October 17, 2018

How To Use The ‘Disruptive’ Power Of Digital Transformation Wisely

View author's profile

By Paul Meersman, Head of Marketing at CDS

Digital transformation is radical. It is risky (whether you do, or don’t commit). So, as well as having an agile test and learn methodology, you need to ensure that digital is only deployed where it can add value.

In short, digital is effective when it can remove barriers that slow our ideas, products, and services down in the physical world. Digital is uninhibited by time, weight, or mass, making it flexible and adaptable. It can replicate and repeat endlessly with little cost, with the potential to attract two, or two million people, with the same initial investment.

Digital’s raw capabilities underpin what it means to be “disruptive”. For first movers, the simple act of identifying how to convert a physical process into a digital one is enough to win customers.

Amazon worked out how to let you search for ANY book, without having a store, stock room, or even owning the book in the first place. eBay worked out how to let anyone, sell anything, to anyone without ever opening a store. AirBnB worked out how to run a hotel business, without owning a single piece of property. Uber became a taxi service, without owning a taxi.

However, it is important to note that Amazon still ship physical books. Similarly, eBay sellers still require physical delivery services. Someone still has to supply AirBnB with the physical rooms. And someone has to buy the car that you virtually hail with Uber.

When considering digital transformation, our customers need to know what the crucial physical advantages are. But equally, be aware that the same physicality can be destructive to margins, customer satisfaction, or employee productivity.

Examples of delivering digital transformation

Here are some great examples of how we are working with major brands, in insurance and B2B financial services. The aim is to create the low friction, high speed, undistorted engagement customers seek out.

For Zurich Insurance we focused on defining their future Target Operating Model (TOM) for customer engagement.

By using the TOM approach, at CDS, we have been successful in a number of sectors and with our customers.

In insurance it is particularly central to understanding the complex web of systems, intermediaries, and customer touch points. It is a vital starting point for engaging with customers through sales channel partners.

For Wesleyan Assurance, the journey began with their internal digital workplace.  They recognise that in an advisor led market, the value add offered by the broker is how they deploy their knowledge.

Wesleyan’s large and geographically dispersed sales, marketing, analyst and advisor teams are able to share intelligence and customer advice. This resulted in speeding up the reaction time of good practice and guidance, allowing them to expand to a larger customer and intermediary base.

Whilst working with Aberdeen Standard Investments, we were able to support them in delivering ThinkingAloud, an acquisition focussed outreach and engagement service. It was designed to reach the end customer, but not to challenge the channel in terms of sales and customer ownership.

In the original UK territory, the service was so successful that versions have been rolled out in the USA, Australia and Italy.

Different strategic approaches are needed, but all are steps forward to answering the key questions:

  • How Direct to Consumer (D2C) should we be?
  • How can we reduce friction and remove distortion in our communications, whilst maintaining regulatory compliance?

We would be delighted to discuss your specific challenges at the Figaro Digital event.

CDS will be answering your questions at our Digital Marketing Summit on Thursday 25 October. For more information regarding the event you can view the full agenda here.

Written by

Paul Meersman,
Head of Marketing at CDS