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 http://www.consultparagon.com

From McKinsey: What ‘digital’ really means

What ‘digital’ really means

Everyone wants to go digital. The first step is truly understanding what that is.

July 2015 | byKarel Dörner and David Edelman

Companies today are rushing headlong to become more digital. But what does digital really mean?

For some executives, it’s about technology. For others, digital is a new way of engaging with customers. And for others still, it represents an entirely new way of doing business. None of these definitions is necessarily incorrect. But such diverse perspectives often trip up leadership teams because they reflect a lack of alignment and common vision about where the business needs to go. This often results in piecemeal initiatives or misguided efforts that lead to missed opportunities, sluggish performance, or false starts.

Even as CEOs push forward with their digital agendas, it’s worth pausing to clarify vocabulary and sharpen language. Business leaders must have a clear and common understanding of exactly what digital means to them and, as a result, what it means to their business (for a deeper look at how companies can develop meaningful digital strategies and drive business performance, see “Raising your Digital Quotient”).

It’s tempting to look for simple definitions, but to be meaningful and sustainable, we believe that digital should be seen less as a thing and more a way of doing things. To help make this definition more concrete, we’ve broken it down into three attributes: creating value at the new frontiers of the business world, creating value in the processes that execute a vision of customer experiences, and building foundational capabilities that support the entire structure.

Creating value at new frontiers

Being digital requires being open to reexamining your entire way of doing business and understanding where the new frontiers of value are. For some companies, capturing new frontiers may be about developing entirely new businesses in adjacent categories; for others, it may be about identifying and going after new value pools in existing sectors.

Unlocking value from emerging growth sectors requires a commitment to understanding the implications of developments in the marketplace and evaluating how they may present opportunities or threats. The Internet of Things, for example, is starting to open opportunities for disrupters to use unprecedented levels of data precision to identify flaws in existing value chains. In the automotive industry, cars connected to the outside world have expanded the frontiers for self-navigation and in-car entertainment. In the logistics industry, the use of sensors, big data, and analytics has enabled companies to improve the efficiency of their supply-chain operations.

At the same time, being digital means being closely attuned to how customer decision journeys are evolving in the broadest sense. That means understanding how customer behaviors and expectations are developing inside and outside your business, as well as outside your sector, which is crucial to getting ahead of trends that can deliver or destroy value.

Creating value in core businesses

Digital’s next element is rethinking how to use new capabilities to improve how customers are served. This is grounded in an obsession with understanding each step of a customer’s purchasing journey—regardless of channel—and thinking about how digital capabilities can design and deliver the best possible experience, across all parts of the business. For example, the supply chain is critical to developing the flexibility, efficiency, and speed to deliver the right product efficiently in a way the customer wants. By the same token, data and metrics can focus on delivering insights about customers that in turn drive marketing and sales decisions.

Critically, digital isn’t about just working to deliver a one-off customer journey. It’s about implementing a cyclical dynamic where processes and capabilities are constantly evolving based on inputs from the customer, fostering ongoing product or service loyalty. Making this happen requires an interconnected set of four core capabilities:

Proactive decision making. Relevance is the currency of the digital age. This requires making decisions, based on intelligence, that deliver content and experiences that are personalized and relevant to the customer. Remembering customer preferences is a basic example of this capability, but it also extends to personalizing and optimizing the next step in the customer’s journey. Data providers such as ClickFox, for example, blend data from multiple channels into one view of what customers are doing and what happens as a result. In the back office, analytics and intelligence provide near-real-time insights into customer needs and behaviors that then determine the types of messages and offers to deliver to the customer.

Contextual interactivity. This means analyzing how a consumer is interacting with a brand and modifying those interactions to improve the customer experience. For example, the content and experience may adapt as a customer shifts from a mobile phone to a laptop or from evaluating a brand to making a purchasing decision. The rising number of customer interactions generates a stream of intelligence that allows brands to make better decisions about what their customers want. And the rapid rise of wearable technology and the Internet of Things represents the latest wave of touchpoints that will enable companies to blend digital and physical experiences even more.

Real-time automation. To support this cyclical give-and-take dynamic with customers and help them complete a task now requires extensive automation. Automation of customer interactions can boost the number of self-service options that help resolve problems quickly, personalize communications to be more relevant, and deliver consistent customer journeys no matter the channel, time, or device. Automating the supply chain and core business processes can drive down costs, but it’s also crucial to providing companies with more flexibility to respond to and anticipate customer demand.

