Through Our Eyes: Data & Customer Centricity

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This month we hear from Owen, our Senior Manager of Digital Business based out of Birmingham, about the continued emergence of the Digital Marketplace.

When I moved into my new role with the Company at the beginning of the year a Mark Zuckerberg quote was pinned onto my new wall.  It reads, “Move fast and break things.  Unless you are breaking stuff, you are not moving fast enough.”  The New Business World is moving at a fast pace.  Everyday a new app, a new site, and new ways in which you are supposed to reach the end consumer.  But even with everything changing so fast, being so fluid, Digital business is at its heart, still business.

And it always starts with data.

You have to start by knowing who you are as a Company – what are your goals, what are your competencies and what are your aspirations.  This allows you to focus on how and what products and/or services you deliver and to what marketplace.  A funny thing happened a couple of years ago, when a co-worker of mine had the audacity to decide to approach this marketplace, our consumers, and did something completely radical.  He asked them some questions – what do we do right, what do we do poorly and what can we do to improve.  A lot of Companies say they are Customer Centric, which is basically just a new way of saying the old adage, “The Customer is Always Right”.  Unfortunately, we as proud, highly educated business professionals sometimes get into the mindset that “we know better”.  Guess what, we don’t.  “The Customer is Always Right”, and they will tell you how to make them happy if you are willing to listen.  Gaining and using data, or market insight, should be the key factor in determining the direction your Company needs to focus.  Increase your Company’s market awareness and the opportunities will be there. 

In 2015, it was estimated that 11% of the Global market, or $11 trillion, is being conducted digitally.  This number continues to grow at a rapid pace and will continue to do so.  Since this marketplace is still emerging, we know from history that it will continue to evolve.  Thus, a Company who wants to succeed will need to be able to identify the needs of their market, have a leadership team which works collaboratively to identify the channels to play in and the technology needed to succeed there and possess an attitude of quick, data based, decisions on when and what digital platforms to implement.  Sounds easy, right?  Start with data.

As the voice of my generation once said, “Life moves pretty fast.  If you don’t stop to look around once in a while, you could miss it.”