The Digital Transformation, the path towards knowledge of the consumer


12 April 2016

We’ve said many times that the Digital Transformation context we live in gave us specific technologies, tools, and especially, more information than ever to make decisions. The massive challenge of knowing the consumer that some time ago stopped belonging to a homogeneous “target” to acquire individuality and is more powerful has been fodder for many for a long time…but, do they put it into practice?

More information = Greater knowledge?

The client is more participative throughout their customer experience. On the other hand, the digital environment offers brands different ways to achieve their objective of improving the consumer’s knowledge.

  • Open social listening mechanisms and monitoring the queries people make on brands’ social media tools with the consequential integration of social information to the company’s CRM and/or drawing insights that are crucial to the business.
  • Behavioral marketing platforms that let organizations offer personalized content/products/experiences that are crafted based on the analysis of previous consumer behavior.
  • Customer Journey studies that don’t consider “digital” or “brick-and-mortar” as islands but instead analyze the user experience from of an overall viewpoint.
  • Transactional information, from loyalty programs, satisfaction, surveys, noteworthy studies, and brand recognition are information sources that shouldn’t be forgotten.

The question is if, in the face of this more demanding and empowered consumer that has as many tools and stimulants at their disposal, the company is focusing their efforts on analyzing these people’s experiences with the brand/product.

According to the I Digital Transformation in the Spanish Company Study carried out by Good Rebels, we can affirm that the answer is no.

The survey of more than 900 directors of medium-sized and large corporations puts the focus on a clear orientation towards the consumer. Nonetheless, they denote an earlier stage which would be the digital transformation roadmap.

Missed potential

76% of subjects consider the digital transformation is related to how technology is used and applied in managing and understand the client and 68% of them establish their points of contact with the consumer with digitalization throughout the customer journey.

They are clearly not underestimating the digital transformation. For 72% of those surveyed, it has a high impact when aiming to generate competitive advantage, and 63% of them consider it when they design a value proposition for a customer.

Understanding the consumer itself does not seem to be a high-priority area. In only half of the analyzed cases (50%) are there initiatives either in motion or foreseen. Maybe the lack of knowledge surrounding the potential for gathering this information and its analysis are working against it when we verify that 40% of those surveyed still think it’s difficult to know what the digital customer wants.

Within customer-oriented projects, the priority when it comes to assigning efforts according to budgets goes towards acquisition (41% of cases), while customer understanding and loyalty get a respective 28% and 27% of the investment. The percentage of the investment dedicated to knowledge is the largest expression in organizations in Healthcare (57%), followed by services with a significant gap between them (38%). At the other extreme, Automotive and Culture, Leisure, and Entertainment are the industries where this is least of a priority with 17% and 18% of their budgets dedicated to these efforts.

The short term

2016 will be a year of investing in the knowledge of the customer. Although there is a 14% of those surveyed that claim they won’t set aside any funds for this, 58% of companies plan to dedicate up to €100,000 to consumer knowledge projects within their digital transformation roadmap. The final consumer keeps shining in initiatives of this nature. B2C companies are the ones planning spends of more than €100,000 (38% of cases). Analyzing the superiority by industry are Energy & Utilities (60%), Banking, Finance, and Insurance (53%), and Automotive (51%) are those that foresee spending of more than €100,000.

360º Vision and the rest that’s left

Web analytics (58%), analyzing followers on social media (56%), and digital monitoring (56%) are the prioritized areas where more companies have projects either in motion or projected in the short-term. The biggest forgotten are customer journey mapping and a 360º view of the consumer and their interactions with the company with a respective 20% and 19% of those surveyed affirming that their organizations don’t have any initiative in these areas on the horizon.

Issues like trust and access to data, efficient information management, preparing and updating Human Resources and the managerial structure, the not very extensive use of digital structures available in this field are some of the points indicated as brakes stopping the knowledge of the customer from playing a strategic role in practice.

Listening to the client, connecting, and learning from them throughout their journey with our brand is, without a doubt, going to create a cycle of continuous improvement of the experience. More than satisfying their needs we talk about providing them an excellent service throughout, the real differentiator for loyalty.