Companies Need to Embrace Digital Transformation, But They Have A Dilemma to Overcome, CRM Evolution Keynoter Contends
WASHINGTON -- Companies leading in digital transformation grew their revenue twice as fast as laggards and pushed their customer experiences to new levels, Barton Goldenberg, president of ISM, told attendees at the collocated CRM Evolution and Smart Customer Services conferences Tuesday.
Goldenberg, the morning keynote speaker, said digital transformation is poised to disrupt just about all businesses in 2019, an argument shared by 82 percent of business executives, according to a recent Gartner survey.
But for all that digital transformation brings, there is an inherent dilemma, that, if not resolved, "will prevent companies from moving forward," Goldenberg said.
Among these dilemmas, less than one third of executives believe their digital transformation strategies are correct, 21 percent believe the right people are setting their digital strategies, and 85 percent fear that their digital strategies might fail, Goldenberg said.
At the same time, 40 percent named customer experience as the top priority for their digital transformation, and 72 percent expect the shift to create closer customer relationships, he added.
To rectify this, Goldenberg said companies need to adopt a five-step plan and ensure that five basic building blocks are in place. Digital transformation, he said, requires the following five steps:
- A digital transformation game plan;
- Strong executive buy-in;
- An agile implementation in smaller bite-size chunks:
- Strong and effective monitoring; and
- A customer-centric focus
The five building blocks identified by Goldenberg were customer engagement, data and analytics, social communities where companies have dialogues with customers in which they listen to them and learn from them along the way, CRM systems that house the entire customer profile, and emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, predictive lead scoring, identity resolution, augmented and virtual reality, and personalized interactive video.
As companies work to overcome the digital transformation dilemma, Goldenberg recommended that they do their homework, examine their data capture and customer insight efforts to personalize offers, review whether their customer profiles are holistic, look at their omnichannel strategies, and create a plan to stay on top of emerging technologies.
Goldenberg also endorsed a digital strategy that involves creating social communities that mirror hotel properties. In this strategy, companies have private digital customer rooms where closed-door sales interactions take place, and private lounges for more open discussions and interactions.