity | RealClearFuture http://sco.lt/5ZtiYT
Manufacturing employment is in decline. The actual output of goods is increasing, but fewer workers are required to make them.
The Internet of Things is very much here, and it’s opening up a huge potential for brands in all industries to capture and retain loyal customers who are genuinely enthusiastic about the products and services being offered. As brand sentiment deeply hinges upon the customer experience – centered around convenience, communication and care – companies who use the Internet of Things to garner greater loyalty will surely win big.
As we start down the wide, flower-lined path labeled the Internet of Things make sure you have the right mindset.
The right idea is to add value to the customers' life. We all have heard the warnings about Big Brother. None of us looks in the mirror and sees an agent of an evil government spying on its citizens. That would be creepy.
If you had a younger brother or sister who followed you around, watching everything you did you may understand how annoying that ever-present gaze can be. You probably started finding ways to get out without that pest.
Consumers will do the same thing.
As consumer behavior data becomes more abundant, every competitor will have the same insights. If you become like a little brother or sister, customers will go to another vendor.
IoT is not a silver bullet. It is not a sustainable competitive advantage. IoT is a step along the customers' journey. Doing business with you is not a privilege. Loyalty is fleeting.
Resist the urge to abuse trust. It is a feeling that is hard to control. Once lost, customers are much harder and more expensive to win back.
Read this for more on what happens when trust is lost.
Can Chiptopia Loyalty Program Spark Customer Engagement at Chipotle? http://sco.lt/6PMdCz
When it comes to true customer engagement and customer loyalty, sometimes it’s the simplest of ideas that can gain immediate traction.
Give a kid fruit and you may have a friend for life. Satisfaction of a basic need or desire in young shoppers is basic psychology. Remember Maslow's hierarchy of needs.
It also provides a cheap way to drive customer loyalty. When kids grow up and about think food, they think Raley's. Stores everywhere would love to be a synonym for their product. They may not be Xerox, but Raley’s isn’t complaining.
I know adults who have not lived in their market for years. They still say Raley's instead of grocery store.
Engaged employees came up with a great way to engage customers. It was likely as simple as a person trying to do something nice. They big news? Executives were smart enough to listen.
"Now, somebody's going to infect a fitness tracker or a smart home door lock, and these people are going to have no clue that this is a rogue device on their network." "We're not very far away from seeing a lot more of that."
Many executives will see stories like this and assume it is a technical problem. Customer's will not see it that way.
Today's customers are better informed than those you dealt with just a decade ago. They are more likely to take their business to your competitor.
They are more likely to take to social media and use word of mouth to spread their stories about your company.
If a device they buy from you is causing havoc, customers will see it as poor leadership and decision making skills in your C-Suite.
This is not a technical issue. It is a business problem. Competitors will see an opportunity to take your customers. That is just smart business!
What is your customer strategy?
There's a reason Procter & Gamble is pumping the brakes on its Facebook targeting efforts. And it's no coincidence that Y&R's CEO contends it's time to rethink ad targeting.
To engage customers, see the people behind the data. Consumers are more than aggregated data points thrown together to make an advertising persona. We are people, not targets.
Startup Emogi says it can serve branded emojis to typically off-limits text fields
It was only a matter of time. Supposedly free email services commonly use their user's content for ads. This caused a small stir in privacy circles but users did not flee and the model remains. Users have the same choice this time. It is doubtful that anyone but a few parents may object.
Data is no longer the domain of tech companies or IT departments — it is fast becoming a centerpiece of corporate value creation more generally. Today most organizations are data-driven to one degree or another. Data contributes not only to brand equity, but to what constitutes product and service delivery in globally connected and hyper-competitive markets.
Value is in the eye of the beholder. Some look out on their business and do not see a sea of data. They are doing business as usual. Some see the sea of data and see added costs and risk. Others see beauty and opportunity. Which describes you?
A company can be better off thinking about its unique set of data in terms of competitive advantage.
The more shared data, the less the need to buy generalized data from a third-party. Also, you do not have to fund projects that recreate data already held in another department or business.
The more customer intelligence, the higher the potential for more effective targeting of the profitable customer segments.
The more customer engagement the better. The more units sold, the more learned about your desired customers. You also learn how to identify and avoid the customers that you do not want.
Economies of scale, or a reduction in costs per unit as volume increases, can be obtained by firms that utilize insights created by multiple activities or functions. Marketing becomes more effective. Sales rise. It is a virtuous cycle.
Data, at scale, can also provide a valuable barrier to entry into your market by competitors. A new competitor will have to spend a lot of money to buy less specific customer data. This may deter them from taking the risk of entering your space.
Many companies worry more about internal politics and less about connecting to the customer. They see their data stores in terms of security and regulatory compliance. By focusing on the costs, they miss opportunity. Recognize these companies as a potentially good take-over target.
Here are three quick takeaways.
Do you still think it’s just data? No, it’s the future of your company.
Executives are missing the point. CRM has become more associated with software and sales quotas than customer engagement or customer experience. Customers are not employees or projects. They do not want to be managed. Become the leader that your customers want. Or, they will go somewhere else to get the jobs they need to do done.
