As often happens, it took a sudden and unpredictable event, for which no one was prepared, to force managers to think. The pandemic has ruthlessly decreed winners and losers, imposing on the latter a sad count of economic losses, which risks being only at the beginning.
There are companies that have made it, or even that have grown, and companies that are licking their wounds. The difference, amply demonstrated by the turnover figures, was technology. Activating an ecommerce site in a few days, organizing a home delivery, gaining visibility on social networks are all possible reactions thanks to technology and digital.
Some companies were born “digital first” and did not have to overturn processes and strategies: the Amazon and Netflix model seemed almost built for a lockdown. It was not, rather it proved to be a naturally resilient model, precisely because it is digital and based on technology.
Focus on data and customers to optimize processes and resources
The first chapter of Salesforce’s Free Digital Transformation Guide Playbook defines a possible categorization of companies based on their reaction to the pandemic. It is certainly not the first to be seen around, but it is certainly interesting since it comes from a company that provides technology for companies (who want to become) Customer Centric.
As the digital transformation was certainly not born in times of pandemic, but it has certainly accelerated, even the “customer centric” and “data driven” visions are not a novelty introduced in 2020. And, even for them there has been confirmation that they were adequate at the time.
Focusing on data to get to know your business ecosystem and aiming to achieve exactly the offer that your customers want at a certain moment, always and only thanks to technology, has borne fruit, limiting a very risky overproduction. And this strategy, it should be emphasized, does not depend on the particular vertical market in which we are moving: optimizing production based on requests is certainly not the prerogative of digital companies.
Do you renew, transcend or evolve? What cultural approach does your company have? According to the Salesforce Playbook, companies that renovate have a managerial mindset that looks forward to events. “Their workforce hasn’t gone digital, they’re not creating ways to anticipate new customer needs or interpret the data they have, and their leaders don’t understand digital. Consequently, in this moment of unprecedented crisis, their growth has collapsed and the overall recovery of the economy has favored them much less than others ”. This is the sentence of the Salesforce analysts.
If you don’t transcend, at least you evolve
The company that has been able to transcend, on the other hand, is a company born digital, which has not had to adapt its culture and which has only refined tools and strategies to satisfy the wishes of its customers even better. Like Netflix, which offers you titles based on your experience on the platform.
Finally, Salesforce defines evolving companies as those that have had the humility to understand that they were paying for their strategic backwardness and are trying to remedy it. They already had in mind the meaning of the concept of “digital transformation” and they were trying. For them, the pandemic was a push to adapt quickly.
And there are no excuses, renewing, transcending or evolving is a cultural choice. Moving to a customer centric vision is a must if you want to differentiate yourself from the competition and if you want to compete in a global market. Offering a product to the market is an imposition, listening to it and satisfying its desires is a smart way to optimize production and distribution and, therefore, contain costs. Technological tools exist and are available as they have never been in the past: it cannot (anymore) be a question of money or complexity, but only of entrepreneurial will.