Tuesday 8 November 2016

Precedent's Cory Hughes provides a practical guide to digital transformation

Digital transformation has become a reality: it’s changing the ways in which we interact with the world around us, the way we consume products and services, and the expectations we have as a customer. Every organization recognises the importance of harnessing the power of digital. But for many, the question is how to begin.

Cory Hughes, Precedent's Digital Experience Director, open the Digital Marketing Skills for the Future seminar by observing we so often get caught up with 'business as usual'.

Transformation has to be embraced at all levels of an organization. It's about culture and effecting change throughout. You have to make sure everyone buys into it to ensure you have competitive advantage. The key is to evolve an organization's way of working in order to continue delivering its mission in the face of changing technology, competition, audience need and behaviour.

There are six global trends that you need to be aware of:

  1. Generation Z don't want what came before them - they want to feel they can be a positive influence for change and for the future
  2. 47% of all jobs will disappear over the next 20 years. Automation provides opportunities (as well as obsolescence for certain roles). What different skills does that bring?
  3. 'Global' is achievable and everyone's a jetsetter. How are you listening to your customers and looking after your channels and nurturing them in a two way dialogue.
  4. We experience life through our devices. If customers don't differentiate between physical and digital space, what can you do to integrate both?
  5. We're about to be blindsided by climate change. How do we deliver our products in this wider context. How can you adapt when conditions are not so predictable anymore. Digital allows you tackle this.
  6. Local, bespoke and personalised are the new Big Business. Look what Coke did with personalised bottles with names on them. Learn what your customer likes and needs are. Use data to provide insight on what matters to them so you can personalise online with technology and tools.

'It should be people first, not digital first.'

How can you do it?

  1. Think big. have a strong, clear mission statement: get a Big Hairy Audacious Goal (think Cookie Monster)
  2. Start small: design iteratively to validate the case for wider digital projects. Keep the minimum viable product idea in mind. Have a feedback loop.
  3. Act quickly: in-flight optimisation helps to create momentum that is driven by awareness and data. 

Hughes quoted John Maynard Keynes

Hughes also quoted the systems theorist John Gall who said 'Complex systems that work tend to come from simple systems that worked.' She also urged delegates to think small, easy steps that you have to hand: use Google Analytics on a daily basis as your starting point for insight and measuring goals.

Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube, has listed eight pillars of innovation that Hughes believes are a great guide to work to:

  1. Have a mission that matters
  2. Think big, start small
  3. Strive for continual innovation, not instant perfection
  4. Look for ideas everywhere
  5. Share everything - internally and externally
  6. Spark with imagination, fuel with data
  7. Be a platform
  8. Never fail to fail
Cory Hughes is Digital Experience Director at Precedent. She spoke at the Digital Marketing Skills for the Future seminar held in London on 8 November 2016.

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