TISSOT T12 24H

The Tale Of Vintage Watch Gift And Leadership Principles

There are moments in our lives that define or redefine our leadership principles and our lives. One such incident just happened and brought me back to my core values. One of my previous direct reports came to meet me and gifted something very special. He appreciated me for my leadership style of transparency, empathy, trust and getting the best out of people. It was a humbling and life redefining moment for me! As it was was a redefining moment hence thought of sharing here.

TISSOT NAVIGATOR SEASTAR T12, AUTOMATIC 24H
Vintage watch gifted by my team member

The Gift

This is a priceless gift for me as he invested thoughts, money and then loads of time. This is a 1970 vintage watch that he bought online for approx. $500-$1000. He spent lot of time cleaning the inside mechanism, restoring the outside/bezel and installing a brand new leather band. He loves to restore vintage watches and this one was very special for him. As per him he went through all this labor because he appreciates my friendship, leadership and the value I have added. I may never be able to repay him for this gift and I doubt if I ever added that much value into his life.

At this time you must be thinking, how is this vintage watch related to my leadership principles? Please trsut me and stay with me for another minute.

Leadership Principles

Since early childhood, I have lead teams at school, college, community and now in the professional world. All these years I have built my list of leadership principles that I lead with on a daily basis. These are leadership principles that I either discovered (not invented) in the process or learned from other leaders by following or reading books on leadership. Here are my top 10 leadership principles:

  1. Be the example of the culture you want to build in your team and remembered for
  2. Respect your team members in every situation
  3. Lead with empathy and transparency as it builds TRUST in short and long term
  4. Operate with accountability
  5. Enable performance by promoting the culture of short term wins and celebrating them as a team
  6. Focus on the strengths of your team members. Only coach them in areas of weakness if it is hurting or will hurt them
  7. Feedback is a gift. Be vulnerable as a leader and allow your team members their feedback on you
  8. Follow the principles of situational leadership
  9. Be humble, invest in continuous learning
  10. Have fun with your team. Culture is not built while you are working on the projects but when you are not. Find opportunities to have fun time, learn about them, their families, journeys, aspirations etc.

The connection

So here comes the link between the two that I promised you earlier......

We all live in real-world where we often swim with sharks. I have been going through some rough patches in my life and questioning my leadership principles. I have been questioning their validity in the corporate world where there is a cut-throat competition. What matters in those environments is goals/numbers in each quarter, your perception among your seniors and peers and much more. Questions that have been bothering me for months are: Do I need to change to survive and be successful in the corporate world? Do I need to change my leadership principles and be one of the “sharks”? Do I need to stop being that “Nice Guy”, “servant leader”, “Strength finder”?

...Here is the connection back to the wonderful gift. I am glad you waited and continued the journey to see how this all connects...

This thoughtful gift and the humbling incident brought me back on-track. It answered my questions that I must continue to be who I am. I am defined by the principles, beliefs and values that I have lived with. Yes, I evolve those to become better as per the North Star of my life but I cannot change them completely or in the opposite direction. These are the leadership principles that align with my True North.

This team member appreciated me and gave me such a thoughtful gift because he likes to be led with these leadership principles. These leadership principles have enabled him during those years when was part of my team and believed in him, trusted him and enabled him. We have always been a family that works hard, extra hard in times of need, backs-up each other, and then have fun together.

When I retire from my professional career, I will like to be remembered for the value I created in the life of my fellow co-workers and the organizations. I will like to be known for the value I gave back to the community that I helped me become better every day. I will like to be known for the smiles I brought, careers I enabled and dreams I helped to come to life for my family, friends and colleagues.

Closing thoughts

Only existing or new leadership principles can help me reach my True North and not some shallow principles that may help me be temporarily successful. This gift empowered me to continue believing in my leadership principles. It forced me to think again about my end game and not just this small destination which is part of my long journey. Once-again I believe in the power of my decades-old leadership principles!

I hope my story inspires you to question yourself and identify your leadership principles. What will you like to be remembered for? What are the memories you want to retire with? How many lives do you want to touch & add value? I hope you will share your story one day and inspire me!

