A nuanced generalisation: A human touch for a digital generation

A push towards digital

A lot of recent literature has been devoted to helping managers understand and serve the millennial generation. With a combined global spending power of $2.45 trillion in 2015 this is no surprise [1]. Many assume that this generation of digital natives prefers self-service on digital platforms over human contact points. This approach misses crucial points about the needs of this generation and how a human touch can help meet them.

Millennials are human after all

Millennials are not a strange new consumer group that doesn’t want any human contact. They are in fact rather similar to previous consumer generations in what they want from a company. The difference is that, because they grew up with digital solutions and a multitude of options, their patience with companies that do not meet their needs is in far shorter supply. Because of this, it’s imperative to truly understand what impact you want each touchpoint to have, and then decide whether to go with digital or human.

66% of millennials rely on their parents’ guidance when buying big ticket items like a house or car.

Contradicting figures

The claim that millennials prefer digital self-service over human contact is often backed up with statistics like “42% of people under 35 would rather clean a toilet than call a contact centre” [2] In reality, statistics like this only tell half the story. Other surveys report millennials are not crazy about digital solutions either. In fact, 76% prefer to call or email with a company to solve service issues [3]. How do these conflicting statistics add up?

The medium isn’t the issue, it’s the experience

By focusing too much on the medium, companies are missing the importance of the experience delivered through that medium. Bad customer experiences are poisoning the well. Of those who preferred human contact, 85% cited at least one negative call centre experience in the last year. When millennials turn to social media channels there’s a good chance it’s because calling or emailing didn’t work [3].

Understanding why and when people want human experiences

It’s true that millennials are digital savants, but an important reason they currently prefer digital solutions is because they don’t want to be engaged by “corporate” spokespeople reading from a script. They’re willing and able to find information on their own. However, companies should carefully consider which type of queries people can solve themselves rather than just pushing blanket digital solutions. By thinking that millennials don’t want human touchpoints in a service, you may lose unique opportunities to provide guidance and build valuable relationships.

Where a human touch can add value

When making purchasing decisions, millennials often seek out the opinions of others, crowdsourcing and polling peers. In high stakes decisions or unfamiliar territories, a human touch becomes more important.

Let’s take, for example, car and home buying [4][5]. When making purchasing decisions this big, they turn to their most trusted authority for advice: their parents. 66% of them rely on parental guidance when buying big ticket items like a house or car [6]. This is no surprise, as 80% of millennials trust their parents’ recommendations the most [6].

Support millennials venturing into the unknown

Why is this important? Millennials rely heavily on their parents when venturing into unknown purchasing territory. This is not necessarily due to a lack of confidence, but rather because millennials, having grown up in a time when the answers to any question were at their fingertips, crave certainty. As a car manufacturer or retailer or financial service provider, this represents an important moment where you can approach millennials with advice. The aim is to come across not as a salesman, but as a trusted advisor.

42% of people under 35 would rather clean a toilet than ring a call centre.

Developing trust in financial services

Now is the time for the financial services industry to start building a healthy relationship with millennials. As they begin their professional careers, they’re starting to think about retirement planning and investing. This is the critical moment for banks and financial companies to be proactive in setting up more human touchpoints that will facilitate these important decisions.

Despite a wealth of digital financial tools, millennials are still in need of human advice they can trust. Only 27% seek professional financial advice despite only 24% having basic financial knowledge [7]. This represents a huge opportunity. If banks can develop human interactions where the objective is to advise, not to sell, they can start building valuable relationships. Millennials are ready for it. 60% wish their bank was more like a partner or friend, there on a human level to provide financial advice [8].

Being human where it matters

So why does this matter to your company? Millennial purchasing trends span every sector and are globally relevant [9]. While they may appreciate the ability to access to information quickly digitally, they should also be supported with human touchpoints. By offering access to opinions they respect, a company can support millennials in their decision making. By connecting in a more friendly and flexible fashion, goodwill, trust and loyalty can develop. These qualities are invaluable in today’s market and especially to this consumer generation.

