If you had to sum up the nature of digital transformation in one word, chances are that word would not be “simple”. However, in an article published on brandquarterly.com, Bruno Herrmann argues that “the age of digital globalization is the age of simplicity”. Does this mean that adapting to the digital landscape is a piece of cake? Not exactly…
The Challenges of Digital Transformation
Bruno Herrmann’s argument is that if brands are to be in sync with customers’ expectations and behavior, they need “executive alignment, functional efficiency and transformational practices”. Indeed, for companies to successfully embrace the attitudes and best practices involved in digital transformation, executive management must be committed to change, while new tools and processes that are designed with digital exchanges in mind must be implemented transversally. As Bruno Herrmann explains, companies need to “(re-)shape mindsets, processes, and practices from within and bring alignment and innovation to keep moving to the next level”.
But if there’s one thing all this isn’t, it’s simple.
This is not, however, the point Bruno Herrmann makes. Instead, his argument is that “keeping experiences as simple as possible is a critical success factor in digital globalization”. In other words, digital transformation is complex – but getting customer experience right makes it a lot easier for brands to make the transition. The question is, how can they do this?
Making the Complex Simple
For global organizations, argues Bruno Herrmann, simplicity begins with brands “keeping up with existing and evolving customer expectations”. The focus must therefore be on consumers, as “the era of somewhat passive customers is over, and they now know they are in the driver’s seat.”
The implication of this becomes clear when you put yourself in the position of an online consumer; with a choice of online channels, content and product offerings, you get to decide which brands you engage with, as well as where and how. For companies, it’s therefore essential to grasp what customers are looking for, what they are likely to react to in terms of content, and where (on which communication channels) they are most active. As highlighted by Bruno Herrmann, “proper and timely understanding translates into streamlined product management and well-targeted branding efforts”.
Digital transformation is a challenge for any company. But for B2C brands, it pays to remember one simple fact: moving forward, the focus must be on the customer. By understanding target audiences’ interests and behavior online, and communicating in a way that addresses this, brands make one key aspect of digital transformation (which in itself is very complex) a whole lot simpler.