MarTech Adoption – How to increase Marketing ROI

Beside your MarTech stack, MarTech adoption is a critical factor in driving success and high return on investment (ROI). Hence enabling MarTech skills and regular use of those skills is a critical first step. Skills come primarily from training and that needs resources especially investment of money.

After spending a lot of $$ on procuring MarTech, resources for training become a luxury that we cannot afford. Failure to train marketing teams on MarTech skills will create a huge barrier to MarTech adoption. If you are not planning to invest in MarTech training you are starting with a poor ROI from the beginning. I caution you against that and I hope you have both training and onboarding as part of MarTech strategy and investment plan.

“Organizations that invest in acquiring and maintaining MarTech skills are eight times more likely to also experience good or very good ROI.”

– A study I read few years ago.

Key Metrics to track MarTech Adoption

Some of the key metrics that come to my mind to measure MarTech adoption and ROI are:

  • Volume metrics: Measure things like impression, leads, form fills, product views etc.
  • Financial metrics: Measure things like opportunities created, revenue generated, revenue influenced or ROI. You need a stack that has data well connected for your insights team to calculate these.
  • NPS of Customer Zero: This is an ongoing tracking of satisfaction across your internal users. I have found this to be an important metric for MarTech adoption.
Customer Zero NPS is very helpful metric for tracking MarTech adoption
Customer Zero NPS – Leading indicator of MarTech Adoption in 2016 for MarTech
  • Productivity metrics: Measure things like time saved or requests handled, adherence to SLAs, time saved, the velocity of deals, speed to lead etc.
  • Stack Complexity/Retire Legacy assets: How many technologies that can be consolidated as we move from a disconnected MarTech stack with redundant technologies to a MarTech stack that is connected like a platform.

You may argue that first two are marketing metrics. MarTech teams should co-own these metrics as this ensures investments in solutions that enable business outcomes. This will also motivate your MarTech teams to integrate across technologies. Integration and Data are two key aspects in the evolution of MarTech maturity. I will be sharing industries’ first MarTech Maturity Model built with over 30 years of collective MarTech experience in the next few weeks. You will be able to use it as a framework to evolve your MarTech program.

Ideas to enable MarTech adoption

Here are some of the ideas that I have used or plan to use in the future to enable MarTech adoption and Marketing enablement:

  • As part of MarTech governance ensure your marketing stakeholder(s) are part of prioritization. They should also share responsibility for enabling ROI. Do this before you decide to invest in that MarTech solution.
  • Involve key marketing stakeholders in vendor selection, implementation and onboarding as a responsible party.
  • As soon as the marketing team onboards on MarTech solution, start creating monthly reports that use 2 or more metrics mentioned above to track MarTech adoption.
  • Roll out onboarding sessions followed by on-going training.
  • Track MarTech adoption with the help of the vendor and report out on a quarterly basis. Have a north star for adoption and request the vendor to come with recommendations to achieve it.
  • Roll-out a full-service digital marketing academy that works round the clock to enable. I will attribute the success of our MarTech program at McKesson to the Digital Marketing Academy. Here are some of the focus areas I recommend for a MarTech or Digital Marketing Academy:
    • On-going training on essential and emerging technologies
    • Certifications
    • Sharing of Best practices (internal and external)
    • Awards for best work in various categories
    • Opportunities to network across division if you are in a large enterprise
    • Have fun included in your program, so that various teams can bond across team silos
Marketing teams like to connect with each other
From Survey after 2016 Digital Marketing Academy at McKesson

I hope this helps and I will love to be part of your MarTech adoption and Marketing transformation journey. Feel free to share your experience on the topic of MarTech adoption and Marketing Enablement.

Feel free to reach out if you need guidance on putting together MarTech adoption strategy or establishing a Digital Marketing Academy.

DMP vs CDP vs DATA LAKE

During Customer Data Platform (CDP) and Data Lake discussions, I often come across wild assumptions on Data Lake’s ability to solve every problem while CDPs end up being heavily underestimated. In my opinion, neither CDP and nor Data Lake is replacement for each other but a perfect complement to each other. Data Lakes are a key source of data for CDPs while CDPs can help improve the quality and completeness of data in Data Lake. Another key platform in this mix especially for marketers is the Data Management Platform (DMP). I will like to spend some time to answer the DMP vs CDP vs Data Lake question.