Brick and mortar stores are facing stiff competition from Ecommerce and the detailed analytics online retailers have about their customers. A new heat mapping technology may be the key to help physical stores compete.
This is for small business owners. You need shopper analytics too. Learn what you may be missing inside your store.
Americans love to cheer for an underdog. So let me preface today's column with a hearty three cheers for SpaceX -- the first company to land an orbital rocket back on Earth on its own tailpipe, the first to land a rocket intact at sea, and -- potentially, one day -- the company that will put mankind on Mars.
SpaceX’s low-cost strategy has been beneficial for the commercial space flight industry. SpaceX got the attention of complacent competitors who assumed that the industry and its customer’s would evolve, rather than transform.
SpaceX’s cheap flights have pulled market share away from competitors using a differentiation strategy. Those competitors have been forced to examine their business practices and make changes they never thought would be necessary. Mindsets and attitudes that were appropriate in a government-funded marketplace have been pushed into retirement.
Commercial space flight is a more dynamic market. Customers are no longer just governments with deep pockets. Business success is judged over the long-term. A transactional mindset will only take you so far.
Low cost, in a static, commodity market can be feasible but is unlikely to generate massive profits. Competitors will eventually find ways to lower prices. In this game those with deep pockets have an advantage. They can afford to operate at lower margins, for a time, to pressure competitors.
Aspirations have moved beyond the decades-old launches of cargo into low-earth orbit. New dreams of going to Mars and beyond immediately shift focus back to safety and consistency. The shift toward human flight rapidly reduces the tolerance for failure.
SpaceX has changed the market, but they are also being changed by it. Their mettle and their metal will be tested. Over the long-haul, trying to compete by being the low-cost provider is much more likely to fail. Many companies have moved through the life-cycle.
There is more to this story, on both sides. In this dynamic marketplace, no competitive advantage is sustainable forever. Moving into new phases of competition means that foresight and the capability to adapt is very important. The market is young, as are the competitors.
Think about this in today’s terms. Tomorrow’s dreams of commercial flights into space are very similar to today’s airline industry.
The low cost leader may thrive for a time, but aspirations change. Customers and their expectations change. Investors expect more, stable returns on investment. Even the much-loved, Southwest Airlines moved away from its low-cost strategy over time.
One day it will be you or someone in your family entrusting their lives to a company to leave the Earth. Spaceflight will look more like the airline industry today. Would you fly Southwest if your chance of death was 10% higher? How about 25%? I bet you are more comfortable with 5%.
Change is the new normal. Be prepared to change as you soar toward the stars. Or do not dream. Do not aspire. Stay on Earth, where the competition is more predictable and competing only on price feels safe.
These three actions will take marketers from being service providers to the C-suite to partners in leading customer-driven growth.
A transformation is very different from a transaction. One must be led and the other is managed. If you try to manage what must be led, you will likely fail. This accounts for the 70% failure rate of change initiatives.
Being customer-centric and overcoming organizational silos are among the hardest parts of digital change. A seasoned Chief Digital Officer explains how to get it done.
Consumers no longer see digital as transformational. Digital and social are normal.
Consumers hire a company to do a job that they want done. Consumers do not care if your systems do not work or if you are new. They expect you to do what your advertisements say.
Consumers may want a great price. Today, they probably expect to be able to customize things so they work with their busy lives. They are willing to pay more. If you don’t want their business, consumers know that several other companies will gladly welcome them.
You are in trouble if customers are forced to navigate a collection of disjointed silos just to do business with you. I don’t know if we can do that. Hold on and listen to some elevator music while I pretend to check.
When we are disconnected, just call back. Navigate the phone tree again. If someone answers, explain it all again and see what happens this time. You will probably get a different answer.
Consumers in the real world have the power to take their business someplace else. Today’s customer is less loyal, and more likely to defect.
They expect immediate feedback. Waiting an hour to get a return phone call from a customer service representative who reads from a script of responses to frequently asked questions will not be tolerated.
Even Grandma routinely uses multiple digital devices and channels.
Employees who still work in silos cannot hear their customers screams. They will not notice when the customers have all gone to competitors.
These poor disengaged souls do not realize or worse, do not care, that the world has changed.
One day their paper paychecks stop appearing. They scream that something is wrong! They get out their dot matrix printer and type up a resume. They walk to the store for some envelopes and stamps. On the way they buy the local paper and start looking at the Help Wanted section.
Finally, they see what is in it for them.
What do my customers want? The savviest executives are asking this question more frequently than ever, and rightly so. Leading companies understand that they are in the customer-experience business, and they understand that how an organization delivers for customers is beginning to be as important as what it delivers.
Trying to figure out and deliver what today's customer wants from your company is hard.
Trying to figure it out by limiting your view to one or two touch points, like customer care is like looking at the Grand Canyon through a keyhole.
It feels safe and manageable. It misses the scope and complexity of the customer experience completely.
Get out from behind your office door and become part of the conversation. Customers are changing. They have great insight into your company, products and your competitors.
Does your company have the capabilities it needs to compete in the 21st Century? Do you have a vision of the new breed of customer? Or, are you stuck looking out from behind that keyhole?
