The first domain of digital transformation is customers. In traditional theory, customers were seen as aggregate actors to be marketed to and persuaded to buy. The prevailing model of mass markets focused on achieving efficiencies of scale through mass production (make one product to serve as many customers as possible) and mass communication (use a consistent message and medium to reach and persuade as many customers as possible at the same time).
In the digital age, we are moving to a world best described not by mass markets but by customer networks. In this paradigm, customers are dynamically connected and interacting in ways that are changing their relationships to business and to each other. Customers today are constantly connecting with and influencing each other and shaping business reputations and brands. Their use of digital tools is changing how they discover, evaluate, purchase, and use products and how they share, interact, and stay connected with brands.
This is forcing businesses to rethink their traditional marketing funnel and reexamine their customers’ path to purchase, which may skip from using social networks, search engines, mobile screens, or laptops, to walking into a store, to asking for customer service in a live online chat. Rather than seeing customers only as targets for selling, businesses need to recognize that a dynamic, networked customer may just be the best focus group, brand champion, or innovation partner they will ever find.
Keeping in mind our philosophy of creating long term sustainable value for our customers and partners, we have helped many of our customers in creating the digital eco system where they can co-innovate with their customers and partners and achieve their business goals.