Aligning Organisations around Transformation

data worldDigital mastery in an ever increasingly digital world is one of the key priorities of an organisation. The road to travel on the journey to making your organisation more customer focused in a digital world is challenging and one that requires alignment and commitment from the CEO, the Board and Shareholders down.

There are 5 priorities for a chief customer officer  / chief digital officer

1) Build a clear vision of a radically different future state and align it with Shareholders Board, CEO and Exec.  ensure that they are involved in co-creating the vision and understand the elements of how it works. If you need to train them on Twitter, facebook, what’s app or programming, do it so they understand a digital world.

2) Engage Colleagues in a 18m-36m Goal and develop a clear action plan. Ensure that you have a detailed and well managed transformation programme with agreed outcomes. Engaging colleagues in building this will be critical. It’s amazing how digitally literate teens and twenty somethings in a retail organisation are!

3) Breakdown fear of data and digital across the organisation. Board-> Senior managers-> middle managers -> Colleagues. Communicate widely and use storytelling to engage at all levels. Be very pragmatic and engage people in learning by doing rather than telling ( run Twittter workshops, small projects designed to deliver quick wins, training by doing.) Focus on small wins early and let people tell these stories across the organisation themselves as their wins. Align objectives and remuneration to deliver the goal from Exec down to all colleagues.

4) Foster stronger bonds between technical and business people. This is a two way process to ensure the technical teams understand the commercial imperatives, and customer solutions you would like to build, and the business teams learn to trust the expertise of technical IT teams. It will also allow you to improve data quality through showing the business impact.develop a data strategy aligned to business goals , build tools as required to deliver commercial goals.

5) Steer the course through strong Governance. Digital Transformation should be governed through the EXEC as well as relevant touchpoints to ensure continual alignment.

These 5 priorities along won’t drive the transformation but applying them is a start that many organisations who are now Digital Masters followed.


Clever Cars

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What can your driving habits tell us? A lot is the answer. In fact, where people drive can reveal a lot more than Google searches and this is what advertisers, startups, and car-makers are quickly realising.

For years car companies have been installing software and sensors that collect driving behaviour and location data from our cars. This is invaluable to advertisers & car companies alike.


Car companies argue this data will enhance the driving experience CX.  It could help to predict flat tires, find parking spaces or charging spots, alert authorities to dangerous crossings & even track criminals fleeing from crime-scenes.

Advertisers are even more excited. Israeli startup, Otonomo, cleans up and organises data for carmakers. They let drivers select the information they’re willing to share with companies in exchange for rewards & discounts – imagine leaving work late and a £5 Dominos discount coming up on your display 🍕

This is only the start. Ford estimates that by 2020 their vehicles will have 100m lines of code and Gartner estimates 98% of new cars in the US & Europe will have an embedded cyber connection.

clever cars

What about BIG data?

The real interesting part is when all this data is aggregated. With all this data, companies can see trends that are linked to other events. For instance:

  1. Hedge funds could use boot sensor data to see how much people bought when they went shopping which would show consumer spending
  2. Banks could see how many people had stopped driving to work, thus suggesting they’ve lost their jobs, and if this number began to rise they could anticipate an economic downturn
  3. 3rd parties could track trips to the police station, domestic violence shelters, STI/HIV testing centres and infer sensitive information about drivers’ health and relationships.

Autonomous cars won’t stop us… 

One of the most important big-picture outcomes here is that car manufacturers are not only hardware companies now, they’re also software companies. It’s often been suggested that traditional companies will die off with the coming of autonomous cars, but this shows they’re using tech themselves to find new sources of revenue.

People need to be aware of the level of privacy they’ll be giving away. Soon your car could know more about you than your family…

Data driven fitness community

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sweaty betty tamara

Now I’m not one into female fashion ( just ask my wife) , nor do I hang around the shops but I do love how Tamara Hill-Norton has used data to create a passionate community with Sweaty Betty since she set up the first boutique in Notting Hill in 1998 . Initially targeting “yummy Mummies” but now broadened out to connect fitness and fashion.

Sweaty Betty is a British retailer specialising in active wear for women, featuring in 50 from London to San Fancisco  and selling significantly digitally. Sweaty Betty aims to ‘inspire women to find empowerment through fitness’.

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Sweaty Betty has a real distinctive difference to its potential competitor Amazon : It distinctively  moves beyond traditional retail practices with added value services as well as great clothing and builds an active community. This is achieved through regular Sweaty Betty fitness classes that are actively promoted to its customers. These classes range from yoga, run clubs and boot camps right through to Pilates, and are held in Sweaty Betty stores around the world. For those who can’t attend in person, there are also online fitness classes.

Sweaty Betty Live was a event where 3000 Sweaty Bettys came to sweat learn shop eat & get pampered:

sweaty betty carnaby

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Sweaty Betty was very clear on their purpose and had a very clear story that was developed starting inside the organisation, and building out into their community. A data driven approach to brand building and creating community, loyalty and interaction meant people starting telling the Sweaty Betty story themselves.

checkout Tamara story:

Sweaty Betty leverages a broad range of data-driven social tools – Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest are all used. They also created ‘brand ambassadors’ and allowed customers to have a conversation, helping to underline the sense that Sweaty Betty is a ‘fitness community rather than just a sportswear retailer


Starbucks data driven coffee

starbucks cup

Starbucks have adopted a data driven mobile first approach to making the customer journey simpler and easier in its coffee shops world-wide.

