Digitalization – the first true revolution in business history

Thought piece by me originally published at Avaus Marketing Innovations

Digitalization – It’s a buzzword because it works!

The reason why digitalization is such a hot topic is not because it sounds like a “cool thing” to do, but because it is probably one of the first true revolution in business history. (In comparison, the industrial “revolution” 1760-1840 took 80 years. Sure, there are a lot of similarities as well.)

Digitalization is defined as the integration of digital technology into everyday life. As business and working is a major part of everyday life for most people, it is probably the main thing to change. Being able to automate processes, measure aspects of business that were previously unmeasurable and even cross reference and apply information from a wide variety of sources to provide insight into decision making.

And all these are done so that the core rationale behind businesses can thrive: Making a profit.

Source: Scott Brinker

Source: Scott Brinker

Regardless of businesses expense structure, optimizing work is a sure way to lower the overall expenses. A friend of mine once told me, “if you’re using more than 5 minutes on excel to input or analyse something, you’re doing it wrong.” The same applies to any work: If you’re doing repetitive tasks, multiple inputs or outputs, you’re not probably working in the most optimum way currently available. It doesn’t mean you’ve always done it wrong, it just means that you should frequently evaluate your ways of working to find new, smarter ways to achieve the results you’re trying to achieve.

On a personal level, the constant questioning “why am I doing this” and then the subsequent evaluation of other ways of working should provide results even on an organizational scale.

The big benefits come when the business begins to question its ways of working. “Why do we have seven customer segments?” “Why do we stockpile the product before shipping it out?” “Why do our sales people evaluate leads and not just call people?”

These questions are life examples that I know businesses have asked themselves and eventually come up with new innovative ways of working. Whether it has been automating the sales funnel into the supply chain (“Just in time” orders, dividing the orders into multiple cars etc.), implementing marketing automation that allows for automated evaluated and nurtured leads to be handed to sales people to modelling the customer behaviour. These solutions have in common, that they require technology and information to pass freely between organizational silos and levels.

Source: BCG Fredrik Lind, “Capabilities for digital transformation”, 2016

Digitalization actions are usually divided into the areas they affect: Product Development (I wrote a blog about this few years back), Supply chain & delivery, marketing and sales, technology & IT and corporate functions. Based on research done by the Boston Consulting Group, investing into Marketing and Sales is the most critical aspect in securing impact to the bottom line, Supply chain comes as a good second.

Marketing is not just about advertising. The best marketing can be considered as a service. Providing customers with interesting topics, being able to provide customers with relevant information and seemingly objective reviews when they need it, your business is much more likely to engage and close the sales. Marketing automation and Marketing Technology are things that a business should keep an eye on, if not to implement themselves, at least to understand why you as an individual see some content where others don’t. It may have a profound effect on surprising things.

Digitalization is happening constantly around us on a much faster pace than any other change we’ve encounter on this scale. That’s why they call it a revolution.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.