Many established businesses are going through unprecedented change. There are numerous external factors as to why this is happening and in my experience many of the changes are due to these 3 reasons.
1. The Change In Technology
Most industries are being impacted by the changing external environment and this is mostly due to the change in technology (a.k.a digital disruption). Technology has changed the game and has meant that customers are now more in control of their purchasing decisions. With new competitors entering the market everyday (think Uber and Airbnb) this has put many businesses under pressure to adapt to the market conditions and come up with new ways (using technology) to service their customers.
2. The Focus On The Customer Experience
The marketing profession has changed due to the need for marketing professionals to be tech savvy and to be able to market digitally. In 2016 there has been talk of the rise of the "Chief Marketing Technologist" in business.
Consumer's purchasing decisions are becoming more and more complex (due to multiple devices being used over a longer period of time). There continues to be a rise in the use of mobile devices to purchase products and services. And customers are simply not buying into the traditional silo advertising and non-interactive marketing strategies that have worked in the past.
With this in mind businesses are starting to focus on the entire customer experience. To succeed they must ensure that their brand strategy and positioning is reflective of the look and feel. Importantly their people (and the culture) must be aligned to their brand so that the business is delivering on their brand/customer promise.
3. The Focus On The Employee Experience
Millennials entering the workforce have changed the world at work. They demand more flexibility, strong leadership and growth opportunities. If they don't experience this they will leave to pursue those elsewhere or they'll start their own business that, at times, has been the catalyst to disrupt a whole industry.
Millennials want to work for businesses that have a purpose that motivates and inspires them (often one that gives back to the community in some way). It's important to have a clearly defined purpose (according to Simon Sinek this is called the "why") not only to attract customers, but to attract good employees as well.
If employees are having a positive experience at work, that is aligned to the brand positioning, they are more likely to provide that same experience to their customers. This is the ultimate goal of creating a great employee experience.
These three factors mean that to survive businesses must not only become more agile, customer focused and innovative. They must have a strong culture that matches their brand, so that all their people are living and breathing what the business is all about. To attract the best talent they must have an empowered workforce with strong leadership and growth opportunities ensuring that all people reach their potential in the workplace. Plus have an inspiring vision and purpose that is aligned to making a difference in the world. And finally, by creating a positive employee experience this in turn will create an outstanding customer experience.
By focusing on the entire customer and employee experience businesses will have the best chance of succeeding during this unprecedented time of change.
By Roxanne Strauss