Blog Archive

Let’s admit it: we all have moments that we are craving to go back to those times when we were complaining about the huge amount of work after waking up at noon and still recovering from the evening before. Alas – without being rude – these days have passed for most of us. This also implies that participating in the Delaware Game of Operational Excellence is no longer an option. As a consolation, we give you a glimpse behind the scenes of this business game.

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Most marketers seem to agree: in 2015, the customer will once again be at the heart of the brand strategy. There are countless new technologies that drastically change the way we do business, but research among marketers shows that they are merely meant to be a driver for better customer experience. Let’s take a look at some of the things you can do to make your customer fall in love with your brand over and over again.

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We recently announced the hiring of our 1000th employee. This is a good time to look back on the past as well as to look into the future. Growth of the overall economy is stalled these days. Is aiming for growth of your own business still a good thing?

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Here’s a bold statement for you: there’s nothing unique about your strategy. Sorry.

As consultants on strategy clarification, we take deep-dives into the strategies of different companies in different industries. And very often (almost always), we encounter the same or very similar strategic objectives. Most companies and IT departments want to 1) become more agile, 2) get closer to the business, and 3) do something with Big Data. The wording may change but the meaning stays the same.

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As consultants, we regularly support our customers in their strategy review process. We are wholehearted advocates of this kind of initiative. Not because it gives us a nice opportunity to reconnect with the customer or because it might serve as a ramp-up to a new project. No it is more a matter of organizational hygiene: in today’s dynamic, interconnected and pretty unpredictable world, it is important that companies stay in tune with the industry they operate in. If organizations don’t, they become irrelevant sooner or later. And since we are genuinely committed to our customers’ successes, reviewing the plan is something we enthusiastically support.

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I am a firm believer in the self-fulfilling prophecy. If you believe hard enough in something to happen and you act accordingly, there is a fair chance that it will come true. I have seen it work, as well to the negative as to the positive side. That is also why we at Delaware Consulting are currently conducting a new strategy exercise. We are restating our own prophecy of where we should stand as a company five years from now.

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Why an increasing number of organizations is planning to hire a Chief Digital Officer

Although there has been a constant rapid evolution in IT over the last decades, the digital economy now seems to impact our organizations on a much larger scale.  Whereas IT and technology used to lead to an increased efficiency of our business, the digital evolution interferes with the core of our business. Companies like Amazon have digitized the book industry and Google has a tremendous impact on the digitalization of advertising. Typically for the digital revolution is its focus on an increased user experience.

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Back in the 1980s, Prof. Robert S. Kaplan of the Harvard Business School created the Performance Management Cycle. Containing innovative concepts and processes, companies worldwide were given a framework to improve their performance in a structured and end-to-end fashion, supported by IT systems and fully integrated in the day-to-day activities of a company.

Unfortunately, just like Nobel Prize winner François Englert and his theoretical proof of the Higgs boson, also Kaplan was ahead of his time. Technology was not advanced enough to work the way his framework had intended.

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New ways of interacting means new ways of communicating with your customers . It is important to understand, reconnect and provide new value to empowered customers

iconTechnology  Knowing your customer

Spreading the word about products and services, getting people to buy them, and fostering a long-term relationship with your customer: isn’t that the main role of marketers?

But how can they adapt to the new ways of interacting in order to reconnect with and provide new value to empowered customers? In a time where customers take matters into their own hands, it has never been more important to know exactly what they want. The good news? We help to do just that.

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Social Media Strategy

I don’t have to tell you that Social Media are all the rage nowadays. Brands are engaged in a virtual arms race, trying to conquer every social platform known to man. We need a Facebook! And a Twitter! And a Pinterest! Come on troops, we can’t stay behind! Wait, where are we?

A multitude of brands is drowning in a barrage of like and win. They have no goals (other than ‘get an abundance of vacuous likes’), no vision (other than ‘social media is the future!’) and, let’s face it, no idea what they’re doing.

We are living in a multi-channel world

The most important thing to realize is that Social Media itself are not a KPI. Being present on Social Media is not an endgame. They are merely another channel that you can earn, rather than buy, to get your message across. One of the more significant tasks when venturing into Social Media is defining these messages and assuring that they align with your offline strategy.

Be where your customers are

Trying to be present on every possible social platform is not only time-consuming, it is downright useless. If your brand caters to hardcore gamers, you probably won’t be needing a Pinterest account any time soon. An interior decorator, however, should have been adding inspiring visuals yesterday.

Content is key when it comes to a successful Social Media Strategy, but one easily forgets that all content must be adapted specifically to the various Social Media channels. One size does not fit all. Take pity on your Community Manager and do some research into your customers’ favorite platforms. This will allow your Community Manager to spend more time creating and optimizing content, rather than struggling to post to a bulk of accounts that barely reach anyone.

Monitor wisely

Of course you want to know whether or not you are gaining or losing followers. However, it is not, nor should it be your main KPI. Go beyond the headcount and choose quality over quantity. How many people did you help this week? Are people actively engaging with your brand? Are you sending a clear message that serves a purpose linked to a business goal?

Take a sufficient amount of time deciding which Social Media KPI’s you value most. They can make or break your entire Social Media Strategy.

Author: Lauren Van Bever. You can follow Lauren on Twitter (@ikbenlauren) or connect with her on LinkedIn

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