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The power and influence of digital is now getting the attention it deserves. Entire industries are scrambling to keep pace while emergent technologies continue to provide new ways for businesses to shape a new future for themselves. Digital is no longer a techy or creative term only heard in marketing agency conversations and in the hallways of companies like Google, Facebook, Apple, Tesla and Microsoft. Digital is completely driving our economy through every customer touch point and delivery method. It has also has completely re-shaped the way we do business. The digital economy has been thrust upon us almost overnight and is disrupting once tried and true business models.

“If you don’t have a digital strategy, then you do not have a strategy at all. And if that strategy doesn’t include mobile, you’re missing the point.”                                                     – Ronan Dunne; EVP, Group President – Verizon

Digital is not a phase or trend that’s here today and gone tomorrow. Our economy has changed forever and will continue to evolve with technology. Yes, digital is here to stay, and the only things that will be gone tomorrow are the tools and tactics from old school businesses. New technologies and business models are emerging at record levels and this trend doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon.

Digital technology is not just in big business or even tech startups. Consumers young and old now have the power to shape the way businesses operate. Brands big and small have recognized they must try to keep up by crafting new ways that include digital and customer experience strategies while looking at their entire digital ecosystem.

“Business-head turnover will double as CEOs appoint digital and customer centric leaders.” – Forrester

From Entry Level to C-Level

With the advent of digital also comes a need for human capital transformation. Personnel changes are happening from entry level to c-level. New employees must understand the new digital economy and have skills to go with it. In some cases, digital is in their DNA and they don’t know any other way of life. In other words, older, wiser, more knowledgeable executives who may have brilliant minds could be and are being replaced with young guns with little traditional business experience.

Is it possible that experiential street cred in understanding how to successfully launch and run widespread digital initiatives could prove to be the new criteria for CEOs?

It appears that young digital entrepreneurs do have a keen understanding of how digital works and how it needs to be infused in every aspect of a company. From creating a new business model, to backend operations and supply chain, to engaging the customer anywhere in the world at any time, being obsessed with creating an amazing customer experience at every touch point is at the heart of how they think. This is the new norm for successful businesses.

Customer Experience

Customer Experience has been on the minds of executives and marketers for decades. However, customer experience has taken over nearly every conversation about growth and sustainability lately. Because we are all consumers and many of us use our smartphone, we are all key ingredients in this massive paradigm shift from pre-digital technology companies to full blown technology-equipped, digitally-obsessed companies. Digital is pervasive and is the equal partner to customer experience. But what does all this really mean?

As a marketing executive, it means we don’t take one step with our brand without understanding how it touches our customers, how it is disseminated on mobile, and how we can monetize and measure efficacy and buyer intent. In other words, don’t rely on what used to be effective, that won’t work any longer. It’s critical to make sure your team is fully equipped with the digital knowledge they need to craft amazing customer experiences. As you know, both digital and customer experience are at the heart of today’s high performing marketing teams and brands.

As you can see, digital has permeated every aspect of our culture from kids to seniors, start-ups to Fortune 500 businesses. However, business integration of digital and customer experience is not a mature process. It’s continually evolving and those who dive in and begin to implement new ways to transform their business today will rule their market segment quickly and resoundingly until the competition smartens-up.

Scott MacFarland – Founder | Chief Content Marketer | Digital Strategist | HubSpot Inbound Certified – | | Twitter: @scmacfarland | LinkedIn

Photo Credit: Unsplash – CC0 License


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