Journey-focused innovation. Serving customers well gives companies permission to be innovative in how they interact with and sell to them. That may include, for example, expanding existing customer journeys into new businesses and services that extend the relationship with the customer, ideally to the benefit of both parties. These innovations in turn fuel more interactions, create more information, and increase the value of the customer-brand relationship.

Building foundational capabilities

The final element of our definition of digital is about the technological and organizational processes that allow an enterprise to be agile and fast. This foundation is made up of two elements:

Mind-sets. Being digital is about using data to make better and faster decisions, devolving decision making to smaller teams, and developing much more iterative and rapid ways of doing things. Thinking in this way shouldn’t be limited to just a handful of functions. It should incorporate a broad swath of how companies operate, including creatively partnering with external companies to extend necessary capabilities. A digital mind-set institutionalizes cross-functional collaboration, flattens hierarchies, and builds environments to encourage the generation of new ideas. Incentives and metrics are developed to support such decision-making agility.

System and data architecture. Digital in the context of IT is focused on creating a two-part environment that decouples legacy systems—which support critical functions and run at a slower pace—from those that support fast-moving, often customer-facing interactions. A key feature of digitized IT is the commitment to building networks that connect devices, objects, and people. This approach is embodied in a continuous-delivery model where cross-functional IT teams automate systems and optimize processes to be able to release and iterate on software quickly.

Digital is about unlocking growth now. How companies might interpret or act on that definition will vary, but having a clear understanding of what digital means allows business leaders to develop a shared vision of how it can be used to capture value.

About the authors

Karel Dörner is a principal in McKinsey’s Munich office, and David Edelman is a principal in the Boston office.

The Mobile Strategy Is the Strategy

The Mobile Strategy Is the Strategy

by Chuck Martin , mCommerce Daily email newsletter.

Some interesting insights that pertain to mobile commerce came out of today’s Mobile Insider Summit.

In the opening keynote, JWT Executive Creative Director Eric Weisberg said: “If you don’t have a mobile strategy in 2013, you don’t have a strategy at all.”

Though he was referring to mobile in general, this view and others can easily be applied specifically to commerce.

For example, if a retailer or brand does not have a path on how to interact with mobile shoppers in the future, they have a great chance to fall behind or totally fail.

Weisberg’s general advice to marketers was to build on what people are doing rather than interrupt what they’re doing.

This could easily apply to in-aisle shoppers. Rather than sending ‘interrupting’ ad messages, markets could send more thoughtful and useful service-oriented messages.

The hypothetical example Intel has used in the past is that when a shopper is in a store trying to decide which computer chip is best, to send a signal to illuminate each computer with a certain chip.

An example at the summit was in grocery shopping, to highlight specific products in-aisle that pertain to someone with specific dietary requirements. Rather than an irrelevant ad message at the moment, the mobile shopper could be sent advice helping them do what they are in the process of doing, in this case shopping and searching for specific foods.

At one of the roundtable sessions entitled “What Does a Mobile Strategy Look Like” yesterday, there also was more a less a consensus that a mobile strategy should be more accurately viewed as a strategy, inferring that mobile is core to any overall business strategy.

The very thoughtful participants at the summit who are grappling with the complex and nitty-gritty strategies and tactics for moving mobile forward totally get this.

But when they leave after the end of the three-day summit tomorrow, some will return to face the realities of under-resourced mobile efforts.

However, it could be worse. They could be in one of those companies that does not have a strategy at all.

15 CMO’s say what’s on their mind for digital marketing in 2013

Posted on December 23, 2012 by Rob Petersen

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“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted. The trouble is I don’t know which half,” said department store magnet, John Wanamaker, in 1902.

The statement is as relevant today as over 100 years ago only to more media channels. Because, according to 2012 State of Marketing report from the Chief Marketing Officer Council, 27% said TV was the most impactful medium where 44% said search was the superior vehicle.

The report also said executives were particularly enthused by search and social media but not satisfied with their current digital marketing performance. Roughly 50% said digital strategy was one of the most important challenges for the the New Year.

What else do they say? Is it the same as John? Here what 15 CMO’s say is on their mind for digital marketing in 2013.

