Practical strategies for the role of digital in your business
Digital Strategy; focus on what will bring success
Digital has a role to play in many areas of your business. But have you chosen the r.i.g.h.t activities?. For you business? Let us facilitate your thinking through workshops, stop wasting money on the wrong tactics and take decisive action.
Are you throwing good money after bad, from one tactical choice to the next? You need focus to take controlled action. In a series of collaborative & strategic workshops we will assist you to develop a roadmap (digital strategy) for the role of digital in your business. Tell me more about digital strategy
Digital Account Management
Correct execution of your digital strategy determines if you will achieve your bigger business objectives. Leave the management up to us. With our trusted suppliers (or working with yours), we can manage all or some of your strategy implementation and day-to-day digital functions and focus on achieving a rapid return on investment. Tell me more about digital account management
Taking advantage of AI capabilities to remain competitive in the Australian marketplace
From everything we read these days, AI and machine learning algorithms are set to take over the world. Experts predict that by 2025, artificial intelligence and robotics will impact many areas in our personal and business lives, and it will disrupt industries such as healthcare, home maintenance, customer service, transportation, logistics, and many others.
From sophisticated voice recognition technology and GPS systems to driverless cars and crop harvesters, AI will continue to change the way we live, work and play. It all sounds very exciting, but, advancements in AI does also have its downsides.
Over the last two decades, digitization has brought about the replacement of Australian workers, especially those in traditional industries. Blue- and white-collar jobs that were largely manual and involved the execution of repetitive tasks have (or can be) largely been taken over by AI and robots.
The impact of AI and robotics on the Australian economy
That’s because AI is better at handling jobs that deal with trivial, sequential, time-consuming and repetitive tasks, and therefore, if you work in such industries you are most at risk. But how worried should we really be? Industry experts are still divided on the future impact of AI and robotics on the Australian economy and employment landscape.
On one hand, the advent of robotics and machine learning algorithms will reduce the need for certain workers in certain traditional industries. On the other, it is projected to open up new and very exciting new opportunities. AI has also created a range of new employment opportunities in Australia – from software developers, interface designers and emotional experience experts, to medical device creators and data insight miners – with many more futuristic jobs and opportunities still in the offing.
It is true that AI is fast approaching human intelligence levels in some areas (such as logical decision making) and surpassing them in others (such as data analytical capabilities). There is well documented evidence of AI capabilities in the following areas;
recommendation engines, and
virtual sales assistants.
However, there are a number of things that AI cannot do.
Australian businesses and industries that require the personal touch and skillsets unique to humans will largely go untouched by (and may even thrive upon) advancements in AI. These industries include those where empathy, creativity, conflict resolution and negotiation, intuitive planning, oversight, adaptability, technological development/management, as well as inspirational and leadership ability are indispensable.
For instance, companies such as TrademarkVision use machine learning algorithms in image-recognition tools to determine if a new business logo violates existing trademarks. Although AI could determine this, it is left for humans to decide if the said logo will resonate with the intended target market and achieve the desired impact/ business objective.
Skills innate to humans cannot be taken over by AI. Organizations can apply this to transform and improve the quality of their product and service offerings to consumers. Some of the exciting ways in which AI is being used include
Twitter uses AI and machine learning algorithms to evaluate tweets in real-time. With the metrics obtained, they display tweets that have the potential to drive the most engagement
HubSpot’s integration of Kemvi’s DeepGraph means that deeply personalised and contextual messages can be delivered to people. It uses machine learning and natural language processing technology and combines that with its internal content management system. Imagine how targeted SEO would get J
Why your business should incorporate AI capabilities
Australian businesses should take advantage of AI capabilities to improve their offerings and service delivery to customers and perform favourably in today’s fiercely competitive marketplace. However, we are not ahead of the game here.
