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Digital Awareness, Enablement & Engagement

The importance of understanding the digital landscape your organisation operates in

It is becoming increasingly important that organisations have the ability to engage with customers ‘where they are’, utilise digital tools as a competitive advantage, have awareness of technological trends that may impact the business, and both proficiency and pervasiveness of digital tools to enable future ways of working.

Increasingly, we are seeing companies innovating more and more, with 60% of executives saying their company intends to venture into other industries in the next five years (Accenture, 2014). This heightens the importance of understanding market and technological trends, in order to stay ahead of the game. Competitors are no longer coming from purely traditional categories. Instead, we are seeing companies such as investment banks are more commonly viewing the likes of Google and Facebook as future competitors.

"World trade means competition from anywhere; advancing technology encourages cross-industry competition. Consequently, strategic planning must consider who our future competitors will be, not only who is here today." -- Eric Allison, Uber

Not only is it important to understand these trends to avoid loss of market share, but many of these emerging technologies can be used as an enabler both within the company and for engaging with customers. When following these emerging technologies, it is important that organisations understand both how they will impact on their core business, but also how they can utilise these tools (internally and externally) to create new value.

1. Digital Awareness

Companies need to stay ahead of the game, or if they have fallen behind, they need to understand how to catch up. Understanding what customers and competitors are doing, as well as emerging technologies and other trends in the field is the first step to doing this.  

When considering the digital competitive landscape, organisations should look to not only their direct competitors and what they are doing, but to companies which have traditionally been operating in different fields. 

Having a good understanding of the digital competitive landscape allows organisations to:

  • Understand what is common or best practice amongst competitors
  • Identify market gaps and craft a strong, differentiated value proposition to capture new market share
  • Benchmark performance against potential digital competition to retain current market share
  • Analyse the market to support go/no-go decisions on new business models

2. Digital Engagement

Organisations need to continually ask themselves whether they are engaging their customers on the right digital channels and in the right way – are they engaging them ‘where they are’. If organisations do not adapt, they may be missing new opportunities to create value for customers, allowing their competitors to steal market share.  

3. Digital Enablement

Utilising available digital tools such as Slack or Trello can assist companies to do what they do better and more efficiently. To successfully use these tools an organisation must:

  1. be agile and set up in way that allows them to adopt new digital tools
  2. have people competent in using these tools
  3. give its people the freedom to adopt these tools quickly.
Surveys have shown that in organisations which have introduced digital, and in particular social tools, executives have reported decreased costs, increased productivity, improved communication and collaboration amongst employees.

To enable knowledge-sharing across the organisation, and to stay ahead of the competition, organisations must look to look to digital tools and the competitive landscape

IT solutions are increasingly being viewed as a service, and through research and digital channels buyers have much more power in the buying process.

IBM saw this trend and created a new department, IBM Digital Sales, to keep up with the market and stay ahead of the competition. By training employees in digital sales techniques and upskilling them in social and other digital tools, they were able to make the sales experience much more personable and appealing for their customers.

Through the implementation of this new sales funnel, IBM saw an increase in sales team confidence levels , along with a 37% reduction in days to close a lead and 7% increase in win rate.

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