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Business Design.. with customer centricity

Here is my presentation that is about Business Design and how you lay the foundation of business development and value generation on customer journey and diminish the complexity to understandable and measurable insights and practices to marketing, operations and R&D. Recognition and simplification is the way to go and insights come from that. I’ve just landed back to my roots and start Business Development consulting which is really about customer and total marketing driven corporate transformation. That’s why it was relevant to take a look back and make a fusion from past to current.

I came to conclusion that past was already right – but required a lot to learn in order to develop the understanding and methods further.. Even if your theory and concept were perfect – making it a practice and a reality takes a lot of sweat, consideration, trial and error, right context, position and organization. However, enjoy. This material was better than I remembered (I was a founding member at Taivas Business Design and OneExperience planning director before my assignment as marketing architect at Toinen PHD and starated Future CMO transformation consulting and coaching in Jan 2014). 

One Experience was a cross-channel behavior analytics tool and methodology we at Taivas Group started developing already back in 2004. Professor for Masscustomization Jarmo Suominen (MIT/UIAH) contributed to the theory and framework tremendously in the beginning and I led the project turning the ideology in to OneExperience online platform. This tool was extremely advanced back then but also represented a Utopia as practice. It turned out the tool was not viable back then due to siloed ecosystem which made it totally impossible to distribute and scale globally as a SaaS planning platform. Combination of qualitative and quantitative studying methods and total planning approach delivering insights about customer interfaces, brand status, distribution channels and product/service qualities it was impossible to integrate in WPP organisation and scale with Ogilvy Group, JWT, RMG, G2, GroupM, MillwardBrown… Why? We talked to everybody and they all loved it. Well, you would have needed to involve crm, online, advertising, promotion, creatives and media planning from separate organizations and align all their efforts for unified practice and goals. The same applied to client organizations. CMO’s at that point were more brand and advertising directors than true business drivers with full marketing spectrum and integration to operations.
That.. well.. was utopia in 2007 when we launched the tools.  We did good in Finland where we were a single team working for clients in Finnish culture with low organization hierarchy enabling collaboration directly with CMO, board of directors and business managers responsible for operations. We did great results but could not turn OneExperience in to international business as such.
The world has changed over the past five years.. This change is now reaching the tippin’ point. Perhaps we are closer to that Utopia now.. or are we? This change involves every one in the ecosystem and everyone inside corporate management. This is what we are now trying to do at ToinenPHD in Finnish scale. Is the world ready for scaling this kind of Total marketing approach and Customer Journey driven ideology in to practical daily work. Are CMO’s and the ecosystem ready for it now? Is it possible to make Utopia a reality?

Author: Toni Keskinen, Marketing Architect & Customer Journey Designer


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  1. Bo Damgaard says:

    My experience is that the business discipline of design is no longer a foreign concept to many of today’s business leaders. Many of the companies that I talk to has made customer experience a strategic priority. But almost without exception they all struggle to implement major long-lasting improvements. That’s because they fail to connect behind-the-scenes activities to customer interactions because they don’t know how to drive holistic business-technology design and architecture. Most of the organisations know that they need to develop, strong architecture governance and maturity but for almost all the CMO’s ‘governance’ gets a bad reputation — and often for good reason, because it is rigid, siloed, and tech-focused. What they seek is an agile governance that accounts for the complexity, flexibility, and speed that today’s organisations need but all too often their current governance is not working well, and to plan for an integrated approach that simultaneously builds for both agile governance and digital business design is a massive task that most CMO’s are afraid to embark on.

    Even though customer journeys and customer experience design are intuitive to many CMO’s today the complexity that comes with business capability architecture makes it an utopia for most of them. However, I think we’ll see more and more companies no longer focus on integrating siloed applications, but instead focus on business capability architecture that packages applications as flexible business building blocks that facilitate business change by unifying across their disconnected applications in order to deliver a connected customer experience across the customer journey.

  2. Thank you very much for your comment Bo! I agree, legacy technologies and bad decisions make the transformation quite difficult. I think that customer journey thinking could well become the one approach that pulls everyone together and helps aligning everyones roles and responsibilities along with technology. Major IT companies are now using customer journey design in order to make the requirements for technology right. Perhaps Customer Journey is the common language all departments could agree with.

  3. Bo Damgaard says:

    I completely agree. To deliver the quality of multichannel experience that customers expect, firms need to bridge gaps between internal silos. Customer journey mapping is a powerful approach to align the organization on customer needs and help business units play their part in creating relevant and engaging interactions across a wide range of touchpoints.

    Marketing and technology has become so deeply entwined it’s evident that we’ve clearly reached a tipping point.

  4. […] The two stages before these are: Brand-as-a-platform that you can read from here and Initiation, you can read here.  (I would recommend reading them, before going further to choosing and buying journey below). Also check out how to run customer driven business design development here. […]

  5. […] Business Design with customer centricity […]

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