Medium Insights, Pricepoints! Concurs PostThere is no “technology industry”

I bookmarked There is no “technology industry” on Medium.

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.

waterfall

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.

slack

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.

agility

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.

Responsiveness

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.

scope

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.

Smart Jobs ENTP

BCG Perspectives 

Check out @bcgperspectives’s Tweet: https://twitter.com/bcgperspectives/status/751917351885475840?s=09

siriusdecisions_toptech

CMO’s Top Technology Investments 2016

PSFK Future of Retail 2016 Summary by Digital Intelligence Today

 

Shopper Experience

Here’s a speed summary and embed of PSFK’s latest report on the Future of Retail 2016, with 10 practical recommendations (with examples) for designing a new shopper experience that will build value, drive sales and boost loyalty.

There’s some good practical thinking in there with some stimulating examples. Psychologically, recommendations #1, #2 and #10 are particularly strong.

Enhancing Purchase Path

1. CREATE CONFIDENCE – Providing shoppers with the tools and advice to help them discover new products  and choose the option best suited to their lifestyles and need (product immersion + guided recommendations). Examples: @Sephora online matching service for ideal perfume, @ThePirch tryvertising

2. ELIMINATE OBSTACLES – Saving customers time and effort (#ConvenienceTech) along the purchase path through streamlined technology and services (1-click transactions, shop ahead, purchase anywhere platforms). Examples: @Starbucks order ahead on smartphone, @Macys scan garments on the rack to get them delivered them to the fitting room, @MikMakTV shoppable videos

Building Better Relationships

3. DEMOCRATIZE ACCESS – Opening the door for consumers to take advantage of services and experiences that were previously too exclusive or expensive (customer concierges, aspirational experiences). Examples: @StichFix affordable personal shopper, @RebeccaMinkoff VR fashion show

4. RECOGNIZE & PERSONALIZE – Putting systems in place for remembering and acting on the purchase history and preferences of customers, and tailoring those experiences over time (360-degree service, predictive assistance). Examples: @Walgreens pharmacy app anticipates needs (e.g. Rx refills), @modaoperandi instore CRM for high-touch store service

5. PROMOTE TRANSPARENCY – Being upfront with consumers about the policies and processes that underlie the products and services that they’re buying into (reciprocal relationships, storied products). Examples: @Waitrose loyalty scheme allows members to pick their own deals. @Amazon Elements product line allows customers to track items from creation to expiration

Creating a Valuable Community

6. PERFECT PARTNERSHIPS – Creating additional value for customers by collaborating with like-minded companies to deliver expanded offerings (cross-channel rewards, additive experiences). Examples: @Gap + @VirginHotels – order from Gap, get delivered to hotel room in 3hrs, @Instacart + @AllRecipes 1-click ordering and delivery of ingrediants

7. OPTIMIZE OWNERSHIP – Building a responsive support network that provides expert service and educates consumers after a purchase is made (Cultivated expertise, always-on support). @Patagona – Apparel mending bus tours country, @goEnjoy hand deliver electronics for personalised set-up

8. CULTIVATE COMMUNITY – Creating opportunities for consumers and fans to come together around the halo of a brand to build value on top of existing products and services (cultural hubs, collaborative marketplaces). Examples: @bjornborg underwear launches dating app based on fitness, @audi Unite co-leasing program lets drivers share benefits of ownership at reduced cost

Elevating the Top Tier

9. ENCOURAGE ADVOCACY – Tapping consumers for their knowledge and feedback to create opportunities for them to advocate on your behalf (hopper-led exchange, crowd buy-in). Examples: @Sony First Flight crowdfunded platform allows brands to test future products, @chevrolet allows prospective buyers to talk to existing owners

10. DELIVER DELIGHT – Providing unexpected perks and promotions that re-energize existing relationships and build on the broader brand promise (insider exclusives). Examples: @kennethcole invites allows shoppers to text to open a store whenever they want, @nike runs invite-only experiences for influencers

Speed Summary: PSFK Future of Retail 2016 Report

via Digital Intelligence Today

Thank you Dr. Paul Marsden http://digitalintelligencetoday.com/author/admin/

siriusdecisions_infographic

CMOs Tell Us How Their Businesses Will Grow (Infographic)

Why Social Media Chat Bots Are the Future of Communication

Thank you Jan Rezab, Founder & Chairman of Socialbakers

This Quick Mental Exercise Will Bring You Immediate Clarity & Motivation on Medium.

I bookmarked This Quick Mental Exercise Will Bring You Immediate Clarity & Motivation on Medium.

