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Don’t Do Digital Transformation, Design It

This post first appeared in CMO Australia in late 2017. Thanks to Nadia Cameron for a great interview!

Too many organisations are “doing” before “designing” when it comes to digital transformation and customer experience.

As a result, they are not going deep enough into insights analysis and cultural change.

That’s the view of managing principal of Storyminers and experience design expert, Mike Wittenstein. He recently caught up with CMO to discuss the ongoing challenges many marketing leaders and their brands are facing when coping with the rapid organisational change presented by digital disruption and next-generation customer engagement.

Wittenstein agreed that with the arrival of more technology at the front end of engagement, marketing and customer experience are aggressively coming together. “Budgets are shifting a lot and there’s less in the tech camp and more in the revenue generation side of things,” he says.

People management and ways of working need to be overhauled, Wittenstein said. Certainly in Australia, there have been growing examples of CMOs actively partnering with their customer service, operational and people and culture counterparts to make that happen. Extensive investment is being made into reskilling marketing teams to meet the new demands of being more holistically customer focused.

Yet for Wittenstein, there’s nowhere near enough change by design going on when it comes to digital transformation. He identified two fallouts arising as organisations look to digitise everything. The first is too many companies are focusing attention on short-term gain and reacting to market conditions. Instead, they should be putting the emphasis on wholesale business change and sustainable growth.

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