Competing in the Social Era: Charting Your Digital Agenda


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As social and mobile technologies transform our lives, businesses need a forward-thinking plan to take advantage of -- and profit from -- these developments.

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Competing in the Social Era: Charting Your Digital Agenda

  1. 1. • Cognizant 20-20 InsightsCompeting in the Social Era:Charting Your Digital AgendaAs social and mobile technologies transform our lives, businessesneed a forward-thinking plan to achieve desired outcomes. As digital technology becomes forever enmeshed enable business transformation and jumpstart in our society, it is increasingly important for all new business models. types of companies to create an agenda charting how they will take advantage of — and profit • Social media and communities are enabling consumers to increase the influence they have from — these developments. Even countries and over current and future products and services. geographic regions are creating digital agendas Consumers have brought real-world influence to ensure their citizens can fully exploit the to the virtual space. advantages of modern technology. Everyone from the CIO of the United States to the CEO of • Digital channels are getting increasing Burberry has a plan for capitalizing on digital and attention in terms of budgets and focus as turning its use into a competitive advantage. compared with traditional channels. These include social media and communities. Technology Forces at Work These forces necessitate that businesses build We have already seen the profound effects of a digital agenda to address consumers and dif- digital technology on consumer life, specifically: ferentiate themselves in light of increased com- petition, enabling competitive advantage and a • Broadband and wireless Internet access are superior customer experience. permeating every available living space, even appliances, accessories and automobiles. It will Underlying Your Digital Agenda soon be unthinkable in most locales for Internet access to be less than readily available, and Establishing a digital agenda can be looked at free. through three layers: • Mobile devices and mobility are redefining the • Layer 1: The source layer comprises enter- way consumers access and expect to see infor- prise information and data originating from mation, and business users are right behind internal or external sources, as well as data consumers in their appetite for mobile data. assets residing in disparate formats and loca- tions. This type of data may be unstructured or • Cloud is increasingly seen as an option for structured, transactional or not. Large compa- organizations looking for ways to lower costs, cognizant 20-20 insights | june 2012
  2. 2. nies now have so much data that it is officially strategies include location-based services, deemed “big data,” and data stores will only gamification, augmented reality (AR), digi- get bigger over time, adding to the manage- tal commerce, social currency, loyalty and ment challenge. advocacy, digital ads and search engine optimization/search engine marketing According to the IDC Digital Universe Study (SEO/SEM). These will shape future con- from May 2010, the world’s data will grow to sumer interactions on digital channels. 35 “zetabytes” (35 trillion gigabytes) by 2020, from a base of 0.8ZB in 2009.1 Seventy percent • Layer 3: The consumption layer consists of this data will remain unstructured, necessi- of the Web, social and mobile channels upon tating different analytical models and engines which consumers receive messages. Today, to effectively profile and segment customers a digital consumer typically picks one of for marketing campaigns. these three channels as his or her preferred channel of interaction. Each channel has its The vast volume of data also provides own set of tactics and mechanisms available invaluable insights into customer behavior to transmit the message (for example, Web at additional digital touchpoints, where each banners, podcasts, video, apps). The consump- interaction is a data point. Future customer tion data is fed back into the production engine profiles will be built using both structured and to generate insights and measure interaction unstructured social data. When applied to the success. universe of data, analytics helps determine the new experiences and offerings companies Today, once they have pinpointed consumer should develop, and what type of conversion interests using analytics, most companies use is necessary to make these new offerings Web, social and mobile as the platforms for available on the consumer’s desired platform. transmitting the content consumers seek. Tradi- tionally, marketing platforms, content platforms• Layer 2: The production layer uses data from and analytics engines have been used in a dis- the source layer to design and build digital connected mode. The next phase of evolution of interactions to be consumed in the third layer, marketing ecosystems will be to build synergies the consumption layer. The production layer and integrations between these platforms to has three core engines: drive interaction with consumers over digital and >> Digital analytics management: This traditional channels (see Figure 1). engine translates the source feeds into meaningful insights to devise interaction The Digital Agenda in Action strategies, define the right marketing mix To explore this idea further, let’s look at a high- and build customer segments and profile profile retailer, a seller of luxury cosmetics. models. The analytics system also receives As most retailers do, this company has large feedback from the consumption layer to databases of customer information. It enriches measure the success of interactions and the customer data with information culled campaigns to truly quantify return on from social interactions, and then it performs investment. analytics, defines segmentation and designs >> Digital content management: This engine offers for its marketing campaigns. So, the next is used to develop, manage and distribute time the consumer walks into a shopping mall, digital assets and content across channels the retailer is aware of her presence and sends an in the form that is required by the consum- alert regarding a discount or another incentive to er. This engine yields the information the her smartphone via location-based services and consumer wants in the right place, at the invites her to walk into the store. right time, in the right format, within the right context. Once inside the store, the AR kiosk displays a selected range of cosmetics based on her profile, >> Enterprise marketing management: This for her to virtually “try on” and share with her engine is used to plan, budget, design, ex- friends on social sites for instant recommenda- ecute and capture responses for all digital tion. Delivering this personalized experience campaigns and interactions. and instant gratification is what helps drive the The core engines are driven by the orga- creation of customer advocates who will carry nization’s digital strategy to define the the company’s banner, insulating the brand consumer interactions. Some of these from shocks. These advocates are “customers cognizant 20-20 insights 2