Medium Insights, Blockchain — The End of the Middleman?

https://i2.wp.com/letstalkpayments.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Blockchain-Usecases-and-Startups.pngI bookmarked Blockchain — The End of the Middleman on Medium. Thank you! Lloyd Marino

Bitcoin, introduced with much hoopla in 2009 was supposed to change money forever. Instead of metal coins and paper bills, bitcoin is stored on computers, independent of any country or bank. However, despite the hype, bitcoin has so far proved unsuccessful — the value of a bitcoin has dropped to just $524 (as of May 2016). Only a handful of companies accept bitcoins. Surprisingly, the most valuable part of this once revolutionary new currency may be its data infrastructure — the blockchain.

The blockchain has the potential to reinvent any transaction that now requires going through a middleman, including finance, banking, contacts, and retail.

Brock Pierce, founder and managing partner at Blockchain Capital, sees enormous potential for blockchain, telling WIRED Retail, “This innovation is more substantial than the internet. The blockchain is going to have an even larger impact.”

Blockchain: No More Intermediaries

Before blockchain, buying and selling required an intermediary, a bank or broker who housed your financial data at their computers. When you transfer funds or make a purchase, a banker connects to the bank’s system to record the change.

No more. Blockchain replaces this central system with a decentralized ledger of chained records. Each record is connected to the one before and the one after it, yielding a traceable history of every transaction. No record can be deleted and no existing records can be altered.

For instance, when a purchase is made with bitcoin, the seller’s computer consults the blockchain ledger stored on thousands of other computers to see if the buyer owns the proper amount. If there is distributed consensus among the computers, a new data entry is added to the chain, showing the transfer.

Blockchain: Transforming the Financial World

Although programmers developed blockchain to run bitcoin, this infrastructure will soon manage many other types of information transfers, providing more services faster for consumers.

Blockchains have enormous implications for financial institutions. For instance, the Securities and Exchange Commission approved a plan by another firm, Overstock, to issue stock through blockchain. Wired quoted Michael Bodson, CEO of theDepository Trust & Clearing Corporation saying that through blockchain, “The industry has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reimagine and modernize its infrastructure to resolve long-standing operational challenges.”

Blockchain can soon reinvent banking, replacing “Too Big To Fail” institutions with computerized systems that are more efficient and more honest. Since every blockchain transaction preserves its own record, bank losses (and tax write-offs) could be much less. Banks would need fewer offices, freeing real-estate and lowering costs.

IBM and the Linux foundation are working on a Hyperledger project that would create private blockchains to manage supply chains, oversee contracts, and run other business applications requiring confidential data. Already Intel, Cisco, JP Morgan, Hitachi, Fujitsu, Wells Fargo, and others have announced support.

Smart Contracts Through Blockchain

Banking is only the beginning. In the future, blockchain’s ability to remove the middleman means it could support “smart contracts” with conditional clauses programmed into the blockchain. This makes the contract self-enforcing, by transferring funds only when the conditions are met. Ethereum has developed a decentralized platform to run such smart contracts for crowdsourcing, voting, and even new forms of currency.

Smart contracts could change entire fields of law. Blockchain wills could automatically take effect when a person dies, transferring inheritances without needing an executor. Replacing legal jargon with blockchain logic would require a different type of corporate lawyer with skills akin to a computer programmer. Imagine the implications for law schools!

The blockchain could soon revolutionize music and the other arts. Currently, most musicians and authors make little money from their work as most of the sales price is consumed by the publisher and retail store. This could change through blockchain agreements.

For instance, Mycelia, started by English singer-songwriter Imogen Heap, is developing a way to encode a blockchain contract into songs, so fans would pay the artist directly, without going through a record company. A blockchain e-reader could download ebooks directly from the authors, bypassing both publisher and bookstore, or even Amazon. And when more people have 3D printers, blockchain-locked templates could enable artists to earn greater profits from their designs for toys, figurines, and other art objects.

Future of Blockchains

Of course blockchain is not perfect. Because nothing can be removed from the chain, the blockchain ledger quickly swells to humongous size. And because each new entry must be verified by a consensus of linked computers, transactions take longer to be approved than in a traditional centralized system. Moreover, Michael Terpin, co-founder of BitAngels, warned that some startups are just replacing the word bitcoin with blockchain in their business proposals.

Despite these flaws, blockchain has enormous potential as a way to link, store, and track data. In the next few years, blockchains will offer consumers an alternative way to make purchases without bank and credit card fees. Soon after that blockchains will revolutionize all forms of data transfer–including music and video streaming and data backups.

Now that blockchain is being separated from bitcoin, its uses are unlimited. Traditional banks and retailers will need to adapt to blockchains or be themselves blocked out.