We all know platforms like Amazon, Google, AirBnB or Facebook. What is making them successful and what can we learn from them?
Simply spoken a platform is a place where (different) companies offer their products and services and get connected with customer. We know this from B2C, but it’s the same in B2B. In practice we see two strategies, the platform strategy and / or the channel strategy. This I have covered in another post:
Let’s have a look at Amazon. A platform with multiple players. Amazon is offering their products and other shops are open to sell their own products. This has two advantages. The customer has one place for everything he needs so he can quickly find everything, don’t need to register on different shops, etc. The #CustomerExperience is great. For the external shops the reach is amazing, something they wouldn’t get on their own shop.
It doesn’t matter if we are in B2B or B2C it is important to understand our customer, act where they are and help them wherever they need help (maybe before they know it them self). This must be the core of every business model. Our own interests (sales, revenue, etc.) we should place behind, but don’t loose sight of.
So what do we need to think about if we talk about the digital revolution, digital transformation or digitalization?
- Customers Interest / Needs / Pains
- Channel vs. Platform Strategy
- Communication / Interaction
- Products and Services
- (Hybrid) Business Model
The customer is on a journey and we can help him to go this journey quick and easy. If we gain his trust we have won. Trust is a very complex point. See the article:
Does a customer needs advertising? Advertising has no real benefit for him it’s just for the brand who is clapping on his own shoulder saying “we are the best”. Communication needs to be different, needs to help in each phase of the customer journey. While communication is just one part of the interaction with the customer there are others which are important, too. The most important are products and services. What we need to design is the entire interaction with the customer and we should try to get into a two-way interaction to understand and learn from him. Again one more article where I have covered this more detailed:
If we have build the best solution around these topics we finally need to think about the added value. Do we have a singular business model or can we build an hybrid business model? Should we build everything by our self, should we step into an existing platform or should we build something new together with other players in the market?
The core element – and with this the added value of the platform economy – is access… Access to the market and customer. Access in direction of sales but also in direction of information and data.
Through this access we can place not only our core products and services, we can offer additional products and services (own or external) around our main products and service to deliver the best customer experience and add another added value.
The digitalization offers many possibilities. We generate data and knowledge of our customer, can interact quickly and be always in contact with them. This helps us to be the trusted advisor and build new business around them. We see the core element of the digitalization and digital transformation is the customer, the technology just helps us to go new ways.
Revolution is the right keyword which describes best what happens. To go this way we need people with visions who have the overview of all areas. They need to have an understanding of sales, marketing, IT, etc and have the customer thinking in mind as well as the entrepreneurial thinking. I have named such a person a maestro.
Live your passion, be open and think out of the box. Doing so place the right people with the same mindset around you and start into a new area of the digital revolution.