A question of capabilities
To make sure OTTO can stay on top of its digital game, HR now zooms in on digital talents, and a digital portfolio venture has been set up alongside a next generation e-shop called About You which is based on open source development and hyper-personalisation. The result? A more effective media spend, a revitalised brand, and most importantly a boost in sales, especially coming from a new group of consumers that had previously been out of reach.
So what is the take-away for other businesses, one may ask?
- I don’t believe in blueprints for the perfect setup. But what I find important is to get out of the organisational comfort zones. A company must not overlook change management capabilities as a company asset. This goes from the top down. Bringing in a few digital natives will not solve your problem either. You have to constantly question the substance of any new initiative as it is often close to zero unless you apply it across the entire organisation. For instance, we had a new media department – for 15 years. I kept asking them for how long they were new, Thorsten Stradt recalls.
Challenge conventional wisdom and strike the right balance
For most professionals, the digital transformation may be scary and seductive at the same time. This does not mean that online is the safe bet per se. Although all experts featured in this article stress the willingness to experiment and tackle an old-fashioned mindset head on, they all urge executives is to integrate and strike the right balance between on- and offline. A balance still very much under the influence of our physical world.
In his recent book, Wharton professor and marketing expert David R. Bell challenges the conventional wisdom that the Internet makes the world flat and reduces friction by erasing the impact of the physical world on our buying habits. The professor argues that the way we use the Internet is still largely shaped by the physical world that we inhabit. Anyone can go online and buy a new TV - but the likelihood that we would do so depends to a significant degree on where we live. The presence of stores nearby, trendy and friendly neighbors, among other factors, play a critical role in our decision-making process when it comes to buying online.