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Customer Engagement

Digital Transformation 2.0: Planning for a Digital Economy

By Gerhard Heide, Director, Global Market Strategy, Pitney Bowes

We’re onto 2.0 already? When did that happen?

Well, it hasn’t happened yet – at least not completely. But the next phase of digital transformation is already underway whether you realize it or not. We have talked about Digital Transformation 1.0 at length, from its implications for call center customer engagement to omnichannel communications to digital delivery. But, while these all cover different facets of what digital transformation means, they all stem from the same underlying strategy: leveraging technology and software-driven solutions to communicate with customers. In other words, it’s a very outward-facing philosophy.

Digital Transformation 2.0, on the other hand, is more internal and reflective. It’s a cultural transformation, one that has to happen within your business or organization, in order to acknowledge what’s happening among your customers. Digital Transformation 2.0 means shifting from having a digital plan to planning for a new digital economy.

The Culture of the Digital Economy

Over the last several years, businesses have had to reckon with the rapid emergence of online tools like video and digital self-service portals as new means for engaging with customers – whether it’s attracting new prospects or building on existing relationships. After all, that’s what Digital Transformation 1.0 was all about.

But, this mindset only addresses customers who shifted from offline channels to online and still crave using both. What it neglects is a new generation of digital-native customers who will never know a shopping experience that isn’t digital-first or, at the very least, multichannel. Never mind Millennials, it’s Generation Z and beyond that you have to begin thinking about.

These customers, who may not necessarily be customers now but will be before you know it, are going to live their lives and conduct whatever business they may have, from shopping to paying bills, through digital. Today’s businesses need to be ready for this, and need to have a real-time multichannel communications strategy in place that proactively responds to, and intuits, the needs of these near-future digital-native customers.

Doing this isn’t as easy as rolling out a new piece of software or a new communications platform. Interactive personalized video, for instance, goes a long way in driving customer engagement and boosting meaningful interactions with your audience. But, Digital Transformation 2.0 has to go even further as an internal, soul-searching process.

You need to change your whole corporate mindset toward digital. Appointing an executive in charge of overseeing your company’s digital transformation (e.g. a Chief Digital Observer who reports directly to the CEO) is a key part of this. Without a digital-minded decision-maker steering the cultural change, you’ll only keep chasing digital without truly becoming digital. The more you chase digital, the more you’re only chasing your digital-native customers, rather than proactively and intuitively embracing them.

The digital economy, and the customers that it entails, isn’t just a business model, it’s a whole new way of thinking. Digital Transformation 2.0 is about bringing that into your own company’s culture, so that you can become naturally more open and communicative with your customers on the platforms that they’re already living on.

Spearheading a cultural digital transformation within a business has to come from the ground up. Check out our whitepaper, Interactive Personalized Media: Real-time video for business success, to learn about how Pitney Bowes EngageOne Video is helping organizations revamp themselves for a 21st century digital economy.

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