Most companies have a solid product grouping or service and a great list of customers bringing in the money. Perhaps they have a 3-year plan to introduce new products or services or acquire new brands to increase their market share, profits, or value. But with 84% of companies failing at digital transformation like many potential clients that we speak to, they haven’t carefully integrated technology possibilities and thus might be headed for failure.
Businesses need to ask if their growth strategy accounts for the following:
- Dramatic shift of technology use and tech expectations among consumers/customers
- Rapid evolution and replacement of current technology in your industry
- Implementation and use of technology among competitors
- Competition out-spending you on technology
- Other brands implementing customer experience improvements faster and more often than you
- The rate that you’re operating with regards to employee search, onboarding, training and retention
- How you are tracking and managing procurement, fulfillment, inventory, billing and financial reporting compared to your competitors
- The pace at which your organization can invoke change
If you answered NO to more than 3 of the questions outlined above, your organization is highly unlikely to:
- Either launch these products/services on time and on budget or
- Make significant strides in your growth or
- Will fall short to the competitors who have answered Yes to more of these questions.
What should your growth strategy take into account?
Chances are that you have a solid understanding of what your customers need or want. And you likely know what your competitors won’t or can’t do. If you don’t know or need some help in figuring this out, we’ll do an assessment with you to ask the following questions:
- Does our growth plan build on technology we are using right now? YES/NO
- Is our technology older than 3 years? YES/NO
- Did we overlook how our products should create experiences in-person and in-digital that people will expect in 3 years? YES/NO
- Did we fail to familiarize ourselves with how the latest cloud-based software is being designed and written before or while we were inventing and planning our growth? YES/NO
If you answered YES to more than 2 of these questions, odds are that your new strategy is going to have major problems.
What should be in your growth plan?
If you’re not creating products and services with both in-person and digital experience facets, then you will likely lose to those who are.
We know that many companies create digital-only products (social apps, streaming content services, etc). But we tend to not notice how even tangible goods manufacturers are creating multi-faceted experiences. Coca-Cola, has digital dispensers, online apps, promotions, and even in-person events. Walmart has in-store and online, and Nike makes shoes but have you looked at their strategy for creating digital extensions of their shopping experience, events, promotions and games?
Whatever your product or service, you need to start planning how your customers will interact or touch your brand before, during, or after these in-person experiences and start designing and building those experiences yesterday, not in 2 or 3 years. Let me make some predictions…
- Law Firms, Accounting/Bookkeeping firms, Agencies, Architects, other professional services: without digital case management, doc management, project management, billing, meeting and collaboration will be hurt severely in 3-5 years by the companies who built and offer this.
- Distributors, resellers, integrators, carting/trucking, delivery firms, etc.,who do not offer easy ordering, tracking, returns, easy updating and case management and support along with great in-person service will be gone as well. Consumers will just go with the firm that makes it the easiest and simplest.
- Manufacturers who do not share project data, milestones, timelines, specs, pricing, ordering options with their customers both in-person and digitally will gradually lose business to those who do. Even if their product is far superior to their competitors the ease which todays humans expect will drive them to the easier, faster more open business relationship… requesting that the quality be driven up in the process.
- Retail and specialty consumer product brands will need a digital component in their product or service line. Even a small ice cream shop will need promotions, communications, and customer interactions beyond the counter. Otherwise, the other ice cream place with a digital experience will start to taste better to the target audience.
How can you use technology to create a winning strategy through better customer experiences?
You are a technology company.
We see the stories every day, company X jumps to a billion dollar valuation, or company Y rolls out a unique mobile app that everyone must have. But we forget about the companies that are not considered technology companies and offer traditional products or services. Many are making incredible changes and expenditures in technology. For example, Walmart has said it is a technology company first, and Nike presents its brand to consumers but has behind-the-scenes committed to radical technology adoption. The list goes on and on.
What most of us don’t realize is, we are ALL technology companies or at least we should be. And we better get moving creating experiences and controlling and building our own data. The landscape is littered with dead or declining companies whose CEOs ignored the power of technology and how it would affect their plans. “Neither RedBox nor Netflix are even on the radar screen in terms of competition,” Blockbuster CEO Jim Keyes told the Motley Fool in 2008. “It’s more Walmart and Apple.” Today Netflix is worth $148 billion, and we all know what happened to Blockbuster.
If you’d like to see how FreshinUp is helping companies of all sizes design and build their tech-centric growth strategies and related apps and dashboards, contact us, and let’s set up a time to talk.
Digital Director – FreshinUp.
You can see my availability and schedule meetings with me:
+1.877.778.8697 Office, FreshinUp.com. Tim@FreshinUp.com