McKinsey Quarterly published an article titled ‘Culture for a digital age’ that confronts the importance of risk-taking within business in today’s quickly progressing world. The advancement of technology is driving cultural change forward so rapidly that if quick, calculated risks are not taken to match the rate of this change and the increasing demands of customers then the businesses that fail to do so will quickly fall behind.
Many top companies have approached this issue by distributing power to make important, impactful financial decisions more evenly across resources within and outside of the organization. Instead of these decisions being dictated primarily by the CFO as they were often done previously, a wider variety of employees on all levels and within multiple positions are given a say in how and where the company moves forward, as well as a hand in improving customer communication and relations.
“Customers increasingly expect companies to respond swiftly to inquiries, to customize products and services seamlessly, and to provide easy access to the information customers need, when they need it.”
While there will always be clear and inherent risks involved with giving that kind of power to so many people, many consider this is a necessary risk worth taking to keep up with both the times and the needs of current customers.
In another recent article published on Forbes in May of this year titled “The End of Advertising as We Know It,” contributor James McQuivey explores the issue of shifting standards of advertisement within society and how it’s impacting the companies that depend on revenue from it. The article states that customers are frequently finding more and more ways to avoid traditional methods of advertising online, and it’s this shift that is driving companies to switch over to a more personalized and communicative method of advertising. “That intelligent conversational relationship with the customer can begin now in chatbots on websites, in chat interfaces on mobile apps, and in Alexa voice skills.” McQuivey says.
“The technology will make conversations more satisfying to customers, but it’s just as important that marketers learn how to make those conversations sparkle with the brand personality the CMO has committed the company to.”
These methods are ultimately turning companies into what is looking more and more like a team effort within a business framework than ever before. A positive outcome is boosting morale and increased loyalty of the customer base, creating a dedicated, enthusiastic team of employees on all levels of the company. By utilizing these methods, organizations are able to create significant impact to all.
The challenge will be measuring segmented customer needs and delight before clicks, cookies and buying patterns. Without a framework that includes past, present and theories of the future, segmented by customer and product, more failure will occur at an ever-faster rate.
The good news: the leaders are investing in the future… and theories of the future. Amazon, eBay, Netflix and Disney all have predictive technologies under development or in use. This will take market share, stop weak competitors and solve customer delight, not because of technology but because they understand how to integrate data, customers and frameworks.