Enterprise Growth Transformation - Event Recap

Attracting over 500 senior business leaders from a range of industries, Blackdot recently ran the largest of our thought leadership events to date, ‘Enterprise Growth Transformation’. These insights sessions in Sydney and Melbourne explored a major challenge facing our clients – executing a transformation program that reinvents marketing, sales and service for a digital, customer-driven future. We launched our latest thinking around the 5 key shifts enterprises need to navigate in transformation programs and featured case studies by News Corp, AMP, AstraZeneca, ASB and Roche to bring these shifts to life. In this post, I’ll break down some of the key takeaways and highlights from the event.

A journey into the unknown

The event featured an outer space theme – a metaphor for the scale of change involved in enterprise transformation. For most organisations, driving a truly successful customer transformation program truly is akin to embarking on space travel – it’s a journey into the unknown that demands an audacious vision to get off the ground and is fraught with significant risks at take-off, in flight and landing. These risks threaten the viability of the program as well as the livelihood of those involved, and come with the realisation that you’ve got to do more than just build the rocket, you need the capability to self-sufficiently operate in a completely different atmosphere when you reach your destination.

Today’s customer has transformed, but has the enterprise?

The presentation explored how today’s customers are evolving at an incredible rate. Once reliant on physical channels, they are now empowered by the digital age. This has seen them become sophisticated and highly-informed with expectations of an omni-channel experience. 
Through our work with clients, we see that many enterprise organisations find it an ongoing challenge to transform in lockstep with today’s customer. The myriad of new channels has forced businesses to rapidly transform their marketing and sales engine to compete – but this is far easier said than done. Customers want a simple, seamless and responsive experience, but this is juxtaposed with the inherent operational complexity, legacy constraints and change capacity of the enterprise.
Despite these challenges, the opportunities for building closer relationships with customers have never been higher. A new breed of connected enterprise is emerging; delivering more efficiency, precision and most importantly, customer relevance and value.
The scale of this transformation and opportunity is conveyed in this video which premiered at the event:

5 key shifts to achieve full customer-centricity

When organisations embark on a transformation journey, there are 5 key shifts that can help them adapt to the evolving customer dynamic and move away from product-led, functionally-driven siloed business models.


1. Customer Strategy

Adapting to today’s sophisticated customer is challenging. Customers want simplicity, value for money and a seamless, responsive experience. However, enterprises are complex and fragmented, with multiple customer touchpoints. They tend to be organised around legacy functional silos and are constrained by a high cost to sell, serve and change.
To stay ahead of informed buyers and disruptive competitors, businesses need to fundamentally reorganise around the customer, resetting the organisational strategy and operating model to meet elevated customer expectations. This includes looking at opportunity-based segmentation, balancing qualitative and quantitative approaches to align around value, as well as customising segments appropriately to product and service propositions. Enterprises also need to look at channel prioritisation to maximise resources and minimise cost.
This shift was brought to life with a client case study by News Corp, which discussed transformation in the face of significant structural change in the media industry. It explored using product bundling and pricing to arrest the challenging decline that comes with real shifts in customer buying dynamics.

Register for our Customer Strategy webinar 

2. Process

Customers want simplicity, value for money and a seamless, responsive experience. However legacy processes, data sources and technology platforms restrict the ability of businesses to cohesively support dynamic customer journeys. New digital channels have also exacerbated existing data and functional silos. To overcome these challenges, organisations usually rely on manual processes, workarounds and intensive cross-functional rhythms, but these short-term solutions are rarely scalable or empowering for frontline staff.
Businesses need to instead leverage the power of integration, digitisation and automation to seamlessly progress customer journeys, while reducing cost. This can be done by transforming the approach to clients, proving the value with win-fast pilots, leveraging workflows and alerts to scale the marketing and sales engine, and consolidating data across multiple stakeholder groups.
The Process discussion was supported with a case study by AMP Capital – an example of dealing with change complexity at scale across B2B and B2C segments.

Register for our Process webinar

3. People & Change

In the digital age, organisations face the risk of frontline staff failing to meet the elevated expectations of informed customers. To survive and thrive in the new connected enterprise, marketing, sales and service need to be customer-centric, commercial and tech-savvy. Digital transformation is often unchartered territory for leaders, managers and the frontline.
To be relevant to today’s evolving customer, organisations need new capabilities, mindsets and behaviours. For enterprises, the change imperative is to manage people mobilisation challenges to create receptivity, rather than manage resistance. Businesses need to build strong change leadership, well-sequenced change packages, and immersive real-world learning that empowers your frontline to thrive in an increasingly complex environment.
This discussion was supported with a case study by AstraZeneca, where they shared the importance of executive sponsorship and leadership throughout their change journey.

