What should a digital strategy do


Strategic thinking and acting has always been the supreme discipline of modern management. With digitization, the specialist and technology areas of companies are networked in an unprecedented density. This also increases the complexity of the collaboration as well as the products and services that arise for customers. The dynamics of change are increasing, as are the demands of customers. Established companies have to compete with small, agile startups that threaten their business models. The digital transformation is the change that companies have to shape in order to master digitization. At the beginning of the digital transformation there is the strategy for digitization. There are six anchor points that make a good digital strategy.

Put the customer first

The customer is king! That saying may be trite, but it's true. Digital products and services have to be geared to the needs of the customer, otherwise they will fail. Today customers are networked, act supraregional and exchange information on products. Opinions are formed on the internet and can make or break products and services. Companies are focusing on a new generation of customers: the digital natives. This customer group is characterized by purchasing power and high expectations. Digital natives are self-determined, well educated and open-minded. You expect comprehensive customer service as well as self-service offers.

These customers are no longer passive as they used to be, they want to participate in product design and help create new values, be it for a fee or just for fun. YouTube, for example, offers a platform for millions of self-proclaimed directors - not just of cat videos - on which their videos can be provided and rated. The recognition from the net is reward enough for these people. Share, evaluate, shape, collaborate and individualize: These new customer needs must be taken into account in order to win customers over to a product.

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That is why it is part of every digital strategy to involve the customer. The strategy must contain answers to the questions of how customers can meet their desire for participation and self-determination and how the services for the product are designed.

Create values

If you don't want to end up as a provider of digital scrap, you have to think about valuable offers. The really successful companies manage to focus on customer needs and to optimally support and satisfy them. Automobile manufacturers, for example, are feeling the effects of this shift towards satisfying customer needs.

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While many customers previously wanted to own a vehicle, the need for mobility is becoming more and more important today. Offers from car sharing, rental bicycles, the train or car sharing agencies can now offer customers more flexibility than expensive cars used to be. Products and services that are to be offered to the customer must therefore develop a benefit for him or solve a specific problem in a special way. These value propositions have to ignite with the customer in order for a business model to be successful. Nevertheless, such value propositions only last for a limited period of time - then innovations are needed again.

  1. Boris Bohn, Arithnea
    “We are only on the first five of 100 meters on the way to a very good digital customer experience. The companies have recognized that there are different touchpoints for addressing customers. But we are still at the beginning with the concrete and comprehensive design. "
  2. Christian Schacht, Capgemini
    “In Germany, the customer and his needs are often not the focus of many companies, but only as the buyer and user of a product that they manufacture. This also applies to digital products. "
  3. Dominik Lorenz, Creditreform Boniversum
    “The front end of many websites is attractive, the customer is well guided and taken by the hand, but when he wants to buy, the payment process is too complicated or his preferred payment method is not supported. The visitor breaks off and switches to another provider. "
  4. Orhan Dayioglu, Showpad
    “The German companies can no longer differentiate themselves as much through their products as they used to. DCX has grown in importance. We have to move away from the monologue to a dialogue with customers in order to find out their needs and then offer the right solutions. "
  5. Vanessa Dommnich, Batten & Company
    “A holistic approach is becoming more and more important for customer loyalty in the digital age. Thanks to new technologies, companies can now address their customers via significantly more channels. In order for customers to get an end-to-end experience, companies need, among other things, a better database that ensures the integration of information from CRM, marketing, ERP or controlling as well as interfaces between the departments. "
  6. Ralf Wiesmann, Accenture
    “The combination of the online and offline world is the Holy Grail. Whoever manages that has won. Companies have to be agile here, try many things and change processes if they don't work. The companies can thus accompany the customer much better on his customer journey, long waiting times at the hotline are eliminated thanks to direct contact. "
  7. Jens Thuesen, BSI Business Systems Integration AG
    “Often the customer cannot leave any feedback online. This no-reply mentality has to go. Many companies also forget the integration of digital channels. Without a data link, the employee in the online chat does not know anything about the customer's history and what is currently moving him. "
  8. Frank Sinde, Damovo
    “The merging of the individual channels is only inadequate. There are hardly any ready-made interfaces. Since companies have to program a lot themselves, the projects are very expensive and take a long time to implement. In order to get really good DCX, companies have to take their employees with them and change their mindset to customer orientation. Customer experience only works with employee experience, i.e. acceptance by employees. "
  9. Jürgen Spieß, SHE
    “Companies need a high speed on the market and have to be agile, especially in the front end, in order to be able to react quickly to customer needs. There is often a discrepancy here between the internal ERP or inventory management systems with long release cycles and modern microservices. When it comes to integration, users have to find a good balance. "

A clear value proposition is formulated in the digital strategy - it represents the basis for the business model. The initial value proposition is a starting point, but it can change significantly over time and with experience from customer feedback.

Be innovative

Sounds easy, but it is not. Innovation - and certainly a successful one - cannot be planned. Many so-called innovations did not even make it to the market, let alone that they would have paid for their development costs. Innovations are based on hypotheses. Innovation today is a process that converts ideas into marketable and monetizable products. The first idea doesn't always hit the mark. With clever experiments, however, new insights can regularly be gained that can be incorporated into product adaptations.

The creator of groundbreaking innovations is no longer the lone inventor, but the intelligently assembled team. Today's successful companies are constantly learning from how their customers use the products and services. It is essential to repeatedly create, try out and evaluate hypotheses. Products are continuously changed and adapted, new and existing target groups are addressed differently. Digitization creates unimagined opportunities to collect data, evaluate it for innovations and convert it into valuable offers for customers.

The digital strategy therefore also includes a clear positioning for the development of innovations. Good methods and a process that is both stringent and flexible make it possible to discover and evaluate innovations.