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We hear a lot of stories about bricks and mortar re-designing their business models to face the new challenges prompted by the “digital”. I am not sure about you, but I generally can’t help and think …
We hear a lot of stories about bricks and mortar re-designing their business models to face the new challenges prompted by the “digital”. I am not sure about you, but I generally can’t help and think that all these noble efforts are commendable, although lack the true digital spirit. Let me explain. Firstly, what do we really mean by Digital? Have you noticed that in the mainstream digital equates to mobile, SEO, analytics, web platforms, and so on. And on. Don’t get me wrong. All these tools are necessary. However, digital is more than the way you generally execute it, right? Digital, from my perspective, is a form of literacy. Yes, it is a new way of thinking brought about by the tremendous progress of technology. There are people born in the digital world and they naturally adopt it and learn how to communicate through it. Most of us, however, are adapting to this new world because we are still transitioning into it.
This is bringing about a revolution that many fail to grasp fully. In the book that I review this month, Paul Boag delineates an interesting parallel. When electricity first started to power industry, it did not change things overnight. Most companies had a chief electricity officer :-) dedicated to managing such an important part of the business. Today, after two decades into the WWW, we still see similar setups in digital as used to exist for electricity. This explains the transition.
Equally important is the effect that the digital is having on companies’ strategies. In the next instalments I will start deconstructing the ‘digital’ to highlight its major components and how these can be combined in innumerable ways to generate truly customer engaging experiences.