"I skate to where the puck is going, not where it has been. " — Hockey Superstar, Wayne Gretzky
While this approach helped “The Great One” see the action unfolding around him with seemingly supernatural instincts, you too can use it to improve the way your business views innovation. You should be investing in the tools and processes that prepare you to compete not just today but also next month, next year, and 10 years into the future.
We’re talking about digital investment… with an important caveat: Don’t just do it. Do it the right way.
Why do we say this? Well, because deciding to invest in digital is only the beginning. Many businesses don’t understand the significant cost of doing it wrong. By investing in the bare minimum and trying to skate by, you’ll end up correcting, supplementing, and even totally redoing the work. That’s a recipe for not only veering off course but also, ironically, overspending.
Doing it the right way means thinking about all the little details that turn into big difference-makers. Take, for example, ADA Compliance and web accessibility, which ensures you connect with all audiences and ensures you are fully compliant from a legal perspective.
So, what do we mean by investing in digital? Here are some digital tools that will help you reach your customers, drive sales, and grow your business.
- Website Development
- Touchscreen Development
- Mobile/Native App Development
- Custom Content Management Systems
- Custom Sales Tools
- Virtual, Augmented, and Mixed Reality
Side note: Check out our latest video for more ideas!
You’ll recognize a lot of these solutions in your personal life as an online shopper and overall digital consumer. Delivery options, for instance, are taking on heightened importance, so website designs should reflect that. Tradeshow touchscreens and interactive displays should replicate in-person experiences in a digital space. The conveniences customers are asking for during the buying process include AR “try before you buy,” 1-Click add-to-cart and buy buttons, and detailed shipping updates. Ultimately, customers want to shop online more than ever, so organizations should do everything in their power to facilitate that.
And, oftentimes, consumers expect solutions they don’t even know they need. It’s like how Steve Jobs created digital tools, like the iPod, iPad, and iPhone, that people didn’t really know they needed until they got their hands on them. It’s also how Amazon changed the entire consumer purchase experience with one-click “buy now,” Amazon Go cashless stores, and more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed buyer perceptions and expectations. It has magnified trends we already saw taking place, and it’s become clear that a strong digital presence is no longer just a nice-to-have. Websites and digital tools are aging faster than ever as customers are looking for different experiences.
Think about how people find your company these days. It is not just through your own website.
The whole customer journey is now colored by this emphasis on digital. From awareness (getting potential customers to discover you) through advocacy (getting them to be an evangelist for your company), digital has to be driving every phase of the customer journey.
Awareness → Consideration → Purchase → Retention → Advocacy
There’s a lot to think about. To simplify, here are some questions you can ask yourself to get in the right mindset: How does digital come into play for advertising? How are my internal systems interconnected? What solutions are in place for support after the customer’s buying experience? In what ways does digital empower customer advocacy?
You can bet that your competition is asking these questions and investing in digital. You can’t afford not to.
Embrace Wayne Gretzky’s mindset… skate to where the puck is going, not where it’s been.
Stay tuned for future installments of our Digital 101 series.