  1. Cloud computing will merge with big data and dashboard tools into something that truly offers marketers a more holistic view of all their consumer touch points. – Lisa Archambault , Manager, Display Marketing, Zappos Development, Inc.
  2. More companies will start to address the challenge of integrating digital platforms into their overall customer experience. – Mike Ashton , Managing Director ABCG
  3. B2B commerce is going to be a trend in 2013 because direct-to-business sellers are realizing that there’s a huge opportunity to meet the business buyer’s consumer sensibilities and are leveraging some of the best practices acquired from the B2C world. – Sean Cook , CEO, Shop Visible
  4. Few businesses have yet to embrace the power of video. Video offers greater retention and up to five times greater recall than print, according to TubeMogul. – Stacey Coopes , CEO, Ford Direct
  5. I think we’ll see a tighter link between sales and marketing systems, which will lead to a bigger focus on personalized experiences for both inbound and outbound marketing. – Eduardo Conrado , Chief Marketing Officer, Motorala
  6. Thanks to digital marketing, marketers are flooded with highly accountable data of online behavior. Conversion data is all tracked accurately, just waiting for ROI calculations. – Gabe Delporta , CMO, Lending Tree
  7. I fully expect the joint industry effort Making Measurement Make Sense to establish the digital Gross Ratings Point (GRP) as the prevailing metric for premium digital media transactions. – Patrick Dolan , EVP and COO, IAB
  8. It’s less about technology and more about content, messaging and integration into a marketing-communications campaign. – Susan Helstab , VP-Marketing, Four Season
  9. CIOs and CMOs need to work together on major initiatives like a master data management strategy, social media, and building these systems of engagement so we can reach customers through the channel or device of their choice. CIOs and CMOs will be the co-designers of their company’s total customer experience. – Jon Iwate , SVP, Marketing and Communication – IBM
  10. Relevance of message is clearly better achieved through digital and social, as well as the ability to have a conversation. … [You] can have folks give you immediate feedback”. – Alfredo Martell , Senior VP, Marketing and Product Management, Caribou Coffee
  11. CMO’s are charging into Big Data. Data and web analytics are going to be big hiring priorities for marketing departments,”  “It’s a directive from the top. The CEO is saying to the CMO, ‘Listen, customer preference is controlling the switch, so come to me with accurate measurement, give me visibility into the marketing spend.” – Liz Miller, VP of the CMO Council
  12. In the coming year, successful CMOs will figure out how to reintegrate great brand storytelling (a priority of old) with innovative analytical marketing to provide an emotional connection that resonates with consumers who are becoming increasingly immune to sharper-edged analytical marketing tactics, like retargeting and couponing. – Deborah Op den Kamp , Executive Director, CMO, and Digital Consumer Practices, Russell Reynolds Associates
  13. This concept of social, local, mobile — SoLoMo, as we like to say — I think becomes a tool not only for us to get our point across from a marketing standpoint but for a lot of our vendors who are our best partners to get their point across.” – Stephen Quinn , CMO, Walmart
  14. Dollars follow eyeballs online. IAB reported a 23% year-over-year increase in online spending for the first quarter. We are experiencing the continuing trend of consumers wanting to live online, not just transact online. – Josh Shatkin-Margolis , CEO, Magnet
  15. We don’t believe in digital marketing. We believe in marketing in a digital world, and there’s a huge difference.” – Clive Sirkin , Senior Vice President, Kimberly-Clark

Like these CMO’s, if digital marketing is one of your most important challenges in 2013, you might want to consider Biznology Jumpstart Workshops . If you’re like 44% of CMO’s who believe search marketing is a superior vehicle, there’s On-Site Search Marketing Training  available now to jumpstart your business early rather than later in the coming year.

Are the challenges these CMO’s are facing similar to those at your company? What would be John Wanamaker’s biggest challenge if he was still with us, today?

4 Mobile Trends To Watch For In 2013

4 Mobile Trends To Watch For In 2013

by Mark Simpson , Oct 29, 2012, 6:27 AM
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We’ve all known about the “power of mobile” for quite some time now. Smartphones already have a big impact on the travel industry, and with the steady increase of mobile adoption, they will continue to heavily influence the way consumers make travel plans.

By the end of 2012, roughly 36 million Americans will have used a smartphone to research travel. And eMarketer forecasts that by 2016, the number of people who will actually book travel by smartphone will jump from 15.8 million to 36.3 million annually.

