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Digital strategy – the road to success

13th September 2016

There are many businesses which have adopted digital strategy well, and they are already demonstrating that this is a very effective way to develop competitive advantage, achieve cost-savings through efficiencies, and to inspire and motivate their staff.  Many recent research reports are indicating that strong digital strategy will mean the difference between success and growth over the years ahead, some analysts are indicating further failure of up to a quarter of businesses over the next few years if they don’t embrace digital as a part of business strategy.

Capgemini published a good report indicating some of the ways in which this is happening – digital leaders in business out-performing their peers in every industry. Clearly digital has potential to impact on business success in the years ahead no matter which industry and sector, and so every business leader need to understand the potential which digital can bring and how to harness that in their business plans.

Here are some of the businesses which have excelled in their approach to digital leadership and digital strategy - 

  • McDonald’s – The fast-good giants were already making progress with its use of digital as part of the store experience. With its McDonald’s app to engage customers in knowing more about the store, gathering vouchers and locating restaurants, then adding in-restaurant interactive ordering boards, Wi-Fi and charging points. The next stage has been to integrate payment systems effectively allowing customers to order and pay for food in advance of visiting or collecting their food choices.
    McDonald's France
  • Pages Jaunes (or Yellow Pages in France) – The strategy for a business which has relied so heavily on print media for all of its history so far is a fascinating one. It focuses very heavily on the ability of the business leader (Jean Pierre) to provide a top quality digital vision for the business which has motivated and inspired staff and customers to engage in the service in new digital ways.
    ‘The company was not in the business of producing paper directories; it was in the business of connecting small and medium-sized businesses to local customers. Paper is just an outdated technology; digital is a better one.’
    The business is now regarded as a leader in France for advertising and information – www.pagesjaunes.fr is one of France’s top 10 most visited websites, with over 80 million visits per month.
  • Burberry – The CEO Angela Ahrendts took on a major challenge inside this business, and one which needed to bring the iconic 155-year-old fashion brand into the digital age and find competitive advantage in the process. Her vision was to be the first company to become truly digital end-to-end, providing access to the brand for anyone who wanted to ‘touch’ the brand. The digital transformation has already seen a complete overhaul of their website and online engagement, as well as the in-store customer experience and a global ERP system to bring effective and efficient processes across the business. Having succeeded in her vision with high-level success, Ahrendts has since moved on to become head of retail and online stores with Apple.

And so, learning from these case studies of digital leadership and digital transformation, we all need to review how we are looking at the years ahead, and how digital technologies can offer new customer experiences, new efficiencies inside our business, and new routes to market too. If you haven’t already developed your digital vision as a part of your next business plan – then there is no better time to make a start than now.