It’s been more than two years since the pandemic disrupted industries across verticals and turned businesses, from start-ups to large legacy organisations, upside down. Yet, many of us are still grasping for the ‘next normal’, ‘new normal’, or ‘back to normal’. We’re waiting for the great return to happen, but every aspect of the way we live, work, learn, communicate and collaborate has changed since 2020. There is no going back.
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The economic, cultural, emotional and behavioural shifts that we’re continuing to see in our customers, our employees and ourselves mean that the only path to the future is forward, through transformation.
The business case for digital transformation is well documented. McKinsey & Co reported that only 11 per cent of companies surveyed believe that their business models are economically viable through 2023 without making any changes. Conversely, 64 per cent of companies said they needed to build digital business to stay competitive by next year, and almost 90 per cent said that their business models need to change – or have already.
The digital transformation is also well under way for those on board.
A recent PWC survey revealed that 60 per cent of executives say that digital transformation is their most critical growth driver this year. IDC forecasts that digital transformation across the Middle East, Turkey and Africa will double between 2020 and 2025 – with anticipated investment at $58bn annually by 2025.
So, what’s keeping some from taking the reins of change and transforming their companies’ processes, performances, systems and value propositions – and how can they get past it?
Due to the amount of change and disruption that has rocked our industry in the past few years, we must embrace change.
Without accepting change as a constant in your work and industry, and without transforming first how you look at your company and its offerings, you can’t successfully digitally transform and meet the requirements of today’s consumers.
Spiro transforms how we look at and create experiences, because we were inspired to evolve after seeing how much the brand-experiences and event industry has shifted in the past few years. That mind shift and acceptance of constant change has helped us to remain agile in the face of disruption.
You can either embrace digital transformation and be actively looking at ways that new business models, value propositions, processes, talent and offerings can help your business – or you can be changed by the digital transformation that’s sweeping across all industries.
It’s move or be moved. As uncomfortable as moving might sound, being forced to transform is not how you want to innovate.
Customers are now telling brands what they want and how they want it. At Spiro, we put the customer’s choices and preferences at the centre of our experience design process, not because this is a passing fad but because this moment and beyond is all about customer empowerment.
It might seem odd to form such an intimate connection with your customers, but consider this: For all of us, a primary driver is to form connections with each other. This core human inclination has been cut off and rearranged in the past few years but, ultimately, connection is what humans seek.
Digital transformation can help you reach customers across channels, platforms and mediums. Understanding human behaviour and embracing current customer behaviour will help you transform both digitally and holistically.
The industry often discusses hybrid, IRL (in real life), URL (online), omnichannel, etc., but today’s consumers effortlessly toggle between digital and physical. We live in a new space, the in-between.
Hybrid is here to stay, but both technology and human behaviour have already surpassed that distinction. For any brand experience, attendees can be simultaneously together and remote, asynchronous and live. It’s what we at Spiro call ‘ARL’, or ‘All Real Life’. We wholeheartedly believe that medium- and channel-agnostic ways of working are here to stay.
Moreover, connection builds trust. Businesses are the only institutions that consumers trust, according to Edelman’s 2022 Trust Barometer Report. More than half (58 per cent) of customers say that they’ll buy or advocate for brands based on their beliefs and values.
In a PWC ESG (environment, social and governance) report, Shargiil Bashir, chief sustainability officer for First Abu Dhabi Bank, said: “We have an ESG strategy because it’s the right thing to do; because it will become our licence to operate down the line; and because we need to support our customers from a business perspective. It is the future.”
Brands today face a new reality full of business, behaviour, economic, sentiment and social norm change. The world has changed. Humans have changed. Why would we think our offerings and processes don’t have to change as well?
So, how are you embracing digital transformation?
By Beki Winchel, director, thought leadership and innovation, Spiro