Clearly, mobile is a channel with huge potential for the travel industry. Unfortunately, however, mobile booking experiences have yet to reach their potential. Mobile-optimized—or even mobile-specific—digital assets are certainly must-haves, but for the travel industry, especially, it can’t end there. You have a mobile-friendly site? Great, start testing and optimizing it. You have a new strategy for targeted offers and promotions? Wonderful, make sure you’re using personalization to get them right. And don’t forget about tablet users—a mobile site and tablet site are similar, but they offer different experiences.

In 2013, we’ll see the travel industry leaders continue to expand their digital and mobile footprint. After all, if they want to claim their share of the 36.3 million customers booking by smartphone, they will have to. Here are some trends to watch for next year—and to consider planning for as well:

1. Mobile site testing and optimization.

Now that many brands have a mobile site or app in place, they are beginning to test its content’s performance for their audience. A/B and multivariate testing are now designed to perform specifically for mobile sites. It’s essential that everything from strategy to testing to optimization programs is in place to ensure that your mobile presence is helping you achieve desired business goals. When it comes to mobile content, if you aren’t testing, you’re guessing—and you certainly won’t be able to increase conversion rates without it.

Insight from testing will also give you a wealth of information about visitors—enabling you to devise a strategy for adapting and personalizing the mobile experience for each visitor, for integrating with other digital properties, and for connecting the mobile experience with the offline one—all while measuring the impact of your initiatives on engagement, revenue and customer loyalty.

2. Personalization of mobile content.
As mobile-rich sites and apps increasingly serve travelers better, faster and in new, creative ways, consumers are more frequently willing to give brands access to their information, such as sharing their locations, check-ins, demographics, pictures and activities. It also means that consumers are coming to expect an enhanced, personalized mobile experience, and the brands that keep pace with this changing landscape will dominate the market.

While travelers often have very definitive needs (How do I get from Point A to Point B? Where is my hotel? Where should I eat?), they’re also more open to the pleasures of relaxation, spontaneity and novelty than they are in their normal lives and routines. Real-time personalization in a mobile environment allows sites and apps to “think on their feet” for travelers, offering them content in real time, based on their current behavior, rather than on their accumulated data from past (and often no longer relevant) visits. For example, when visitors log into your site/app during a trip, you may choose to re-target them based on their recent search information—with promotions like tickets to a local attraction or a discounted hotel stay on an extra night. These types of promotions could entice them to buy anew from you or a partner, or even extend their trip.

3. Optimizing for tablets.

When it comes to strategy, e-commerce marketers tend to group tablets and smartphones into the same mobile category. But the reality is, the typical browsing and buying habits of a smartphone user are quite distinct from an average tablet user. In fact, a recent study from Econsultancy cited that the Average Order Values via tablet commerce were at least 1.5 times higher than those of smartphones.

Just as a traditional website does not work on a mobile screen, a mobile site is not necessarily right for a tablet experience. Expect to see different strategies developed for this in-between device as the leaders recognize its opportunities. For example, it’s worth considering the development of a parallel site that takes into account the different functionality and features of the tablet over the mobile phone—from larger screen size to keyboard usage, to pop-overs and CTAs. You have a bigger screen, yes, but the user is still engaging via “touch.” The decision will ultimately depend on the brand and the sophistication of the mobile offer, but it is an issue that requires consideration and planning.

4. Using mobile to extend personalized experiences across channels.

While you should get excited about the possibilities of mobile, it’s also important to remember that mobile should be treated as part of your marketing mix and should therefore provide a consistent experience. The personalized content people receive on their smartphone should work in conjunction with anything they find online or in other marketing channels. Mobile may be new, flashy and exciting, but you never want customers to feel that the mobile experience is somehow disconnected from their other experiences of your brand—or worse, to get the feeling that they are interacting with a different brand altogether!

Furthermore, browsing and buying behavioral data gained from mobile testing and personalization data will soon be used to enhance the customer experience across websites, email marketing, social media and even in person. Not only should your content and branding remain consistent, but the information customers receive across the mediums should reflect their real-time location in the booking journey.

In the end, some travel companies might not be confident or even fail in their attempts as they release mobile-specific sites or apps, but that’s why it’s all the more important as we continue to spiral into a tech-savvy consumer era that companies stay ahead of the curve. Being prepared to adapt and change via significant user testing and targeting will have you becoming a trendsetter in no time.