In a recent conversation with a chief technology officer, he asserted all digital technology changes in his organisation were being led by IT and not by marketing. It made me wonder: How long a marketing function like this could survive?
Digital transformation in Australia has been, in many ways, too slow. The government created its Digital Transformation Office (DTO) in July 2015, when fewer than half of Australians polled believed their leadership ‘understands digital trends and technology.’ This late digital bloom posed a threat to the development of businesses in the world’s 12th largest economy but, with pressure from companies such as Ernst & Young, the government soon answered calls for digital innovation, with Australian businesses being the drivers of change.
Australian companies are actually more aware than most about the importance of digital transformation in terms of gaining a competitive advantage. 47% said that competition is a key driver in their digital development, compared with a global average of 37%. Even so, Australia has dipped back down to 18th in the world rankings for digital competitiveness, largely down to poor broadband affordability and a stunted adoption of proper digital solutions in business. The country is slowly making the shift to reliance on cloud platforms and the IoT - Melbourne, for example, is using sensors to ‘collect data on temperature and light’. The Australian Business Review expect Australia to rise through the rankings again, with government initiatives positioning the country as an IoT leader and at the forefront of new technology adoption.
Digital transformation in Australia is well represented by Coles. The company has upped its analytics efforts, with leaders from its financial services and online businesses coming together to revamp the chain and develop a proper analytics strategy across the enterprise. Having previously relied on ineffective analytics around their online shopping, the supermarket’s commitment to improving this area is promising and is a sign of a wider Australian effort to tackle the lack of innovation.
According to CMO, Coles’ former web analytics manager, Naomi Le Get, said that ‘the emphasis was on understanding the online grocery shopping process and improving basket sales through product marketing, brand actions and more targeted portal interactivity.’ Analytics helped the supermarket predict what their customers will buy, allowing them to target promotions and new products accordingly. Coles strive to create a clear end-to-end view of its customer is something other Australian businesses should look to emulate.
The ongoing digital transformation in Australia is set to be an important part of the discussion at Innovation Enterprise’s three summits in Sydney this September and October. The Digital Strategy Innovation Summit, Chief Digital Officer Forum and Chief Marketing Officer Summit will feature speakers from industry-leading digital companies, to give attendees the insight to action real change in their own organisations.
Australia may be some way behind the likes of the USA and the UK in its digital transformation, but the recent government push and the focused efforts of some of the country’s key companies will speed up the process. Innovation Enterprise’s three summits will give the attendees the tools to be part of Australia’s next steps in digital, from analytics to customer experience - in a country seriously in need of digital innovation, companies that are ahead of the curve will be best placed to reap the rewards.
If you’re interested in attending these digital events, you can save $200 off two day passes with the code CMO200.