In terms of AI investment, Australian businesses are lagging behind the rest of the world. Statistics show that 80% of Australian businesses are yet to invest in AI tech. As AI is set to transform the global business landscape, Australian businesses must look for ways of incorporating AI capabilities into their operations now;
Consumers are more and more expecting to have high quality interaction with businesses
Staying stagnant in today’s technological world is equal to competitive self descruction
An AI tech skills shortage will require the building of internal capabilities now
Humans will remain superior to robots at changing thoughts, plans, and minds as well as seeking new answers and taking new pathways in the face of new information and changing circumstances. By remaining flexible and adapting our skills and mindsets to the needs of the future, we can navigate the dawn of this exciting new age – an age of unprecedented changes and never-before-seen technological capabilities ushered in by advancements in AI.
Bitcoin gets all the attention, but the underlying blockchain is the real hero.
Cloud computing became a buzzword just before blockchain technology did, and believe it or not, these two concepts are linked.
Entering 2018, over 57 percent of organizations use cloud computing. Storing data and running applications remotely can be a right pain. Imagine a cyclone hits your town, and you have to shut down your business for several weeks. This could mean the end of your business. But with cloud computing, it’s easy to replicate the office in another location in emergency situations.
Fiber broadband Internet speeds (not using the N(BN)-word) and multicore computers spurred a digital transformation from local storage to streaming across the board. Think about it – was the last song or movie you enjoyed stored locally on your hard drive?
It’s more likely you used a streaming service like Spotify for music, and Netflix or Stan for video.
The downside of cloud storage is security, which is a problem blockchain technology resolves. Let me explain; Blockchains enable applications to be created on a decentralised ledger. This is just a fancy word for having multiple storage locations instead of one storage location, and every transaction or exchange is irreversibly written into the transaction history. It cannot be tampered with. . This creates an offsite data backup that’s even safer than traditional cloud computing. And unstable servers will no longer be a problem, because our data is stored in multiple locations.
Here is the thing that will change our everyday lives…The distributed ledger uses smart contracts to store and enable trusted transactions, even between anonymous parties. Fancy that!. Smart contracts make transactions both transparent and traceable, which reduces the possibility of fraud.
Blockchain is the digital innovation that brings cloud computing to the next level, and it’s the two technologies combined that are causing today’s digital transformation. It’s poised to disrupt every aspect of our lives.
The Blockchain Beyond Bitcoin
Bitcoin is the media darling cryptocurrency, but it’s not the reason blockchain technology is so awesome. . Blockchain will be part of our future digital transformation, and a company culture that fosters it now will pay off when it goes mainstream.
Blockchain technology is typically associated with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, but this is a fallacy. Bitcoin was certainly the first blockchain release, but it’s far from the only one. Blockchain technology represents a digital transformation to a new way of using the Internet and cloud technologies.
Beyond Bitcoin, blockchain technology is disrupting every industry, from healthcare and government to logistics, distribution, law, transportation, and more. Distributed ledgers are the way of the future, and major companies like Alibaba, Amazon, IBM, and more are on the bandwagon.
Alibaba, for example, is using the blockchain to create what it calls the Food Trust Framework. This blockchain, currently being piloted in Auckland, is designed to bring transparency to the global supply chain, starting with the food industry, where $10-15 billion a year is lost to food fraud. With food fraud, everything from honey to milk to mince is supplemented with cheaper (sometimes dangerous) ingredients that aren’t on the label. Fixing this issue is a major help to both the food industry and the public.
Dismissing blockchain technology is like dismissing the Internet, or even computers. Each technology represents a major shift in how organisations run, and ignoring this digital innovation could be hazardous to your company’s health.
Understanding Blockchains in other parts of our lives
There’s not just one blockchain that will inevitably hold all of the world’s data. Instead, unique blockchains like these are being created for every purpose in every industry to make data storage and tracking easier. This digital innovation is simply a better way to do what we’ve been doing anyway – storing data in the cloud.
It’s changing how every industry works.
In healthcare, for example, the blockchain can support the entire lifecycle of a patient’s electronic medical records, making it much easier to switch healthcare providers. Australia is miles behind on the ability to share medical data across providers safely. . It can also bring transparency to clinical trial results, reduce pharmaceutical tampering, and support IoT medical devices.