[1] http://www.cnbc.com [2] http://www.sparkresponse.com [3] http://www.mattersight.com [4] http://www.forbes.com [5] https://www.bloomberg.com [6] http://www.targetmarketingmag.com [7] https://www.pwc.com [8] https://www.wealthwizards.com [9] http://www.unibs.it

Read all https://www.liveworkstudio.com/monthly-magazines/a-human-touch-for-a-digital-generation/


it’s the end of the world as we knew it In the Future, Design Principles Won’t Be About Design

Are design principles still serving a purpose?

In the Future, Design Principles Won’t Be About Design

I recently decided to explore the world of corporate design principles. Seeing more and more teams adopt guidelines such as simplicity and consistency as part of their design language got me thinking.

What exactly are design principles? What are they for? Are they useful? How? What makes a good design principle?


In an attempt to answer those questions, I pored over the biggest collections of design principles on the internet [1][2], and came to the following conclusion: corporate design principles are a set of shared guidelines that reflect the core design values and vision of a company. They are meant to remind teams what kind of user experience they should be striving for, and help them make decisions. Here are some examples from some well-known brands:

In the Future, Design Principles Won’t Be About Design

You may have noticed that the companies above use the same guidelines. In fact, by digging deeper, I found that almost all companies use one or more of the following:

In the Future, Design Principles Won’t Be About Design

What’s interesting is that these rules don’t apply to a specific product in a specific market. They apply to almost all products in all markets.

Read all at http://heydesigner.com/blog/future-design-principles-wont-design/

Recommended: Creativity’s bottom line: How winning companies turn creativity into business value and growth

Top-performing companies use four key management practices to turn creativity into value.

Most of us can remember a couple of favorite ads. They’re funny, clever, thoughtful. Creativity can delight, even inspire. But does it generate business value?

The short answer is yes. That conclusion came through clearly in McKinsey’s analysis of one widely recognized proxy for creativity. To have a quantitative measure that could be used to examine the linkage between creativity and business performance, we developed the Award Creativity Score (ACS), an index based on the prestigious Cannes Lions awards given annually for advertising and marketing excellence.1

The ACS index weighs three factors: the total number of Lions won by each company between 2001 and 2016, with more points assigned for the most prestigious awards; the breadth of categories represented; and consistency over time, based on the number of years a company has been recognized.

We found that the most creative companies, based on their ACS, did better than peer firms on two key business metrics: financial performance and McKinsey’s Innovation Score. This doesn’t mean there’s a straight-line path between climbing the podium at Cannes and besting market indices or out-innovating competitors. But when we dug more deeply, we found that the most creative companies did certain things differently. Specifically, they exhibited a set of four business practices that we believe drive their marketing creativity, their ability to innovate, and their capacity to translate those virtues into business value.

While measuring creativity remains an inexact science, our analysis provides evidence to support the notion that creativity matters for the bottom line and identifies the practices that differentiate the most creative companies from the rest.

Creativity is associated with superior performance

There are many reasons why companies perform well, such as market position or technology leadership. But it’s also true that creativity is at the heart of business innovation, and innovation is the engine of growth. With an increasing focus on the science of marketing—including performance marketing, marketing AI, and advanced analytics—it’s important not to forget about the art of marketing.

Creative leaders outperform their peers on key financial metrics

When we looked at the financial results of companies whose ACS scores were in the top quartile, we found they performed better than peer firms on three key measures:

  • 67 percent had above-average organic revenue growth.
  • 70 percent had above-average total return to shareholders (TRS).
  • Read
  • 74 percent had above-average net enterprise value or NEV/forward EBITDA2(see Exhibit 1).
Companies that perform well on the Award Creativity Score tend to outperform on nancial metrics

Firms that scored lower on ACS were far less likely to post above-average financial results.

We have further confidence in the linkage between ACS and superior financial performance, given other McKinsey research that has shown the value of distinctive creative work. In almost 90 percent of categories, consumers are not loyal to their chosen brands, and almost 60 percent will switch when considering a new purchase.3This means the moment of initial consideration can be decisive in a consumer’s decision journey—and great creative can be a key to winning the battle for initial consideration.

Creative leaders are also more innovative

Firms in the ACS top quartile also scored 16 percent higher than the average consumer-facing company on another key measure: McKinsey’s Innovation Performance Score, which is based on a set of indicators that our research has shown are linked to innovation outcomes (see Exhibit 2).4

Companies with high ACS scores are also successful innovators, as measured by McKinsey’s Innovation Score

These insights are corroborated by other McKinsey research, which has shown that the fastest-growing companies—the ones we call Creators—are particularly strong at developing new products, services, or business models.5

The four practices associated with creativity and innovation

Although creativity is strongly correlated with superior business performance, senior executives can hardly expect better results simply by exhorting their people to “be more creative.” To determine what executives can do, we used data from two surveys to identify the distinctive practices of firms with top ACS scores.

The first was a new, dedicated survey explicitly designed to identify practices associated with creativity. The second was our Innovation Diagnostic, which tests for 104 practices associated with innovation. The combined data show the firms that consistently do well at Cannes are distinguished by four key practices. These provide clear lessons for companies looking to turn creativity into growth.

1. Hardwire creativity and innovation in daily practices

As obvious as it may sound, creativity and innovation need to be business priorities. Even more important, a company needs to execute on those priorities in its daily practices. This can be difficult, given the relentless pressures on business leaders to hit quarterly financial targets.

In companies within the top ACS quartile, senior executives serve as role models for creativity and innovation. They don’t simply encourage their people to pursue those objectives—they see themselves as personally on the hook to deliver creativity and innovation.

In addition, almost 60 percent of companies in the top ACS quartile self-identify as industry shapers or innovation leaders versus slightly more than one-third of their peers. In the most creative firms, a strong narrative has permeated the enterprise: people inside the organization believe in what the company is trying to do and that they can help to achieve it.

This commitment is reflected in a mind-set that prioritizes creativity and innovation. Thirty percent of the firms in the ACS top quartile discuss creativity and innovation at more than half of their board meetings versus only 20 percent of peer firms. Seventy percent of top-quartile firms view marketing spend as an investment rather than an expense, compared with only 40 percent of other firms. Moreover, nearly one quarter of the top-quartile firms prioritize marketing spend relative to other budget categories, something none of their peer firms do. By looking at marketing spend more as a cost of goods sold than as a discretionary operating expense, these companies are able to govern their resource allocation and decision making in a fundamentally different way.

The commitment to creativity shapes how money gets spent. As a percentage of sales, the marketing budgets of top-quartile firms are more than two-and-a-half times those of their peer firms. The most creative firms also spend more on data scientists. As a result, 86 percent of top-quartile firms consider their marketing capabilities to be “best in class,” something only 40 percent of other firms say. Investing in the right tools—and even more importantly, in the right people to use them—is a fundamental prerequisite for successful innovation.

2. Become customer fanatics

Companies at the top of the ACS rankings have a near-fanatical devotion to understanding their customers. This leads them to go way beyond standard research methods like surveys and focus groups. Instead, they rely on multiple sources—advanced analytics, ethnographic research, and behavioral analysis—to understand customers intimately.

Three key practices are at the core of the Discover dimension of McKinsey’s Innovation Diagnostic: customer orientation, use of multiple lenses to generate insights, and development of differentiated value propositions based on those insights. Along all these dimensions, companies in the ACS top quartile did better than other consumer-facing firms, with 15 to 17 percent more of their people agreeing or strongly agreeing that their organizations were strong in these practices.

Read all at http://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/digital-mckinsey/our-insights/creativitys-bottom-line-how-winning-companies-turn-creativity-into-business-value-and-growth?cid=other-eml-alt-mip-mck-oth-1706&hlkid=25d118742210429aa2b33758f5786cda&hctky=1326255&hdpid=b0e338ff-a4de-4e8b-8918-f9142c5efcaf

A Trillion-Dollar Boost: Salesforce Releases New Research on the Economic Impact of Artificial Intelligence on CRM

pablo (1).pngBy 2021, AI-powered CRM activities could increase global business revenues by $1.1 trillion and create 800,000 net-new jobs, according to predictions in new study

Salesforce customers are estimated to account for $293 billion of this revenue and more than 155,000 of the net-new jobs by 2021

The global market for AI in CRM is estimated to jump from $7.9 billion in 2016 to $46.3 billion by 2021

SAN FRANCISCO, June 14, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Salesforce [NYSE: CRM], the global leader in CRM, today announced new research from IDC detailing the economic impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on CRM. AI-powered CRM activities will drive new efficiencies in how companies sell, service, and market, ultimately expected to create more than $1.1 trillion in new GDP impact worldwide and 800,000 net-new jobs by 2021—surpassing those lost to automation.

