Bringing the morning session to a close, Partner at PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Monty Hamilton took to the stage to discuss the five ways in which brands can embrace digital transformation. We won’t give away all of the surprises here – because it’s definitely worth taking the time to watch his entire talk below- but here’s a sneak peek at the highlights:
Data: Data has changed the game for both brands and consumers. The knowledge and insights gained from it have helped brands “create better, more efficient, and more convenient experiences” that truly surprise and delight customers. To do this, however, brands must recognize a few things: 1) that data is already currency in today’s digital world; 2) that brands must not only use data to meet customer expectations, but instead to stretch them; and 3) that data must be liberated from organizational siloes so that the insights gleaned can benefit all parts of a business.
- AI & the Machine: The convergence of technology and human life is greater now than ever before – thanks in big part to our smartphones. As mobile technologies become more intelligent and perceptive, brands can tap into that keen sense of spatial awareness to gain insights that can change, impact, and improve even the most commonplace aspects of daily life. Whether it’s creating a smoother Uber ride or shifting perceptions about the convenience of air travel with the rise of driverless cars, artificial intelligence, when leveraged with the consumer’s wants and needs in mind, can ultimately be the key to creating better customer experiences.
- Mixed Reality: Who says the only way to type is with your hands? Well, according to Hamilton, we’re not far off from being able to type faster with our eyes thanks to the rise of augmented reality (AR) technologies. And that’s just the beginning. As “mixed reality” increasingly becomes one of the many ways consumers engage with brands, there’s an opportunity for brands to translate those experiences into new markets that will alter the customer experience and shift customer expectations in a big way.
- Culture: Today, “technology is too far ahead of culture for us to simply accept it,” said Hamilton. “It’s better, faster, and cheaper than ever before.” Here’s the hitch: because technology is evolving (culture) at such a rapid pace, it’s become hard for brands and consumers to keep up. In fact, there is oftentimes a fear to embrace the unknown even though, as Hamilton put it, “we must embrace change.” There are a few things brands can do to prepare themselves to do this and bring culture to life through internal practices: 1) create collaborative working environments; 2) embrace human-centered design; 3) build lean, effective teams; and 4) adopt agile business practices.
- Customer: Brands have recently talked about “extreme customer expectations.” The truth is, however, that consumers don’t actually think their expectations are all that extreme. This is because expectations are constantly evolving as customer experiences continue to change and improve. In short, the more brands do to create better customer experiences, the more consumers come to expect those great customer experiences as the baseline. Anything less is subpar. In fact, this is so much the case today that a single awesome experience a consumer has with one brand can have “a halo effect across all other service providers within a consumer’s day-to-day life.” Long gone are the days of simply meeting customer expectations; today, “brands have to surpass expectations.”
Wrapping up this incredibly insightful talk, Hamilton explained that brands must have the “knowledge to transform the business, the imagination to create an experience, and the trust to deliver those expectations through technology.”
To get the full scoop, be sure to watch Hamilton’s full presentation below: