Practical cases of how McGraw-Hill and Nike have optimized their business with the continued connection.
Beyond the addition to all the investment that brands make in web design, branding, and digital communication, their managers take advantage of the digital connection and implement business strategies that take brands to their customers’ routines.
Nowadays, most companies only interact with their customers occasionally, when costumers have needs that can be fulfilled by the goods and services that the company offers.
Normally, these companies typically work hard to provide high-quality offerings at a competitive price and base their marketing and operations on the assumption that they’ll engage only fleetingly with their customers at the time of the sale of the good or service.
To this modus operandi, we can call the strategy “buy what we have”.
Meanwhile, other companies have already recognized the potential of the web and the interactions it allows.
McGraw-Hill Education, instead of just selling books, now offers customized learning experiences through its website.
As students use electronic texts, digital technologies track their progress and provide data to their teachers and to the company.
If a student is struggling with an assignment, immediately, the teacher is informed and McGraw-Hill Education directs the student to a chapter, or video, offering helpful explanations.
Another example is Nike. Nike has improved its business by using technology interaction such as Web App, Website, and other software to create proximity to its customer. With chips embedded in their footwear, a software for workouts analysis, and a social network that provides advice and support, Nike is no longer a simple manufacturer of sports equipment and now provides health, fitness and coaching services.
Many other companies are developing their own strategy to take advantage of this technological interaction and are investing considerably in data collection, which is good. But many of these companies are overwhelmed with the management of so much information.
But then, how can managers think clearly and systematically about what to do next?
What are the best ways to use all this new information to better connect with our customers?
Nicolaj Siggelkow and Christian Terwiesch have identified four effective connection strategies. These strategies go beyond the traditional customer interaction mode “buy what we have” and represents a fundamentally new business model.
The strategies are:
- Respond to Desire
- Curated Offering
- Coach Behavior
- Automatic Execution
Which Connected Strategies Should You Use?
Increasingly, what really matters to customers is the amount of energy they need to spend to acquire a new product or service.
We cannot predict where we are heading. However, the experts are sure that the age of “buy what we have” is over.
If companies want to achieve sustainable competitive advantage in the years ahead, connected strategies need to be a fundamental part of their business.
This applies both to start-ups trying to break into an existing industry and to incumbent firms trying to defend their market, and whether it deals directly with consumers or operates in a business-to-business setting. The time to think about connected strategies is now before others in your industry beat you to it.
Adapted from Business Harvard Review
Original article by Nicolaj Siggelkow and Christian Terwiesch