Infographic: Economic Impact of AI on CRM


AI has impacted nearly every aspect of our consumer lives, redefining how we engage with technology and each other. With the convergence of increased computing power, big data and breakthroughs in machine learning, AI is also poised to transform how people work.

While some researchers predict automation driven by AI could impact 49 percent of job activities and eliminate around 5 percent of jobs, new data from IDC suggests AI could also augment and increase the productivity of employees, specifically in CRM-related fields.

From predictive sales lead scoring to service chatbots to personalized marketing campaigns, AI could provide every employee with tools to be more productive and provide smarter, more personalized customer experiences.

According to the new IDC White Paper, commissioned by Salesforce, 2018 will be a landmark year for AI adoption.

More than 40 percent of companies said they will adopt AI within the next two years. In fact, by 2018, IDC forecasts that 75 percent of enterprise and ISV development will include AI or machine-learning functionality in at least one application. AI-powered CRM activities will cover a large spectrum of use cases and touch almost all facets of an enterprise, including accelerating sales cycles, improving lead generation and qualification, personalizing marketing campaigns and lowering costs of support calls.

“AI is impacting all sectors of the economy and every business. For the CRM market—the fastest-growing category in enterprise software—the impact of AI will be profound, ushering in new levels of productivity for employees and empowering companies to drive even better experiences for their customers,” said Keith Block, vice chairman, president and COO, Salesforce. “For companies embracing AI, it’s critical that they create new workforce development programs to ensure employees are prepared for this next wave of innovation.”

Key findings from the IDC White Paper on the economic impact of AI on CRM include:

AI associated with CRM could boost global business revenues by $1.1 trillion from the beginning of 2017 to the end of 2021.
This global business revenue boost is predicted to be led primarily by increased productivity ($121 billion) and lowered expenses due to automation ($265 billion).

The types of AI companies are planning to use, or exploring, range from machine learning (25%) and voice/speech recognition (30%), to text analysis (27%) and advanced numerical analysis (31%).

New jobs associated with the boost in global business revenues could reach more than 800,000 by 2021, surpassing those jobs lost to automation from AI.

Underpinning the adoption of AI, 46 percent of AI adopters report that more than 50 percent of their CRM activities are executed using the public cloud.

The United States is predicted to lead the way in new business revenue growth due to the economic impact of AI ($596 billion), followed by Japan ($91 billion), Germany ($62 billion), the U.K. ($55 billion) and France ($50 billion).

Salesforce Leads the Way in Delivering AI to CRM

With Einstein, Salesforce is removing the complexity of AI and empowering every Salesforce customer and business user with AI embedded across the company’s leading apps for sales, service, marketing, commerce and more. Salesforce is leading the democratization of AI for CRM, and its customers are among the early adopters who are driving this economic impact. In fact, Salesforce customers are expected to account for $293 billion of the $1.1 trillion GDP impact and more than 150,000 of those direct jobs by the year 2021.

Consumers love tech in the brick-and-mortar retail experience

Consumers love tech fredzimny.blog_500A new Bouncepad survey reveals U.S. consumers love stores that offer technology and they want more tech options in the shopping experience.

bouncepad-asset-consumers-want-more-tech-in-store-infographic.jpg__150x300_q85_subsampling-2.jpgThe study results, as outlined in this infographic, cite that three out of four want more tech and say they are more likely to visit a retailer if wanted tech was available. More than three quarters (78 percent) want retailers to do a better job of using technology to boost the customer experience. The research also notes that nearly two out of three consumers prefer self-serve compared to waiting on a line or having to track down an associate for help or a purchase.

When it comes to technology options, shoppers want the tools to help them discover price, product and any potential discounts or promotions. The survey states that two out of three (66 percent of consumers) have used self-service tables and kiosks in the retail environment.

Read all https://www.retailcustomerexperience.com/news/consumers-love-tech-in-the-brick-and-mortar-retail-experience/