Customer Engagement

Companies & Consumers’ Digital Priorities not Aligned-West Monroe

Survey of 700 C-suite execs and 5,000 consumers reveals digital progress, priorities
West Monroe

West Monroe, one of the fastest-growing digital services firms, today announces the results of their inaugural Be Digital survey of companies across seven industries and 5,000 of their customers. The survey finds that organizations are well on their way to realizing their digital future, but still have opportunities to further enhance and align their vision, products, customer engagement, data, and people strategies—as well as the operational processes that connect them.

While a majority of the C-suite believes they’ve built a compelling vision for a digital agility model, the stakes are high for companies amid a challenging economy and high customer expectations. To realize their digital vision, companies are focused on three major priorities: improving the customer experience (37%), enhancing their data capabilities (35%) and improving scalability through process improvement (32%).

“It’s time to say goodbye to the idea of digital transformation as a box to check. Clark Kent can walk into a phone booth and come out as Superman – but unless you’re a superhero, that kind of transformation is unrealistic,” says Matt Johnson, Managing Director in West Monroe’s Product, Experience & Engineering Lab. “Organizations don’t need superpowers to evolve. They just need agility. It starts with a digital mindset and translates across every decision and department within the organization.”

Additional Key Findings Include:

  • Vision: Digital isn’t something you do, it’s something you are – a mindset – and companies are in the early stages of this transition. Nearly all (95%) report they have a clear sense of how digital fuels growth, but only 47% say they are very effective at having a digital mindset.
  • Products & Experiences: Almost a majority organizations (49%) say they’re very effecting at putting the consumer at the center of everything, but consumers reveal some misaligned priorities. For example, consumers care much more about simplicity and much less about personalization, access to guidance, and new digital products and services than companies think they do.
  • Data & Technology: All organizations give themselves a passing grade for data maturity, but only 43% grade themselves an A, and others may be grading on a curve. For example, just over half have cloud-based data, IP and infrastructure, and only 50% use data as a catalyst for change. A vast majority of companies are investing to close both of those gaps.
  • Customer Engagement: Only 37% of companies grade their customer experience as an A, and consumers have made it clear that anything less than an A is a failure. Nearly two thirds of consumers (63%) say they will switch to another company if their experience is lacking.
  • Business Operations: With data capabilities a key goal, 47% of companies are also investing significantly to enable algorithmic decision-making, which can enable agility across the organization and allow for flexibility and speed in meeting consumer needs. Organizations are evolving quickly to a more iterative model, with 48% reporting they are very effective at prioritizing fast over perfect.
  • Organization & People: Digital must be a team sport, but only 25% say their full C-suite is responsible for digital transformation. However, nearly half are investing significantly to help with employee enablement and to move to a more decentralized organizational design.

“It’s encouraging to see companies recognize the importance of enabling data-driven decision-making and agile thinking. But there’s more work ahead,” says Casey Foss, Chief Commercial Officer at West Monroe. “With consumer expectations and preferences constantly changing, the key is access to real-time data and insights.”

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