Innovating and transforming the Customer experience by leveraging data-driven analytics and technology is critical for success in a 21st Century convenient foodservice retailer. 21% of Starbucks transactions are now completed via mobile … in store at the till using Apple Pay via app or using Starbucks Mobile Order and Pay . What’s more is Starbucks processes more than 6million Mobile Order and Pay transactions a month globally.

Mobile Order & Pay is available on iOS and Android . It’s an established of the popular Starbucks mobile app that allows customers to place and pay for an order in advance of their visits and pick it up at a participating Starbucks location. Mobile ordering is emerging as the fastest and easiest way for Starbucks customers to order ahead , then pay and pick up their purchases, providing on-the-go customers a simple and quick alternative to get their favourite coffee.

The Mobile Order and Pay feature allows customers to choose a store from a (Google) map view , browse , select and customise drinks, view the estimated time the order will be ready and pre-pay the order. All within the Starbucks app, and integrated into the existing Starbucks app, and my-Starbucks Rewards loyalty programme. A simple easy way to sign up and earn Stars

PROBLEM: It’s Too popular….

The Mobile Order & pay is creating some problems, that Starbucks are working hard to fix. Customers expect not to wait at all, but at busy times the queue is building up and customers are waiting and creating a headache. Starbucks being Starbucks though is working it through operationally and using data driven technology ahead of its rivals to improve the customer experience

They have launched an AI driven Starbucks Barista where customers can text through their orders: Check out below



Starbucks are leading the way as Tech leaders in convenience foodservice, using data and technology in a way that McDonald’s , are starting to respond but need to respond rapidly if they want to meet customer needs.


Loose Lips cost Lives

strava military

I use Strava to map my runs & cycle rides but a recent article caught my attention on the importance of keeping your data private vs public.

Last November, Strava released a global user-activity heat map showing the running and cycling routes of people wearing fitness trackers. Some of those people work for the military & intelligence agencies.

Their data, which they neglected to opt out of sharing, reveals their daily routines and the contours of previously secret bases for anyone with a Strava account who might be looking. “A modern equivalent of the World War II-era warning that ‘loose lips sink ships,’ writes Jeremy Hsu, “May be ‘FFS don’t share your Fitbit data on duty.’”

So far, the breach hasn’t hurt anyone, and militaries and intelligence services will update their facilities (and personnel training policies) to render this particular vulnerability moot. But the unexpected risks of modern geolocation technology remain. “These digital footprints that echo the real-life steps underscore a greater challenge to governments and ordinary citizens alike,” Hsu writes. “Each person’s connection to online services and personal devices makes it increasingly difficult to keep secrets.”

Read the full article here

The story behind your Metrics

customer metrics

The Story behind your metrics

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Lines out the door. An email list that is growing at breakneck speed. Likes on Facebook. More users, subscribers or members all adding to the value of your platform. These are the stuff entrepreneurial dreams are made of.

Measuring growth and how it happens feels important. But ‘more’ isn’t the only metric of a good business, and it’s not the only thing that defines success.

Be clear on what your commercial & customer end goals are and then measure what will deliver that end goal. Focus on few things that really matter and don’t let the list get too long.

There is usually a way to find data that supports a worldview and nobody is immune to using data to confirm previously held assumptions. Qualitative data measures the things that align with the values we care about, those we want our employees to embrace and our customers to sense. When we measure in this way we take into account the story behind the data. The number of meals sent back to the kitchen, staff retention, customer referrals and on and on.

Questions that will set you on the path to measuring what matters

  1. How do you track how business is doing? Make a list of everything you measure.
  2. Which numbers do you want to go up? Why?
  3. Which numbers need to go down? Why?
  4. Why are each of these particular metrics important? Create a rationale for each one.
  5. What story do the numbers tell you about how your customers and colleagues feel?
  6. What story do you want them to tell?

It’s tempting to want to scale, that’s what businesses do after all. As you grow it’s equally important to understand what metrics are sacred and why they matter.


Data-Driven Customer Growth.

seven stepsAccelerating customer growth to drive commercial success through data is challenging and requires commitment and alignment from around all the organisation to be successful, but there are 7 steps that make the journey more successful

  1. Identify the commercial & customer Goals in next 18m-36m
  2. Build a clear vision of a radically different data-driven customer experience, working across digital & bricks & mortar and align across the organisation.
  3. Remove Silos of data use creating a single version of the truth, with a data strategy linked to business goals e.g. Unified View of customer data, GDPR ready and tools developed to meet commercial goals.
  4. Breakdown the institutional fear of data & digital at all levels through training & doing: it’s a tool that anyone can use to do what you have been doing better
  5. Use Data Analytics to Map & Prioritise customer journeys & personalised experiences across human & digital touchpoints and align organisation capability to deliver for customer.
  6. Identify & Build the capabilities (Process, Tools People) that will be required to transform process design from efficiency focused (cheaper) to customer focused (better simpler cheaper) , specifically putting in place an analytics capability to enable data-driven, personalised journeys
  7. Foster stronger bonds between technical and different business people. This is a two-way process to ensure the technical teams understand the commercial imperatives, and customer solutions you would like to build, and the business teams learn to trust the expertise of technical IT teams. It will also allow you to improve data quality through showing the business impact.

Using Data & Advanced Customer Analytics  to put the customer at the heart of an organisation is a transformation that future looking organisations need to start implementing now.

Transformation to ensure data is part of the DNA of an organisation takes time and a holistic approach.