In today’s digital world, success can feel like an elusive target. The needle is always moving, and the mountain of data organizations are sitting on isn’t necessarily helping. Estimates suggest that there’s more than 97 zettabytes of data in the world, with at least 2.5 quintillion bytes created every day.
However, it is possible to serve customers in a way that fuels growth and harnesses all the opportunity that being digitally enabled and data-driven brings. And Tim Mason, CEO of Eagle Eye Solutions, has the blueprint.
In his latest best-selling book, Omnichannel Retail: How to Build Winning Stores in a Digital World, co-authored by Sarah Jarvis, he shares that, with a focus on passion, people and the power of technology, all organizations – not just retailers – can thrive and achieve incredible results.
Prevailing with passion
Mason reflects on the three decades he spent working with grocery and retail companies and says that during his time at leading multinational retailer Tesco, the company was united under one mission.
"It wasn’t to run the best, biggest or cheapest store. It was to create value to earn customers’ lifetime loyalty," he explains.
"We exist in a digital world where we are always connected. This represents a significant opportunity to build digital relationships with customers, which can pave the way to stronger profitability and sustainable success."
Organizations have a tremendous opportunity in front of them thanks to all of the customer data they have. But first, Mason says, they have to get the "data, digital and connection piece right in order to unlock it".
An omnichannel marketing solution can help with that, but Mason says it can only enable.
"Platforms like Eagle Eye are an enabler," he points out. "But thriving in a digital world comes down to the organization itself. It’s the concept of ‘will over skill’ that will help them prevail," he says.
"If you have the will, determination, passion and vision, then you’re off to a good start. Beyond that, however, you must understand what a good digital structure looks like."
Power up with a better business brain
Despite a steady investment in big data and AI initiatives, as many as seven out of 10 organizations continue to struggle to become genuinely data-driven – only 29.2 percent report achieving transformational business outcomes, and 30 percent report having developed a well-articulated data strategy.
This comes down to many factors, including legacy data environments, business processes, skill sets and traditional cultures that are reluctant to change. However, a good first step in overcoming these issues is to realize that digital must be a part of an organization’s overall strategy.
"It’s not your digital strategy – it’s your strategy. Stop thinking that such technologies are separate."
"It’s not your digital strategy – it’s your strategy. Stop thinking that such technologies are separate. The imperative is how you bring it to life for your business in a digital world," Mason says.
Predictive analytics, he continues, is also a game changer for today’s organizations. This technology allows them to not only anticipate customer preferences but to proactively innovate and develop new products or services tailored to their desires.
"Everyone gets the idea that a business needs a brain," Mason says. "You need to understand who your customers are and what they’re doing, so you can predict a new product based on their likes. The technology to achieve this is only going to get better and better, more and more granular and increasingly more precise with the development of AI."
The people factor
While getting the tech right is imperative, the human element is just as critical. Research from consulting firm McKinsey and Company suggests that compensating for the value of one lost customer can require the acquisition of three new customers. However, 80 percent of value creation can come from unlocking new revenues from existing customers.
So while many organizations continue to obsess over customer acquisition, there are those that are driving profitable growth with a strategy even their most agile and innovative competitors can’t replicate – they’re delivering a unique and proactive customer experience and redefining customer loyalty to consistently entice existing customers to choose their brand time after time.
"While customer loyalty is absolutely important, it’s a by-product, not an end in itself."
"While customer loyalty is absolutely important, it’s a by-product, not an end in itself," Mason insists. "The end in itself is your people that work for you, that deliver the products and services, that generate that loyalty. And that’s where you must focus your attention. Trust them to deliver and create value for customers."
Practicing what he preaches has helped Mason push Eagle Eye Solutions to experience great success, with Group revenues up 36 percent. Mason credits this growth to the exceptional efforts of the company’s ‘purple’ (a clever combination of the words ‘purpose’ and ‘people’) team.
"They work tirelessly to deliver value to our increasingly global customer base, enabling them to earn the loyalty of their customers through the power of personalization," he says. "Our culture is what makes us special. We believe that how we do things together is more important than what we do."
The ‘secret sauce’ for success
According to Mason, the ‘secret sauce’ for sustainable business success all comes down to the people. Below he shares five key ways to cultivate a thriving workplace culture:
- Obsess about your culture: Obsess about the who, why and how just as much as you obsess about your products and services.
- Hire exceptional talent: Hiring exceptional people is integral to creating exceptional teams that deliver exceptional work.
- Cultivate success: Create a working environment that allows your people to succeed.
- Set big goals: Setting big goals is key to avoiding stagnation. Shape your staff’s pathways to help them realize their ambitions and then you can grow together.
- Leadership commitment: Good leaders are pivotal to an organization’s success. Assure your staff that their managers will consistently embody the organization’s values and possess necessary training to help them reach new heights.