Why digital strategy equals customer experience

Former RSPCA chief digital officer and now head of marketing and digital for Smartclinics shares how digital strategy is about awareness through to advocacy

An organisation’s digital strategy ultimately needs to come back to customer experience and the journey from awareness to advocacy, RSPCA’s former digital chief claims.

Speaking at the Chief Digital Officer Forum in Sydney this month, former RSPCA chief digital officer and now head of marketing and digital for Smartclinics, Christian Bowman, pointed to the raft of synergies between customer experience strategy and digital strategy.

For example, both are data and sales driven, and need to be driven by the user experience, he said.

“Whether it’s the research side, observation side, design phase or advocacy, both are one and the same thing,” he said. Bowman also noted customer journey mapping is increasingly being used in the digital space to help understand the program of work needed to be undertaken inside an organisation.

In addition, customer and digital teams are analytics obsessed, technology enabled and great communicators, he said.

One of the challenges around digital strategy, however, has been where it should reside within an organisation and who takes leadership responsibility for it.

“I’m sure many have been through that battle of where digital strategy should sit in terms of different departments, such as the planning department, technology or in marketing,” Bowman said.

“Some organisations have brought in a chief digital officer to remove this noise and to attain leadership around developing a transformation strategy and really, to get some work done.”

But there is a risk there are too many chiefs in the boardroom, Bowman said.

“There’s the CIO, CEO, CFO, CMO, CDO – but someone behind the scenes has an important part to play in terms of where the adoption of technology is going,” he said. “Rather than a battle, let’s focus on what we can learn from each other.”

“And ultimately it comes down to customer experience – from awareness to advocacy.”

In a separate panel debate during the event, Bowman in fact suggested chief digital officers would eventually make themselves redundant as digital is naturally diffused back into every aspect of the business.

In the meantime, though, there is still plenty of work to be done on getting organisations attuned to what digital means for their business. Bowman pointed to the misalignment between company vision and the purpose for digital as another major barrier to digital transformation success, something he again brought back to customer values.

“If your organisation is not customer centric, or have a purpose that doesn’t align to where your market is heading, you’re going to run into barriers,” he said.

“If you want to change your approach and adoption of digital, you will need to ensure that purpose and vision is in line. That’s a real challenge if you don’t have an executive advocating for digital strategy. But if you can get a clear customer-focused vision, as well as a vision for the future…then you have something to work towards. And if you get that right, all decision making can be relevant.”

Besides vision and purpose, Bowman recommended creating an environment for learning within the organisation. He pointed to methodologies and practices such as the ‘jobs to be done’ framework, design thinking and lean as example of ways to promote innovation that also encourage co-creation with customers.

“How can you look at things from a different, customer lens – from an emotional, personal, functional aspect?” he asked. “Creating an environment for learning means you step away from thinking you know everything about your customer and all the different segments, and gets you to focus on customers and become great listeners and communicators.

“If you give your customers a voice, and then a platform so there is an opportunity to learn from each other internally and externally, I believe you can create and maintain remarkable and meaningful relationships.”

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+: google.com/+CmoAu

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

Why are we dubious about deep learning?

The prospect of deep learning gives those of us in the industry something to get really excited about, and something to be nervous about, at the same time.

Katja Forbes

Founder and chief, sfyte

Why you can’t afford to fail at CX in 2019

In 1976 Apple launched. The business would go on to change the game, setting the bar for customer experience (CX). Seamless customer experience and intuitive designs gave customers exactly what they wanted, making other service experiences pale in comparison.

Damian Kernahan

Founder and CEO, Proto Partners

Natural born leaders

Many business and marketing managers progressing to leadership positions face evolving their focus from operational matters to strategic decision making and planning.

Jean-Luc Ambrosi

Author, marketer

Do you need a loan to pay off your credit or debit? Do you need financial help to set up your own business? Do you need a loan to carry o...

NORA

Facebook: Friction is costing Australian businesses $29 billion a year

Read more

Thanks for writing about chatbots. Definitely bots have the exciting future when it comes to customer engagement, transactional and conve...

Sanket Nair

7 businesses successfully implementing chatbots

Read more

Interesting article but what about the employees? There needs to be access to quick cash for everyone involved lest we have yet another '...

Joel Pencer

Suncorp outlines customer investments, digitisation as key to business improvement

Read more

Just printed out this Brad Howarth screed to read tomorrow. I need a good laugh once in a while. Or maybe shed some manly-man tears at th...

Larry A Singleton

What a diversity agenda has done for Kellogg's staff and innovation engagement

Read more

Morons. PC Nazis infiltrating and subverting every level in our lives.These scum have destroyed our education system.Read FrontPage Magaz...

Larry A Singleton

What a diversity agenda has done for Kellogg's staff and innovation engagement

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in