Digital IQDIgital IQ at The MYndset Digital Marketing and Brand Strategy

Even if the sector in which you work isn’t directly technological, leading managers must walk the talk in terms of technology in order to understand the true digital opportunities out there.  Managers must upgrade their de facto Digital IQ.  What does this mean?  It means that managers must go beyond the stiffer corporate hardware and mindset to use the web and mobile interfaces personally so as to understand more profoundly how their clients and consumers are behaving.

Value-Added Service included

Some cultures encourage management to go on the road to “visit the field.”  It was, for example, the case at my former employer, L’Oreal.  It’s a great tradition to which I have always thoroughly subscribed.  However, I firmly believe that just going out and inspecting shelves is not sufficient.  Specifically, I suspect that, all too often, managers will not properly understand what they are seeing if they are not tech savvy enough (i.e. using technology on a personal level).  As a result, management will miss out on where some of today’s most valuable value-added services lie.  For most of us, the relationship with technology has gone beyond anecdotal.  Our relationship to the mobile phone is deeply personal; connection to email is a matter of daily hygiene; and, access to the internet, one’s data and, increasingly, the cloud are a vital component of our business health.  {See this post on the role and importance of technology in marketing}  Whether your company is selling tech goods, travel tickets or shampoos, the usages of technology are evermore pervasive and need to be integrated into the customer experience. {Click to Tweet this out if you agree!}  Below is a business case in point about how train companies are seriously lagging behind.

Management in TRAINing

I am a frequent train traveler.  It’s a great form of transportation compared to the airplane, especially for shorter distance travel.  Essentially, for anything up to 3 hours on a bullet train, the price, time and hassle is less versus the plane.  On top of that, you have 3 hours of unadulterated time to work, read or snooze, basically in a comfortable chair without a seat belt.  But, somehow, the proverbial elephant in the closet has not been outted.  My feeling is that viable wifi onboard trains can no longer be considered optional. {Click if you wholeheartedly agree!} Are the managers not getting on the trains?

Digital activities abound aboard

I don’t mean this to be a rant, but it would take a veritable moron not to recognize that all forms of people are using a digital screen on board the train.  Between telephoning (wish people would respect the QUIET zone!), surfing, working, playing a video game or watching a film, people of all ages are finding things to do with a screen.  Just take a look at this photo below taken in Brussels of a Paris-bound Thalys train.  But, how is it that wifi is not available on board?  What is holding them back?

Thalys Train Digital connection, The Myndset Digital Marketing and Brand Strategy

Are you connected on board?

Digital marketing includes services

I wrote a recent post about how St Pancras has free wifi throughout the station (and how the Eurostar lounge has a nifty recharging station for smartphones).  On airplanes in the US, the FCC recently announced that access to wifi is about to become more democratized via the “Earth Stations Aboard Aircraft” program.  However, when will all train companies get with the program?  {Kudos to Virgin Trains in England}  If it’s possible in airplanes, surely trains are easier!  It seems that management should be going out on the road a little more often to experience the lack of wifi connection themselves.  With a little tech savviness and a deeper empathy, they would surely find the funds to make the investment and improve the customer experience, no?

I increasingly believe that digital marketing should extend to the digital services one provides, not just the outbound messages to capture new customers (or retain loyal ones). {Click to tweet if you agree!} The vast majority of marketing dollars for the vast majority of companies is quite understandably dedicated to outbound marketing.  However, at the margin and in complement to inbound marketing strategies, there are ways for companies and brands to distinguish themselves, providing ancillary value-added services and service that will vastly improve the consumer experience (much less voyage). {Click to tweet if you thoroughly agree!}

Your thoughts are welcome!

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