‘Marketer, take control of digital transformation’

To be relevant and successful as a brand and company, you must be able to understand customer needs. Data plays a crucial role in this. During the PIM talk show on digitization on December 8, she spoke out sharply. “Marketing must take control and be the driver of digital transformation. Use technology to serve your customers well, to create the optimal experience and to realize your business model. “

First, Chang responded to Vinted’s approach that, with insights from sharp data analysis, radically transformed its business model and is currently the No. 1 platform for the private trade in used clothing. She endorsed his story: “As a marketer you really need such data insights to see which steps you need to take.” She also stated that it makes sense to distinguish between newcomers and established companies. “It’s relatively easy for start-ups, they use data and technology from the start to achieve their goals. It is a bigger challenge for existing companies. My advice is to them: don’t be afraid to go back to the drawing board. Ask yourself who you are as a company, what your mission is and what your business model can support. “

The three success factors of digital transformation

Digital transformation is by no means an end in itself, said Chang. “IT is a tool that can help you advance your business. If you want to get ahead, you have to stay ahead. “

Successful digital transformation has three pillars that are all equally important: technology, processes and people.

Chang: “The technology is just there, the question is: which technology do you use? That starts with determining who you are as a company and as a brand, and what you want to achieve. Technology is a means to achieve your goals and can help you fundamentally change your business model. This subsequently has a major impact on the processes, the second pillar. At least as important is the third pillar, the people. These are your customers, your employees and society. What do you promise to customers and how can you deliver on that? What do you want to mean for society? How do you help and do you want your employees to be able to work? The answers to these questions together determine which technology is relevant to you and how you can use it. “

How Dell Technologies itself is digitally transforming

The fact that it is effective to view technology, people and processes together is endorsed by a case of Dell Technologies. Michael Dell already had the vision in 2009: everyone should be able to work from home effortlessly. “That has been achieved step by step,” says Chang, “It started with a login option on Outlook and has expanded to what it is today; be able to work fully remotely. Corona has given that an extra push; Today, over 90% of all Dell Technologies employees have the facilities to effortlessly work remotely. What is particularly special is the attention that Dell Technologies has given to people and processes. A working group was started in 2013 to investigate what it means for people to work remotely and in 2016 we defined personas to determine what kind of facilities different types of employees need. “

Working remotely has also really become part of Dell’s corporate culture

Marketers at the wheel

For an effective digital transformation, marketers should play a much more driving role, says Chang. “In the first place, marketers stand for the customer’s interest. Technology is extremely important to determine what that customer needs and to keep your promises. First, as a source of data and information. That is why I say: the marketing Ps of Kotler can get a D, from data marketeer. Your greatest asset as a marketer is the knowledge you have of customers, that you know what customers want, which customer experience goes with it and of course where the market is going. Data is indispensable in this regard, also for building the business case and convincing management or investors to make the digital investment. Then technology plays an important role in fulfilling the customer promises. Which technology aspects can you use to make the customer happy? What kind of business model works best and how can you achieve that with technology? Vinted is an excellent example of this. They went back to basics and drastically changed their business model, with success. “

Plant as a data point

An example from her own practice is a grower who wants to grow more sustainably. Their concrete goals are that they want to reduce the food shortage, that they want to make the earth more livable and that they want to use less water. They achieve this by growing in vertical horticulture. Chang: “It only starts with that. They regard each plant as a data point. With the data they collected in this way, and the solutions they were able to develop technologically, they managed to use 95% less water, become 395 times more productive (you read that right, 395 times!) And work completely without pesticides. This is a perfect example of what you can do with data and technology. As a marketer, do you therefore mainly ask yourself: how much impact do you want to make? Because the technology is available. “

Digital transformation index

To gain good insight into the digital development of the market, Dell Technologies has the “Digital Transformation Index” drawn up every two years. This shows that the Netherlands has developed considerably in the past two years, but is lagging behind the European average. “We can’t sit back and hope it gets better. It’s time to take action and stay. It is also striking that many companies cite the lack of data insights as an obstacle to development, but they do not mention it as a topic in which they want to invest. “

The biggest challenge is to make the right choices. The marketer must play a more important role in this

Marketer: you hold the key

The amount of data and technology available is enormous. The biggest challenge is to make the right choices. The marketer must play a more important role in this. Chang: “If you do not yet have sufficient insight into data, look into it. Supplement your existing marketing knowledge with knowledge about data insights and hire people who are good at it, learn from each other, combine the qualities. Use data to get to know your customers even better and to respond better to their wishes. You do not do this alone, you do that together with all your stakeholders in the business model. It is all connected. As a marketer you are there to always monitor the customer’s perspective, to ensure that technology actually contributes to the business model and to the success of your organization. Make sure you understand those connections, take your role and make an impact. “

Wankie Chan was in conversation with Aljan de Boer during the talk show of Platform Innovation in Marketing (PIM) on December 8, 2020. The next event is the PIM Trendfest, on January 21, 2021.


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