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NewsDec 19, 2019

5 Things Successful Digital Executives Are Talking About

Sarah Bruner

Being a digital executive is becoming increasingly complex. Not only are you tasked with managing the digital footprint across the organization, but the proliferation of marketing technologies necessitates an “always on” mentality to keep up and capitalize on opportunities. Facing these challenges on their own can leave digital executives feeling overwhelmed and alone.

That’s why Credera created the Strategic Forum Program. These invitation-only Forums bring together C-level executives from several disciplines to learn from each other in an environment built on deep relationships and shared challenges.

Our Executive Digital Forum brings together digital executives from a wide variety of industries to share their experiences and discuss current challenges. During the last 18 months the Executive Digital Forum has tackled a variety of topics.

We’ve listed five powerful topics and strategic questions below that led to interesting and valuable discussions:

1. The Value of an Actionable Customer Journey

Question: How can organizations create actionable, data-rich customer journey maps and hold the business accountable to outcomes?

Customer experience is king, and companies are definitely noticing. Customer experience ranked as the most exciting business opportunity as companies looked toward 2020 according to an Adobe Digital Trends report. Companies are paying attention because many customers will pay a premium for a better customer experience. Many digital leaders have looked to the customer journey map to drive enhanced customer experiences.

However, not all customer journey maps are created equal. Many times, the journeys are siloed within different departments and there is no clear accountability for outcomes. Even more importantly, what data is collected at each point and how is this data being used? Creating data-rich customer journey maps that truly boost the customer experience are key to developing actionable insights.

2. Creating a Truly Digital Culture

Question: How can your organization build a truly digital culture to drive success with digital transformation and omnichannel strategies?

Organizations are enticed by statistics that cite the benefit of an omnichannel presence and digital transformation. However, more negative statistics expose that “a whopping 75% of change initiatives will fail, all due to a lack of a digital culture” and show that starting organizational change without a digital culture is a recipe for disaster.

Without a digital culture as the foundation for a true omnichannel strategy, an organization can struggle to make the changes necessary to compete. A few key ways to build a digital culture outlined in a recent article include: creating a clear vision, supporting the culture from above, and measure and broadcasting success (among others). This digital maturity model can help you identify where your organization stands.

3. The Automation Dilemma

Question: As leaders, how do you best capitalize on the efficiencies of automation while still providing an excellent customer experience?

Digital leaders are enticed by the promise of increased efficiencies that can be realized with greater levels of automation. Customer service chatbots, self-service kiosks, robot assistants, and other innovations leave executives with the strategic decision of where and how to automate. However, recent history is littered with examples of failed automation implementations. Organizations who automate the right things deliver the best customer experience and create efficiency for the organization.

4. Maintaining Trust in Tough Circumstances

Question: With digital organizations in near constant flux, how can digital executives preserve a healthy team dynamic during times of change and transition?

A team’s culture is tested when stakes and pressures are high, resources are low, and change is looming. The rapid change in the digital space can create this kind of tension in a team’s culture and dynamic. Patrick Lencioni explains the value of teamwork in his book, The Five Disfunctions of a Team: “It is teamwork that remains the ultimate competitive advantage, both because it is so powerful and so rare.” However, when a team is going through a tough time or is under extreme pressure this teamwork can break down and lead to a lack of trust between individuals. When a team is able to hold to their core principles during times of uncertainty and change, then team members can continue to thrive. This Credera whitepaper shares how trust can be a key to retaining top talent.

5. Finding the Right Data to Drive Insights

Question: How is your organization leveraging data to realize the value of customer behavioral insights and develop a comprehensive customer profile?

If an organization is able to truly leverage customer behavioral insights, research says they “outperform peers by 85% in sales growth and more than 25% in gross margin.” However, leveraging customer behavioral insights is predicated on having customer data that is usable and integrated across the organization. And this is easier said than done. Unfortunately, many organizations struggle with legacy systems, siloed databases, and a plethora of marketing technology tools that promise the world and deliver very little. Instead of starting with the insights, organizations must do the hard work of finding and cleaning up the data necessary to drive valuable insights.

what’s your digital challenge?

Thinking through these topics can help you grow as a digital executive. Try analyzing your own organization through these lenses to see how you can drive better results.

Being able to share experiences with peers in a trust-based, non-selling environment without fees or sponsors is the key to the Executive Digital Forum’s success. If you’re interested in learning more, please reach out Sarah Bruner at sbruner@credera.com.