Register for our People & Change webinar

4. Technology

Technology can be a great enabler for transformational growth. Tech-savvy customers demand an omni-channel experience which can be difficult and expensive to deliver for enterprises with a complicated web of legacy systems. Business leaders are often not equipped to make technology trade-offs and IT divisions take a ‘systems out’ rather than ‘customer in’ view of innovation.
Businesses and IT must partner to address these implementation and adoption challenges. Business leaders need to be tech savvy and take accountability for technology decisions. IT need to act like business owners while simultaneously building a technical architecture that enables innovation and evolution. The imperative for businesses is to navigate the complexity of legacy data, infrastructure and people constraints to deliver intuitive technology solutions to employees and customers.
Our client ASB presented a case study of what platform maturity really looks like – sharing their journey from a relatively unevolved base to a sophisticated model that is emerging as best-of-breed.

Register for our Technology webinar

5. Execution Excellence

Transformation is long, complex and difficult. Most businesses fail to realise the full business case benefit. While the end game is compelling, it’s often compromised by short-termism, distractions and changing priorities. Leaders generally start well, but can disengage or lose focus on the end goal through the course of the program. The program, slows, slips or stops as fatigue and complexity hits.
Compounding the challenge, businesses are usually ill-equipped to monitor early progress and enable effective course correction. Businesses need to shine a light on early indicators of adoption, effectiveness and efficiency to allow leaders to balance execution discipline with continuous improvement. 

The journey to Execution Excellence was brought to life at the event with a case study by Roche – a great story about driving real change to achieve a significant shift in benchmarked sales manager behaviours.

Register for our Execution Excellence webinar

So how do you accelerate transformation in the new world?

Our framework for assessing where an organisation is in its transformation journey indicates four different pathways an organisation might identify with. On the horizontal axis, we assess the operational maturity of a business in terms of people, process and technology and how well they match the core mission of executing in the evolving market environment. On the vertical axis is the business imperative to change – covering both management focus, as well as frontline alignment. Like any good two-dimensional framework, the ideal, of course, is to the get to the Utopian state in the top right-hand corner.
Determining which of the 5 key shifts your business should focus on to achieve transformation generally depends on where your business currently sits in the maturity process. This is because transformation is different for everyone and is dependent on a myriad of external and internal factors.


1. Disciplined Start

Those who identify with Pathway 1: Disciplined Start should aim to stand up disciplined win-fast pilots by focusing on Customer Strategy, Process, People & Change and Technology. This will give the enterprise enough capability, capacity and focus to really nail those early endeavours.


2. Rapid Operational Reinvention

Businesses in Pathway 2: Rapid Operational Reinvention should focus on developing a detailed blueprint with defined sequencing of ‘packages’ of new DNA across people, process and technology. This will enable you to have an incrementally staged approach, which is far friendlier and more realistic to work with.

3. Organisational Reset

If you are in Pathway 3: Organisational Reset, the challenge is winning back frontline trust and belief. The opportunity here is to really get behind the right mix of shifts in the form of People & Change, Technology, and Execution Excellence.

4. Data-Driven ‘Double-Down’

Organisations in Pathway 4: Data-Driven ‘Double-Down’ have a terrific opportunity to move from good to great. Our view is that once you have a new marketing and sales execution engine revving, with data and insights that can be easily accessed – you should double-down and make greater efforts to grow and optimise business and customer outcomes. By focusing on Execution Excellence and creating an environment where the customer experience is everyone’s responsibility you can rev the engine even harder.

If you missed attending the Enterprise Growth Transformation events in person, you can watch replays of our range of webinars:

Customer Strategy Webinar - 'Reorganising Around The Changing Customer'

Process Webinar - 'Integrating & Digitising Marketing, Sales and Service'

People & Change Webinar - 'Transforming Mindsets & Capabilities'

Technology Webinar - 'Implementing & Adopting New Technology'

Execution Excellence Webinar - 'Embedding & Continuous Improvement'

Worded by Jacqueline Garcia