What is a digital gap you may ask? A digital gap is the difference between different companies and how they operate depending on how digital they are.
For many companies having laptops and a CRM system means they are a digital company. Yet if this same company were to try and do business with or compete against a company that was truly digital they may find some challenges.
What does it mean to be a digital company?
It really means more about how you do things instead of what you do or have. This really lies in the customer journey. Those companies that are investing time and money in understanding the the different journeys and experiences that your customers and prospects take and how the change and evolve. It is about shaping those experiences and understanding it is an ongoing and evolving process.
Today’s consumers are researching and buying in a very different way today than in previous years. Companies that are embracing this and actively improving their own sales cycles as a result of the information they collect via their digital efforts are going to reap the benefits.
It also lies in how technology is evolving the way your company operates in terms of the disruptive business landscape we are all faced with. For example are you venturing into different areas due to technology changes that open new doors or maybe you are creating whole new niches and business opportunities that didn’t exist before.
Technology is creating these new markets and opportunities every day and a truly digital company will be seeking these out and even leading the charge.
The same can be said for how you operate. Are there any possibilities to do things differently and become more effective and agile as a result of technology. Logistics for example is one area where some companies have innovated and embraced technology and have created competitive advantages and is some cases whole new sectors.
Digital companies use data and facts to make quick decisions that impact there company. Many times mistakes are made due to a lack of data and therefore have to make educational guesses. A digital company will have the critical information available to them in order to make timely and agile decisions that can make all the difference.
For example if you are able to foresee a particular event or incident and you are able to position yourself strategically to add value to a potential customer who is impacted by such an event you are thinking smart and as a result of digital. An example of this could be that by knowing about a sudden change in weather for a major sporting event and being able to identify that you have for example a stock of umbrellas close to the event and are able to get the goods on sale outside the event in under an hour.
That may not be the best example but the ability to get answer to questions and then position yourself in contextual way in order to add value is how we need to operate. Amazon does this better than anyone they know who we are and what we buy and are able to offer items that complement our current purchase at the point of sale making it all easier for us.
This is what this is all about. Finding new ways to add value in the ever changing business landscape. Being on hand with exactly what your customers and prospects need and want exactly when they need it and more and more expect it. “What do you mean you do not accept card payments” will soon be replaced with “your coffee shop doesn’t have wifi or a loyalty mobile phone app?”
So where does the gap come into all of this? The gap is widening in term of the level that some companies are operating at it terms of digital and those that have yet to even think about this at any level.
This is not going to go away. The good old days are well gone and things are going to change. My concern is those that hear this and either choose not to hear it or simply do not believe it. I have blogged before about having a digital mindset and now things are evolving faster still and having a digital mindset throughout your company could make all the difference going forward.
So please please “Mind the gap”