5 Digital Trends for 2016

20 Jan 2016

At the end of 2015, Forrester put out its top factors that will be critical to success in The Age of The Customer. We liked it so much, we thought we would do our own take. Here is what we think will be game changers in 2016.

Less Talk, More Obsession


This year, it is not enough to claim the ‘use’ of digital. A pretty, unused toolbox doesn’t impress anyone. In the Age of the Customer, digital must be at the core of all business changes, and real, driven change will only be successful if the customer is at the heart of it all. It is not enough to be customer-centric, the businesses that will lead the pack in 2016 will be “Customer Obsessed”.

Coherent Digital Strategies


This obsession cannot be haphazard. An increasing number of firms are outlining that they have calculated and coherent digital strategies and the truly successful ones are also lining this up with a careful plan to shift their culture to be entirely digital. It is not just a problem with technology; it is the need to permeate the business with a customer-obsessed operating model.

Personalisation


Customers want to be known. They want to talk to you when they want, how they want. Personalisation will drive the leaders forward in their interactions with customers. They expect that each encounter will be informed and enriched by current and accurate information about their accounts, history, and preferences. This is done through improved analytics.

Improved Analytics


Data allows an organisation to better understand their customers, anticipate their needs and gain competitive advantage. Big data gave companies the potential to do all of this and beyond, but the reality saw overloaded operations struggling under the weight of too much data and too few insights. Successful companies in 2016 will be utilising data to understand their customers, and will be doing so via cutting edge algorithms tuned to anticipate and deliver customer value. This proactive use of data will see less customer churn. Companies that are responsive are rewarded, but companies that are proactive win hearts.

Loyalty Programs


Customers want experiences. They value a shared purpose with a brand. Loyalty programs which uphold only transactional value, such as coupons, discounts and so on, will still be in place. However, programs which allow customers to personalise, customise and be a part of the business will be leading the pack. Loyalty programs which only do things for their customers will be left behind. Programs which do things with their customers will see the positivity which comes as customers respond to being treated as an individual, not a herd.