Taking the Next Step

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‘Episode IV: Digital Economy’ is one of a series of presentations discussing the next steps for you to consider. This time we discuss the opportunities arising from the maturing digital economy. While most of us already been shopping online for years, the digital economy has reached a tipping point from a user perspective. Dialogues that used to happen between neighbors happening between network “friends”, incl. the discussion about you! Managing Partners: Daniel Kraft, Stefanie Lightman

Published in: Business, Technology



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Taking the Next Step

  1. 1. Take the Next Step Episode IV: Digital Economy ‘Episode IV: Digital Economy’ is one of a series of presentations discussing the next steps for you to consider. This time we discuss the opportunities arising from the maturing digital economy. While most of us already been shopping online for years, the digital economy has reached a tipping point from a user perspective. Dialogues that used to happen between neighbors happening between network “friends”, incl. the discussion about you!
  2. 2. Do you remember the time when everybody in town met everybody, maybe over a coffee. The latest news was shared, and you could be sure everybody knew about the latest gossip - at least on a local @ level. For some time that also happened digitally in the social networks. But now with online search extending to the social networks like Twitter and Facebook, we’re getting close to the good old coffee house feeling. The World is a Coffee House This is great news for the customers as the search results will reflect what people really think about a certain topic, product or services. But it’s going to be a real challenge for the businesses as you now need to have a strategy for the social networks since your reputation is depending on the chat over a coffee now.
  3. 3. You Are Not Alone While it is a fascinating experience to get something done in a team, many There is a great return for a little investment. Talking to your customers should companies seem to have difficulties to apply that to their customers. Sharing be a priority for any company. But including them into internal discussions doesn’t need to stop at the door of your office building. Your customers like offers an amazing opportunity. You get free research, you get real feedback you! They had a choice and they choose you. Why don’t include them in your from them and once you start incorporating their ideas you turn them into thinking, your strategy, your development? loyal followers.
  4. 4. The Sky has No Limit What is your key differentiator? What is the thing that defines your business? Is it your product? Your services, your people, you methodology, your brand? Make a list and if your exchange server is on it, stop reading. While technology in general can be a crucial success factor, it should not take away your attention from your core business. And, don’t let the nitpickers scare you with security issues or their desire to keep things under “your” control. Do you recall any company that keeps a pile of cash in the basement? Right, you do online banking. There are many opportunities to leverage the new cloud possibilities even without any discussion about technology. Basic ser vices like email, website, collaboration don’t need to be running on a box in your building. Wouldn’t it be great to be an entrepreneur again and not an administrator? What if you could visit more customers and leave the infrastructure to somebody who does it for a living?
  5. 5. “Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who could not hear the music.” unknown Listen & Learn When it comes to social media you can easily find hundreds of people and organizations that have an answer for you. First you hear the big buzz about Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and all the more or less important toys you should invest your time in. Once digging deeper you’ll start to hear a more pessimistic tone by those that still cope with the new wave, highlighting the risks you might encounter. Regardless what your view is about social media, with so many people talking online, it is a matter of fact that they are also talking about you. In order to understand your customers, partners, prospects and even employees you need to have a strategy how to monitor those networks. While your marketing is still fighting with legal about the right blogging policy and IT is claiming you should block your people from using Facebook, you need to take action. Just imagine a trade show about your offering and you know that all of your customers are going ... wouldn’t you at least send somebody to listen?
  6. 6. Don’t Get Pushed - Pull Capital intense industries like automotive or machinery have optimized their processes towards minimizing capital lockup. Instead of producing goods and pushing it to the customers, they sell it first and than pull it all together. With this they keep their capital liquid and their warehouses lean. In the digital economy you could apply a similar concept. Instead of producing the majority of your marketing and communication upfront, e.g. brochures, mailings, collaterals you might want to focus on some core messages like a short article, a blog post or even just a Twitter post. Once the customer picks it up, you can always follow up with more details. You are not just keeping your capital (people) flexible, you even gain a new agility in your organization. Your people are no longer bound to those long delivery cycles but can act on those topics your markets picking up. Once you have tuned your organization towards such an agile approach you’ll be even able to communicate in real time. Picture: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mescon/3714341746/
  7. 7. Your Next Steps The World is a Coffee House Protect your reputation and build a strategy to include social networks in your communication. You Are Not Alone Share, share, share ... work with your customers to learn what they have to say and turn them from customers into followers. The Sky has No Limit Focus on your core business, there are cloud services available for you to gain the freedom to work on the really important things. Listen & Learn People talk about you! You should know what they have to say and make it a strategy to listen and learn. Don’t Get Pushed - Pull Gain agility in your organization by apply the pull concept to your communication and marketing approach.
  8. 8. Daniel Kraft, Partner ifridge & Company twitter.com/danielkraft twitter.com/ifridge myifridge.com ifridge.com

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