The digitalisation hype

05/02/2018 - 12:56

Buzzword, trend or necessity?

The digital revolution concerns both business and society, shapes our professional and private affairs and is increasingly pervasive in our day-to-day lives.
Digitalisation is often depicted as something of a spectre; an unavoidable evil. Parts of the human workforce are replaced by machines and computers which can carry out standardised processes faster, more efficiently and with greater precision. Established companies disappear from the market because, at a certain point, they forget to adapt their business models to suit their customers’ requirements or fail to integrate technical advances in their strategies. Nokia and Kodak are often cited as examples of innovative companies who failed to move with the times. Success, it seems, is the biggest barrier to rethinking strategy and being prepared to change course.

How we digitalise a business model – in practice

At Identum, we've set ourselves the objective not only of conveying our clients’ messages in an effective, comprehensible manner, but also of acting as a partner and accompanying them through the digital transformation process, encouraging them to pursue innovative approaches and driving them to evolve and adapt. This support can unlock the immense potential digitalisation harbours.

So how do we do it? Well, it takes a hands-on mentality and flexibility, always keeping a clear goal in mind. The following example illustrates well what we mean:
Since the Austrian energy market was liberalised and each household was given the opportunity to choose their own energy supplier, electricity and gas providers have been in direct competition with one another. These providers make switching attractive by offering discounts and deals in the first year of a contract. However, if you stay with the same provider beyond the initial period, you can usually expect to encounter high charges in the following year. Providers bank on customers being unwilling to switch again after only one year.

Energy market innovation through the digital transformation

Energy Hero (a start-up in the energy sector) has focused its business model on precisely this issue. For an annual fee, customers are automatically switched to the cheapest energy provider – thereby benefiting from switching discounts and saving time, as Energy Hero takes care of all the bureaucracy.
But what does that have to do with digitalisation? And where does Identum come into all this?

Energy Hero approached us with a view to developing their brand, conceiving and managing advertising campaigns and developing their website.
We reviewed every aspect of the digitalisation-driven product, not only developing a new brand concept but also helping to shape the business model and company processes from the ground up.

For the company’s end customers, the process is smooth and straightforward. Behind the scenes, however, there are a number of steps involved in taking the customer from initial contact with the campaign – as developed by Identum – to concluding a supply contract with the cheapest energy provider at the time. Each of these steps is automated, and is systematically mapped and measured. This process starts with conversion tracking and moves onto displaying online ad banners; the customer then registers on the website and their data is transferred to the SalesForce CRM, where the customer lifecycle is mapped out.

The e-Control interface makes it possible to find the cheapest provider for the end customer’s requirements and subsequently initiate the switch. The transfer is the final part of the digital process chain for the time being – at least, until the customer switches again the following year.

Using technological flexibility to break established paradigms

Taking the example of Energy Hero, we can see that digitalisation is a means to an end – namely, to switch customers to the cheapest energy provider on the market – and that digitalisation is not an end in itself. In the case of Energy Hero, we combined a range of technologies to allow our client to create a technical product the likes of which the market had never seen before. And yet, without digital solutions, it simply wouldn’t have been possible.

By its very nature, this project required a fundamental re-think and a willingness to break established rules and paradigms, along with flexibility and a rapid change of technological and strategic direction. This made the project all the more exciting for us as an agency – not only in terms of digitalisation.

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