  3. 3. Multi-Channel Synergy Consumption Web Social Mobile Digital n or l commerce io Lo bas ices advocacy llab ocia at ca ed co S se tio rv n- Augmented Loyalty Enterprise Digital Digital reality Production and marketing Strategies content platform platform Ga EM mi Digital ad S fi O/ ca networks SE tio n Digital analytics Source Customer Marketing data External data Digital asset master data marts sources repositoryFigure 1for life,” who can be expected not only to spend negative effects, including confusing your targettheir cosmetics dollars with the brand, but also customer and market. You need to reduce this riskinfluence purchase decisions in friend/peer by putting in place an overarching digital strategynetworks toward the brand. to rationalize and consolidate all of the different perspectives into one. Your digital agenda will notAn example from the life sciences industry shows only establish the technologies and tactics to behow this might work in the B2B arena. A phar- used to grow the business, but it will also informmaceutical company retains a wealth of informa- mitigation strategies in the event of negativetion in its master database, including data from events.patients, doctors, pharmacies and other constitu-encies. That sort of information is all internal and Six Steps to Your Digital Agendastructured in nature. 1. Understand the online spaces your digital consumers inhabit.But the pharmaceutical company also has a greatdeal of information external to the community that 2. Define your platform. Once you know whereis unstructured (for example, posts from online your consumers are located, identify thecommunities discussing specific diseases and platforms — Web, social and mobile — on whichmedications). The company can build an enhanced they want to engage with you.physician profile using structured and unstruc- 3. Create a portfolio of your digital assetstured data, design targeted messaging to be used (Web sites, social communities, mobile apps,during the medical representative’s next visit customer databases, technology platforms,or send the physician an invitation to a medical tools, resources and processes) within yourconference in his vicinity, based on the level of organization.participation on a particular disease community. 4. Define a plan to convert these digital assetsThe centerpoint of the company’s digital agenda is to the consumption layer, based on marketits successful use of social and mobile platforms, well as its corporate Web site. 5. Leverage your digital platforms to increaseWithout the concept of a digital agenda and awareness, visibility and agility.strategy, there will likely be a number of non- 6. Create a roadmap for a phasedintegrated initiatives exploiting these platforms a haphazard way. These can have profound cognizant 20-20 insights 3
  4. 4. It is no longer practical to delay the creation tions to design and execute their customer inter-of a digital agenda for your organization. The action strategies and keep abreast of the dynamicchallenges come in the form of changing mindsets, and complex marketplace. Companies of all sizes,as well as redefining business processes and across a multitude of different industries, areexecution methodologies. As digital technology following consumers in laying out their digitalbecomes ever more entrenched in the way we strategies. If you have not already done so, it’swork and live, it is more and more important for time to act.all types of companies to chart out how they willtake advantage of — and profit from — these devel- To learn more, read the white paper, Chartingopments. Your Digital Agenda: Six Technology Trends Driving Competitive Advantage, Now and in YearsTraditional operating models need to be replaced to collaborative and agile platforms for organiza-Footnotes1 “The Digital Universe Decade: Are You Ready?” IDC, May 2010, the AuthorsDileep Srinivasan is an Assistant Vice President for CRM and Social CRM in Cognizant’s Customer SolutionsPractice. He specializes in helping organizations across industries apply traditional and emerging socialCRM tools to generate long-term business value. He can be reached at Rathi is a Consultant with Cognizant Business Consulting’s Digital and Social Practice. He spe-cializes in helping organizations across industries apply digital and social strategies to drive consumerengagements and interaction experience. He can be reached at CognizantCognizant (NASDAQ: CTSH) is a leading provider of information technology, consulting, and business process out-sourcing services, dedicated to helping the world’s leading companies build stronger businesses. Headquartered inTeaneck, New Jersey (U.S.), Cognizant combines a passion for client satisfaction, technology innovation, deep industryand business process expertise, and a global, collaborative workforce that embodies the future of work. With over 50delivery centers worldwide and approximately 140,500 employees as of March 31, 2012, Cognizant is a member of theNASDAQ-100, the S&P 500, the Forbes Global 2000, and the Fortune 500 and is ranked among the top performingand fastest growing companies in the world. Visit us online at or follow us on Twitter: Cognizant. World Headquarters European Headquarters India Operations Headquarters 500 Frank W. Burr Blvd. 1 Kingdom Street #5/535, Old Mahabalipuram Road Teaneck, NJ 07666 USA Paddington Central Okkiyam Pettai, Thoraipakkam Phone: +1 201 801 0233 London W2 6BD Chennai, 600 096 India Fax: +1 201 801 0243 Phone: +44 (0) 20 7297 7600 Phone: +91 (0) 44 4209 6000 Toll Free: +1 888 937 3277 Fax: +44 (0) 20 7121 0102 Fax: +91 (0) 44 4209 6060 Email: Email: Email:©­­ Copyright 2012, Cognizant. All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, transmitted in any form or by anymeans, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the express written permission from Cognizant. The information contained herein issubject to change without notice. All other trademarks mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.