At Open we identify and examine customer issues. At DNA we deliver on that thinking.

"We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them." - Albert Einstein

Convergence

Water makes its way to the sea

Sherryn Macdonald February 2010

Just like water making its way to the sea, people take the path of least resistance to reach their goals. A state of flow along any given ‘retail journey’ is achieved by offering the shopper the right path in the right way at the right time – for them. Your customer doesn’t really care about the touch point or the channel you offer  – its their goal that has led them to you and meeting that goal well means the difference between success and failure for you. Online/offline collisions occur when a business is channel focussed rather than customer focussed. Dividing a company into delivery channels ensures budgets, resources and key outcomes are neatly bounded and accountable. However, the reality is each channel eventually converges at the point of the customer.

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Convergence

The online/offline media conundrum

Vincent Heeringa February 2010

Idealog magazine has always aspired to be an integrated online and offline media product—and we’ve kind of succeeded. You can experience Idealog via print, video, events, Twitter, email and the web – and it’s fairly coherent across all the platforms. There are as many people who know us by our email newsletter and Twitter as know us as a magazine, which is good news for a brand with a small marketing budget.

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Convergence

Is convergence always an unholy marriage?

Grenville Main February 2010

We often look at where digital and retail worlds collide, and sadly, where they often miss each other completely. When it works well customers have a seamless experience. When it misses the mark its an ugly experience for customers, uncomfortable and unnerving for staff and costly for a business. Customers are pretty smart – they know exactly what they want – you just don’t always offer it. They are focused – they do know how they want to get things and what makes sense to them. They are astute – they do know how to value what things cost them, versus what they cost you. They also have a value to be placed on their time – so if you are to offer an integrated service experience – it better be time and cost positive for your customers.

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Convergence

How long will the store be open?

Gill Coltart February 2010

With rents high, staff costs significant and a plethora of digital offers open and accessible from anywhere in the world, I do wonder what the physical experience of retail can do to stay relevant. OK so there is still the communal activity of ‘shopping’ to contend with, and still the tactility of seeing, smelling or sitting in what you may want to buy - its not all about getting products fast and cheap online. But you have to ask - as new worlds open up, what do old worlds need to change to keep up? If you can buy what you want any time of the day or night online, is the role of the physical environment in the future facing extinction. Will the High Street’s of New Zealand only be the domain of a few assisted sales offerings, and the old way of shopping die out completely - or will we see an emergence of a service experience that can’t be replicated online.

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Convergence

The travel industry bytes back.

Mike Halpin February 2010

The travel industry used to work on a standard commission paid in much the same way as the media advertising marketing model works. The internet has enabled people to do DIY holidays (often with the misconception that the internet provides wholesale pricing). In fact, nearly every travel purchase must be made on an instant purchase basis, and if you have  ticked the terms and conditions box then the purchase is likely non-refundable and non-amendable, i.e. use it or lose it. The traditional distribution system has been honed down as the industry has concentrated on taking out the middleman. As Carol acknowledges, if your travel requirement does not sit on a shelf waiting for you to click it, then where do you go for help online? Where did the middlemen go?

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Convergence

7 questions and 7 answers

Grenville Main February 2010

We asked a diverse bunch of experts and opinion leaders working across a range of sectors to answer the same seven questions – Where are businesses using multi-channels well – and where is convergence or integration really working for both business and customers? What is fundamentally driving the need to be multi channel – self service, personalisation, cost, competition?  What NZ companies have transformed their businesses through work in this space?

The Experts are: 

  • Sarah Gibbs – Co-founder, Trilogy Skincare;
  • Kostia Shinderman – Manager Digital Strategy & Operations,  BNZ
  • John Lee – Editor Theme Magazine, New York
  • Mark Di Somma – The Audacity Group
  • Frank van der Velden – Chief Executive Officer, Touchpoint
  • Charlie Ward – Design Director, DNA
  • Simon Coley – Creative Director / Co-Founder of Powershop and AllGood Bananas.
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Convergence

Who’s driving this thing?

Aaron Carson February 2010

These days the way media organisations cover international events can have an effect on the outcome of the situation. After all, for them it’s less about communicating what’s happening and more about keeping us engaged with the anticipation of what might happen next. With so many millions of us following things real time, the way we react to information can actually influence what’s going on. What we buy (and choose not to), who we vote for, who we trust, who we share information with e.t.c. can all make a difference. But who’s to say the info we’re digesting and basing our decisions on is real or in our best interests? Sensationalising things might keep us all aimed at the telly and the net, but also increases the odds of us going off half-cocked and armed with less than the facts. Is this trend towards news as entertainment a reflection of people power on a massive scale or the biggest mass abdication of responsibility ever seen to date? The same is true in business and technology. Just because “they” say “it’s the way things are headed” don’t take it as gospel. Often great opportunities require fresh thinking, a new approach or a determination to find another way.

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Convergence

Now is good for me

Ben Pujji February 2010

Leaping in early is not seen as a great way to do things – but then coming last when your competitors have set the benchmark in customer service seems a bit lame. When it comes to planning how to integrate various customer channels many New Zealand businesses seem a little stuck. There’s no debate about the business benefit of having highly-engaged customers, or how providing integrated experiences help that happen. Is the internal structure of our companies the real problem? Maybe the idea of arranging channels and touch points around customers is just too hard to get our heads around? The reality is that there’s never been a better time for you and your businesses to get into the business of meeting customer needs properly.

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Convergence

Disintermediation: no longer reserved for plonkers

Steve Graham March 2011

In the past only a plonker would use such a word, but alas the word has come of age and has evolved beyond hoity-toity consultant speak. Disintermediation i.e. death of the middleman. Back in the day the middleman was the indispensable deal broker, justifiably charging fat margins. But with the internets’ role in shrinking and flattening the world and that world being one where transparency is becoming the norm in today’s online conversation — consumers are engaging directly with the brand (manufacturer). Our business clients are beginning to leverage the power of digital channels and they are gaining new efficiencies. In the age of disintermediation, the real winners are consumers and only the ‘best’ product/service offerings out there. The real challenge for brands is to build direct relationships with their customers in ways that are more intimate than ever before.

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Convergence

What do U2, Joaquin Phoenix, Cricket and Jesus have in common?

Aaron Carson December 2009

Opportunities abound and the great news is they don’t always have to be new. Sometimes revisiting existing territory with a fresh approach can be just as successful as a barnstormer of a new idea. While a brand may not be in its prime, it may still have a lot of equity and potential to perform well. The best way to unlock that potential is sometimes for the brand to re-invent itself. Look at your options when faced with a mid life business crisis – knock it on the head, start from scratch or take stock and strategically re-launch building on all the hard work and investment but also taking advantage of new opportunities in a constantly changing market. Whether you’re U2, Joaquin Phoenix, Cricket or Jesus – there are plenty of examples of successful resurrection. The ideal obviously is to change well before you’re really screwed, but the ideal is not always where we find ourselves. If you wait long enough the cyclical nature of things means everything un-cool becomes cool again eventually – take boat shoes for instance. The question is, how long are you willing to wait and at what cost?

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