From McKinsey: The seven decisions that matter in a digital transformation: A CEO’s guide to reinvention

The seven decisions that matter in a digital transformation: A CEO’s guide to reinvention –

A successful digital transformation requires making trade-off decisions. Here’s how successful CEOs guide their business’s reinvention.

Why Retail Is Getting “Experience” Wrong –

What Digital Business Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are you using?

Digital business key performance indicators (KPIs) designed to assess the progress of digital transformation are still not widely used or universally understood — it’s a key critical success factor essential to continued investment. These metrics and analytics should stand alone initially but always tied to the overall corporate strategic initiatives.


How would you describe your transformation progress? What set of relevant KPIs specific to the digital business transformation effort are your guidance?

With most enterprises already using a robust set of enterprise KPIs to measure the performance of their business, it may seem superfluous to create yet another set of KPIs. However, as with any large transformation or project, it is helpful to temporarily create transitional KPIs for the duration of the digital business effort. In Digital Business KPIs: Defining and Measuring Success, research firm Gartner sets out to look at how enterprise CEOs, chief digital officers and CIOs must move beyond the transformation stage and set metrics and goals that lay out a true digital business journey. In fact, according to Gartner, CEOs, chief digital officers (CDOs) and CIOs must:

Move beyond the transformation stage and set metrics and goals that lay out the digital business journey.

My experience validates the need to work closely from the outset with each senior business unit executive to quantify the potential economic benefits of digitalization.

Use startup-style metrics for new ventures, acquisitions and business models.

Curated from

Innovation? Actions, not Words. 

I live this every day, how about you? How would you rank order these threats?

Depends on the context and are interwoven together.

What have you found to be the best strategies for addressing these key barriers to success?

That will be my next blog post.

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Marketing in the Age of Consolidation 

  • Oct 2, 2016

[This article originally appeared onMediapost

Thank you, Andrew. 

Written by

Andrew B. Solmssen

Companies merge—it happens. And when it does, we typically get a lot of cheery press releases touting the improved efficiency and strength of the new brand portfolio. Much less discussed (and consequently lower on the list of priorities) is what to do with all of the digital marketing properties that are suddenly living under one roof. 

No matter how great a merger is for a company, it’s always a mess for the marketing and IT departments. Every digital property a brand owns needs to be thoroughly audited, from campaign pages to mobile apps—even presences on chatbots. Invariably, we find big mismatches in technologies, content types, and even the tone and design of imagery. No two brands ever make the same decision about how to spend their money and where to focus. As a result, you end up with everything from state-of-the-art commerce platforms to Flash microsites that haven’t been updated since the second Bush administration. 

Unfortunately, this leaves you with two choices, neither of which is 100% wonderful. The first is to stick with the legacy systems and maintain them independently. Because this option costs less money (and certainly less work) in the short run, many companies end up making this choice. 

The second is to solve the problem permanently: to make a blanket technology decision and adopt an enterprise platform that serves all brands together. If you want to see what this looks like in practice, start on the brands overview page of P&G or, then follow the links to the different brands. If you ignore the content, you’ll see the pages themselves have a lot of structural similarity. Menus and carousels tend to be in the same places; overall formatting looks similar, and yet, each is perfectly able to support the unique identity of its brand. 

Different priorities mean different levels of uniformity or variety, but the most sophisticated enterprise systems achieve scale by creating a set of themes, templates, and content. 

A theme is a collection of templates for a particular type of site or page, such as brand discovery or commerce. A template is a layout designed for a particular purpose, such as a product page or search results. And a feature is an item that sits inside a page, like a video player or quiz interface. Once you create all these things, they serve as reusable building blocks that allow you to efficiently construct a large number of websites and other properties for your brands. Needless to say, this also makes it easy to add new brands to your system and support additional mergers. 

Of course, adopting an overarching enterprise solution is certainly not as easy in the near term as leaving everything as it is. Commitments are scary, and you’ll need to make sure that your CTO and CMO can get on the same page to make the right choice. But once you do, the benefits are numerous: 

Unified data. This one advantage is reason enough to go enterprise. While data is critical for every company, it’s even more important when you manage multiple brands. With a single platform, you can compare metrics across individual sites and look for patterns of users who visit multiple brands. That way you’ll get a richer information set about your customers and unlock cross-marketing opportunities as well.  

Better creative. You might think an enterprise system reduces creativity, but having a library of features means you can implement functionality easily. Rather than reinventing the wheel, you can devote more energy to coming up with better ideas and new ways to drive traffic to the platform. 