83 percent of U.S. consumers prefer dealing with human beings over digital channels to solve customer services issues, according to new research from
Are you making customer service more efficient by adding technology? What matters to your accountant probably does not matter to your customers. One processes the books. The other pays your bills.
It may be time to think about what your customer thinks is a more effective way to help them on their journey. There is more at stake than saving a few bucks when a frustrated customer calls.
Customers have more choices than ever before. Why would they want to do business with you?
See this for more on the choices facing customer service today.
Winning the expectations game in customer care | McKinsey & Company http://sco.lt/51idYf
Call centers aren’t what they used to be. Here’s how to capture the loyalty of increasingly demanding customers.
Leaders look for ways to take customer care to a new level. Where should customer care be in 3, 5 or even 10 years from now? What opportunities are we missing? What do customers want? What do customers expect? What are our competitors doing?
Managers fixate on making what they already do more efficient. If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. Can new technology minimize the need to speak with customers? How much would that cost? Will it pay for itself in 12 months? Can we reduce hiring and training?
Which camp are you in?
The number of open positions stands at the highest level in 15 years, with many workers not possessing the skills to do today’s jobs.
This narrative clashes with the one that political candidates put forth when speaking to angry voters. Manufacturing has changed. It has not disappeared from America. Workers need new skill sets to do the jobs.
Factories need more educated people to make the goods demanded in a global economy. That does not necessarily mean you need a college degree. An open mind is key.
People need training. Ask politicians about their plan and funding for an updated workforce instead of moaning about the end of manufacturing. Change is the new normal. Are you up to the job?
If you have not read about Industry 4.0, IoT or IIoT here are a few stories to stimulate your brain. There are stories that will interest several different audiences from factory workers to the management suite. Dive in!
What is the fourth industrial revolution? http://sco.lt/6ToLwH
Industry 4.0: When humans and robots go hand in hand http://sco.lt/8RsgHR
The Robots Are Coming … to Take Your Job http://sco.lt/7YfLyD
How to Be More Agile, Competitive & Innovative in a Digital Era http://sco.lt/6dJUYL
In the Social Age, Don't Advertise, Engage http://sco.lt/6pbyQT
7 Things to Know about the Internet of Things and Industry 4.0 : Modern Machine Shop http://sco.lt/4qlBpZ
The Rise of the Chatbots: Is It Time to Embrace Them? - Knowledge@Wharton http://sco.lt/8dc9Z3
This Is What the Fourth Industrial Revolution Looks Like http://sco.lt/6SBQvJ
China Wants to Replace Millions of Workers with Robots http://sco.lt/8Ghrgv
Corporate Strategy: How the CFO Can Capitalize on the Internet of Things | http://sco.lt/8sqiED
Today’s Automation Anxiety Was Alive and Well in 1960 http://sco.lt/7JYz33
Corporate Strategy: How the CFO Can Capitalize on the Internet of Things http://sco.lt/8sqiED
A lot of people who make over $350,000 are about to get replaced by software http://sco.lt/6TPcrh
Strategy, not Technology, Drives Digital Transformation http://sco.lt/7KFBmz
What to Do and Say After a Tough Reorganization http://sco.lt/96pyM5
The Race Against Digital Darwinism: SIX STAGES OF DIGITAL
So many competing products and services are essentially the same. Stop trying to sell on price.
People want to feel special, happy, safe, comfortable, or thrilled.
Help customers to spend more money with you. Help them feel more loyal to your brand.
Get emotional. Go ahead and cry, laugh, smile and sing. Customers are people, not robots.
The New Science of Customer Emotions
In today's digital world, high expectations for a personalized experience present a new problem for brands: the personalization triangle, writes Jason Burby.
Business will suffer when a brand tries to pursue both a differentiation strategy and a cost leadership strategy at the same time.
Customer expectations and the types of customers that will be profitable depend upon the brand image and marketing. If you try to serve all audiences someone, and maybe everyone will leave disappointed.
This is true whether or not the business is digital. Porter's generic strategies foretold of this conflict. https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newSTR_82.htm
Strategy is a set of choices. To win you must choose to do some things, and not to do others. The strategy process helps you but, does not ensure that you choose wisely. If you want to play for a long time, play to win. Do not be just another coffee shop.
The more you understand about how strategy works, the better off you will be. The same is true for your customers.
To develop a winning strategy, it is a good idea to answer the following five questions in order:
For a bit more:
Five Questions to Build a Strategy
The award-winning campaign vastly surpassed its goals, reaching 11.2 million Facebook users with a video view rate 315 percent higher than expected and a 1,673 percent higher engagement rate. Behold the power of personalized video advertising.
Personalized video is aiming to hit you straight in the heart and spread to your wallet. Customize the message to engage customer’s heart, heads and hands. It sounds so good you can’t wait to get started! What could go wrong?
Culture and its impact on the organization is increasingly on the radars of regulators and investors.
Limiting the role of internal audit to avoiding risk, without looking for opportunity is only allowing them to do half the job. Is the company culture in line with its strategy? If not, you are doomed to failure.
Corporate Culture and the Role of Boards