In government, the blockchain can bring accountability by allowing anyone to verify how both citizens and their representatives vote. We’d lose the ability to claim “it’s rigged” It also streamlines processes like analysing contractor proposals, budgeting, and record keeping.
Even streaming services mentioned above like Spotify and Netflix are facing competition from blockchain-based competitors. The POP Network, for example, uses the blockchain to help content creators track views of their work while giving viewers more content options.
The blockchain is revolutionising every industry at the foundation, just like the Internet did before it. Getting on board now can resolve a lot of headaches in the future. If you’re not already using the blockchain, you can bet a competitor is. You can’t afford to lose out.
No matter what business we are in, we must own the customer experience.
We live in a world now where our expectations, as customers or consumers has changed dramatically from those we had 20 years ago. The digital economy has contributed to this and largely facilitated it.
New technology facilitates all this change. Artificial intelligence, machine learning, and mobile are a few dominant forces that essentially reshape our expectations as consumers; everything is hyper personal now.
(As a note to the strategists and marketers – this means traditional segmentation is getting stale. Hyper personalisation is possible and already expected by your customers).
Resorting to simply activating more & more channels is not showing your customers that you understand them and that you can deliver them a message that is the right time, place and mindset, or the on device of their choice.
Any experience with a company that is not hyper personal, relevant and tailored to our situation is a “mhew” experience. Customers know you collect data so use it so that they benefit from that.
This forces us to reimagine the companies we run. We must be in the business of creating solutions to human problems.
We are all customers and consumers alike and we are all expecting more now from our interactions with companies. But when we walk into our offices we often revert to business-as-usual. According to Forrester 80% of businesses think they do customer experience well, but only 8% of customers agree with that. T.h.a.t is some gap.
It’s an outside -in process. Your customers have changed, how they want to interact with you has changed, what they expect from you has shifted and your business models and processes will need to adapt to that. It’s do or die.
What is digital transformation?
This is what we call digital transformation. It simply means that constantly evolving and changing market behaviours and technologies drive your business and that you re-align existing, or invest in brand new;
Skills & resources
You do all of this because;
1 – You need to drive new value for customers
You can’t just buy a new CRM system or build a new website and be done with it. You have to start by evaluating what’s different about your customers. How has their behaviour changed and how does this affect the value they now expect?
2 – Staff are going to make it happen
Digital transformation is not just about technology, it’s about people and therefore about change-management. Big organisational change means that existing skill-sets may need to evolve.
For example, with the help of new technology, say Salesforce Marketing Cloud, a marketing manager may finally feel that the new tool will make them look like demi-gods. They can finally tailor messages to individuals rather than to whole market segments, and thus become more relevant. (resulting in more sales or conversions)
However, the skills required to map out a myriad of customer journeys, and automate the response process is far more technical than any generalist marketer has had to deal with previously. Therefore their skill-set will have to evolve too. It’s do or die.
You may also have to hire people with skillsets you didn’t think you needed before. For example; A business analysis who can make sense of your data and help you get insights about what changes your business needs to make to better service customers or potential customers, will be a vital asset to your team.
Ad 3 – You need to stay in the game. Disrupt or be disrupted
If you keep doing business as usual you’ll actively make yourself irrelevant. Even if you think your industry and category is still miles away from all “this modern stuff”, your customers’ changing behaviours will be driven by other categories and thus still affect you.
Creating clarity, focus and clear action for your business
Before I started for myself in 2009, I spent plenty of time on your side of the desk and I know the pressures you are under, and the budgets you have to manage.
Since that time I have also set up two other businesses and I understand the challenges and requirements of running a business. It’s so v.e.r.y important to be focussed on your purpose, keep the customer at the heart of your decisions, and to have a clear strategy which helps when choosing what activities to spend your money on. I get it.
Your money needs to show a clear return on investment. I am metric driven and results focussed and help you identify the milestones on your way to success.
In the last 15 years, I have worked both in consumer driven and B2B environments, and a wide variety of industries, both in Australia and overseas.