Efficiency. With a template-based system, you merely have to build functionality once and then can adapt it to a suite of properties. A store locator widget, for example, can be rolled out across brands with minimal investment. 

Reduced longterm costs. Maintaining legacy systems usually means dealing with different technologies. As a result, you’ll have to manage multiple teams, often across different locations. With a single set of technologies you can significantly reduce the number of people who keep everything running and focus your investment on improving the experience and features of the site. 

Relevance. Increasingly, owned digital marketing properties need to integrate with other technologies. If you can’t interoperate easily with ad tech, social platforms, distribution networks, and so on, you’re more likely to get disrupted and disintermediated. In addition, unifying your digital presence can provide a big lift in search authority and cross linking. 

Stability. This may seem surprising, but it’s not. Legacy systems are often more broken than they appear. Under the microscope, they usually demonstrate that they are not just old, but non-functioning—with broken links, pages that appear strange on certain devices, and sign-up processes that get stuck in the middle. A single, new, enterprise system eliminates this problem and stays up to date as you move forward. Imagine the difference of only having one server that can go down. 

In other words, while it may seem easier to kick the can down the road, you’re simply buying yourself more work, less data, and less flexibility in the future. The most forward-thinking companies realize that the sooner you bite the bullet and choose an enterprise platform, the better.

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What is Transformational Agility?

via What is transformational agility


Marketers are adding to or overhauling their technology stacks, media and channels have proliferated and people and processes have had to adapt.

This is the root of the need for digital transformation.

But is the talk of agile change just lip service? What is it? And what are its benefits?

Off the back of roundtable discussions at our Digital Cream events, we write up trends reports detailing current obsessions within a particular discipline.

Last week we published People and Process: Agile working, collaborative tools, social enterprise and cloud-based marketing tech, in association with censhare.

A big title for a burgeoning issue in digital.

Phil Arnold, censhare UK MD, sums up the mood of the discussions around this nebulous topic:

Some [companies] are more advanced than others, having broken from functional silos to implement an integrated marketing approach and using processes and tools to improve their collaboration, agility and transparency.

However many are still frustrated by a lack of digital ‘buy-in’ from senior management or a fear factor engendered by lack of skills or education.

In short, the balance of people, process, tech and culture is a difficult one to strike.

Here is some of what delegates had to say.

How are businesses defining agile?

A move to social business

Social business is the engagement of the customer in product development and the company as a whole. This helps to drive change and customer satisfaction.

Agile with a capital A (not waterfall)

Agile in the project management sense differs from waterfall’s very linear approach to the stages of software development (conception, initiation, analysis, design, construction, testing, deployment).

Agile sees incremental development stages with testing and market response occurring throughout the process.


Using new communications technologies

Increasing the use of social and digital technology to support the flow of information in and out of the business and also around the business.

This could be using Slack to enable collaboration between teams, or Facebook Messenger to serve customers.


More bottom-up approaches to the business

More input from staff who work closer to the customer via rapid, concise weekly meetings. As opposed to the HIPPO effect (highest paid person’s opinion).

Working with greater efficiency

Working quicker and in a more efficient manner. This isn’t magic, but has to be engendered by empowering staff and changing processes and personnel.

What are the benefits of transformational agility?

Competitive advantage

To be at the forefront in order to stand out from the competition. This differentiation is often more than simply customer-facing factors.

Companies often seek to recruit the most talented staff, by promoting progressive values and investment in digital.

Rationalising of costs

Digital transformation as a way to save money and to cut down on wastage. For example, moving a publication online.

Making products hit the market sooner

Measuring in weeks and not months.


Business understanding

Teams which were once siloed are increasingly working together.

Weekly catch-ups bring staff together and give people a more comprehensive/top-level understanding of what the business is up to.


Marketing and PR teams have the freedom to be more responsive and spontaneous.

This is ideal for jumping on trends and industry news.

Entrepreneurial behaviour

Teams have a clearer idea of who is responsible for what.

Developers have increased scope, which allows BAU to be more impactful on customer experience and product development.


Education = satisfaction

Education about new channels and other areas of the business leads to higher job satisfaction.

Newly gained skills improve efficiencies within the business but also expand individual job roles. Staff want progression.

More satisfied customers

With more channels open, and more time dedicated to hearing from customers, companies are delivering more.

Customers are in turn more satisfied, more engaged and more likely to provide repeat business.