The real benefit of digital transformation is that it dares organizations to dream.
With the right automation, digitization tools and skill sets, companies can turn aspirations into achievements that otherwise would remain out of reach.
From Virtual to Real
But worthy achievements require vision. One of the technology trends that is currently inspiring company planners to dream is the metaverse. It has the potential for immersive, personalized, collaborative experiences by integrating augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) with the internet. With its ability to connect people and technologies from virtually anywhere, the metaverse is a realm worth exploring for organizations of all types.
Through gaming and other immersive interactions, companies could leverage the metaverse to present products and services in new ways. They can stage scenarios to gauge utility and user satisfaction. For manufacturing giant 3M, for instance, the metaverse could serve as a virtual showcase for products, complete with virtual store aisles where retailers can get ideas to display items, says Rick Fryar, IT architect at 3M.
Retailers could develop virtual planograms that reveal how products would look on shelves, how consumers would see them, and how the displays might affect store traffic patterns. Virtual secret shoppers could even offer feedback on layout and presentation.
The use of the metaverse isn’t confined to retail, of course. Manufacturers have started leveraging it to design and test products. Some companies use it for training and employee onboarding. Other organizations have started using the metaverse to test out practices and tasks in areas such as surgery and machine maintenance.
In addition to the metaverse, organizations that embrace digital transformation have plenty of other options to explore digital offerings.
Financial services company BMO is taking advantage of the live streaming platform, Twitch, to better know its customers. To that end, the company’s marketing team launched a Twitch channel to engage customers through gaming and conversations with bank employees.
These interactions create opportunities for the bank to learn about customer needs that can be matched to relevant products and services, says Ali Kazerani, Senior Manager of Marketing Strategy at BMO. Through the channel, bank employees can share information with less-experienced patrons about mortgage planning or how to manage savings accounts, to name a few.
Twitch-based conversations feel comfortable to customers and deliver positive results, Kazerani says. And they could be replicated in a number of other company-specific settings.
Live streaming isn’t the only innovative digital tool at BMO. The financial services company has been A/B testing artificial intelligence (AI) for customer service personalization. When users log on to their accounts, they can view personalized, contextualized content.
And personalization matters to all customers. According to Gartner, “71% of B2C and 86% of B2B customers expect companies to be well informed about their personal information during an interaction.”
BMO is also looking at transactional data to refine its offerings. For instance, by analyzing data from a declined credit card transaction, the bank can prepare its call center staff for an interaction with the cardholder that can lead to a much faster resolution of the customer’s issue.
Other tried-and-true practices to engage customers include the use of SEO. 3M, for instance, has leveraged it in its globalization strategy to build country-specific content, which makes it easier for customers to find information on the company’s websites.
When Marketing and IT Collaborate
While digital transformation opens numerous paths to innovation, success requires the right mindset. Marketing professionals need to have an open mind about ideas that originate in other departments and the tools to employ to achieve their goals.
Collaboration between the marketing and IT departments is essential. The teams should work together to set expectations and timelines. This fosters a spirit of collaboration and trust, resulting in a joint sense of achievement when a project is successful.
Having the right technology is also important. Organizations need the tools and platforms that provide flexibility to pivot when necessary — to make course corrections when a project isn’t going quite as expected. A gradual approach to digital transformation typically works best, allowing organizations to introduce one service at a time and learn from each one.
That’s why the use of the minimum viable product (MVP) model, which enables the introduction of a product with just enough features to draw interest, can help make a quick determination of whether something will work. Both 3M and BMO have leveraged the model in their digitization journeys — watch this video to learn more.
With the proper tools, mindset, and practices, companies can set their sights on the digital future and turn their aspirations into real business outcomes. Curious about the solution enabling this innovative approach? Request a demo of HCL Digital Experience or learn more here.