Building a Digital Strategy? Three Trends to Watch Out For

schedule 01 Jan 2017


For most business executives, it’s almost impossible for a week to go by without being told that having a digital strategy is vital for the future success, nay, the survival, of your business.

Not surprisingly, there is a growing number of businesses that are introducing digital strategies to their businesses to grow revenues, increase profitability, ensure greater customer experience, and heighten efficiency.

But creating a digital strategy can be tricky. With so many ways to start unravelling the digital ball of yarn, where should businesses start? What trends should they watch out for while crafting their digital agendas? What should their digital strategy aim to accomplish?

There are plenty of things to keep an eye out for as you build your digital strategy. These include the rise of the internet of things, the growing popularity mobile wallets, how messaging is becoming the de facto way consumers want to interact, and importance of m-commerce.

But there are three foundational trends you should watch out for.


The Growing Importance of Customer Experience
There’s a lot of different agendas your business could accomplish with its digital strategy. It could be trying to increase customer experience. Or drive up revenues. Or give efficiency a shot in arm and boost profitability. Of course, the ultimate aim is to make more money, but how you get there is important.

Once you’ve defined the aim of your digital strategy, you need to create tactics and allocate resources to back up that strategy. The million-dollar question is: Where do you invest to get the most bang for your buck?

The answer? Customer experience.

For many companies, especially those in telecom, financial services and retail, it can seem that the battle for customers boils down to price. The lower the price your business offers, the more likely you are to net new customers and retain old ones.

But that’s not necessarily true. According to a Bain and Company study, for example, the Asian consumer is not turning to ecommerce sites for lower prices—but for greater ease and convenience. And according to SAP’s survey report, customers who are happy with their digital experiences are up to 17 times more loyal to brands—and are willing to buy more from those brands.

But many companies aren’t doing a spectacular job where digital customer experience is concerned. According to the same survey, 26% of consumers are unsatisfied with their digital experience, while 31% said they were ambivalent about their digital experience.

That’s where digital services can make a significant difference. Using digital solutions like maps to enable seamless deliveries, mobile wallets to speed up transactions, analytics to create personalised services, location-aware advertising, (these are just a few of a very long list) smart businesses can offer consumers an experience they are demanding.

Takeaway: Focus your digital strategy and resources on increasing digital customer experience.

Video Is Hot
It’s no secret that video is a popular way to reach out to customers and drive up engagement. But it’s more true in Malaysia.

According to a study conducted by TNS Research and Google Malaysia, we love video. We spend about 80 minutes per session on YouTube when using mobile devices—that is double the global average of 40 minutes. And 55% of Malaysians say they prefer content on YouTube over television.

Why is this important? Among the first areas in a business to be digitised are marketing departments. Today, marketers have a lot more channels to choose from when reaching out to customers. Some of the old channels include print ads, print pamphlets, radio spots, TV ads, and roadshows. The newer channels include SMS, social media channels, mobile ads, and email newsletters. 


Some of these channels will define the type of content marketers use to increase brand awareness, or drive leads. When selecting both the medium and the content your business wants to use, remember that consumers love video.

Takeaway: If your business is contemplating creating content either to draw eyeballs to your website, or increase interest in your brand, it would be wise to make sure that video is in the mix.

Your Competitors Are Moving Fast
For a lot of businesses trying out digital for the first time, the future can be an exciting place full of new innovative ideas, never-before-seen insights, and astonishing tools.

While exploring all the myriad possibilities of what digital can do for your business is a great idea, it’s also important to remember that you need to move fast.

Why? Because your competitors are probably already ahead of you--and this is true across a wide swathe of industries. According to a Cognizant report Asia Rising: Digital Driving, 37% of companies in ASEAN countries are undergoing formal digital transformation efforts. That’s backed up by another study, this time by IDC, that shows that 34% of Malaysian organisations are embarking on digital transformation journeys.

It’s also important to note that many of these digital fore-runners have what’s called a digital-first approach, which demonstrates how serious they are about digital. Having a digital-first approach means that whenever a company starts new process or a wants to create a new customer-facing channel, it will, consciously, ensure it is digital.

Takeaway: Your digital strategy should take into account the need to move fast. Keep trying new tactics aligned to your strategy, be ready to fail fast, and get on to the next tactic.


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