Don’t think DMP vs CDP vs Data Lake but DMP+CDP+Data Lake.

If you don’t have the patience to read through all of this article on the difference of DMP vs CDP vs Data Lake, please skip directly to the summary section in the end.

DATA MANAGEMENT   PLATFORM (DMP)CUSTOMER DATA   PLATFORM (CDP)DATA LAKE
DEFINITIONData Management Platform (DMP) collects anonymous web and digital data. It comprehends information about prospects psychographics and demographics.  

Manage segments of customers with anonymous profiles.

For broadening marketing reach by building segments, audience mining etc.

Capture targeted audience at the right time in the buying funnel through relevant messaging.

Better optimization programs and smarter media buying decisions can be taken based on audience analysis and latest campaigns.
Customer Data Platform (CDP) is a type of packaged software which creates a persistent, unified identifiable customer profile that is accessible to other systems. Data is pulled from multiple sources, anonymized, cleaned and combined with third party data, intent data etc. to create a single profile of a customer.  

CDP enables real time activation of omni-channel experience across. CDP data can be leveraged in real time to provide more personalized content and delivery over web, mobile, Email, ABM, Ads etc. CDP data is accessible by external systems and structured to support digital and marketing team needs for experience management, campaign management, marketing analysis and business intelligence  

CDP is always a hot storage meaning easily retrievable and live connected to like customer master. CDP doesn’t need technical skills to manage and operate.
A Data Lake is a centralized repository that allows you to store all your structured and unstructured data at any scale. You can store your data as-is, without having to first structure the data, and run different types of analytics—from dashboards and visualizations to big data processing, real-time analytics, and machine learning to guide better decisions.

The key focus of Data Lake is to ensure that highly connected data is available to all enterprise systems and functions.

Data lake can have a combination of cold and hot storage. Cold storage for more older data like over 3 years.  Data Lake need very technical resources to build and operate it. Data Lakes don’t offer integration with last mile solutions like MarTech solutions.

Data Lake provides ability to understand what data is in the lake through crawling, cataloging, and indexing of data. It always ensures data assets are protected.

Data Lake allows to run analytics without the need to move data to a separate analytics system. Generate different types of insights including reporting on historical data and doing machine learning where models are built to forecast likely outcomes and suggest a range.

Different types of analytics on your data like SQL queries, big data analytics, full text search, real-time analytics, and machine learning are needed to uncover insights. You can create new business models based on historical data and new financial models based on customer behavior, product categories, market data, risks and opportunities
 USERSAdvertising Professionals Ad agencies Marketing (limited)Digital Marketing Customer Experience Sales (limited)Data scientists, Data developers, and Business analysts (using curated data)
IT
Sales
Finance
HR
Marketing
Digital
DATA SOURCES & MANAGEMENTData is ingested   from various client and media sources like marketing analytics, CRM, ad-servers, publisher partners and point of sale (POS).
Data is also collected from mobile apps, client’s website, as well as other channels that use native apps.
It is then augmented and enriched with   3rd party vendor data; private data exchanges are established.
First Party Data:
Web Analytics
CRM
Advertising Data
Marketing Automation Data
Second Party Data
Third Party DataIntent Data
Marketing Lists
Device data
Etc.
Data Lake can connect structured and unstructured data available in:
MDM (Master Data Management) systems
ERP CRM
Commercial Data
Product Data
Multiple other critical backend IT and Data systems in an enterprise
Line of Business Applications
DMP vs CDP vs DATA LAKE

Summary and Recommendation on DMP vs CDP vs Data Lake

DMP-vs-CDP-vs-Data-Lake

So how should we use this information on DMP vs CDP vs Data Lake and apply it to your business? DMP can take care of most of your needs if you are only focused on marketing segmentation and advertising. There are many mature products in the market that you can buy and start using immediately. If you have use cases broader than that (I hope so), then you must look into CDP and Data Lake. If you are a CDO, CMO or CIO reading this, you must look into CDP and Data Lake. CDP and Data Lake are both required by every organization as both provide solutions to different problems. While Data Lake brings the data from enterprise together and makes is useable immediately, CDP focused on doing the same for the use cases limited to teams focused on the customer side. These are primarily digital and marketing teams.

If you have a functional Data Lake, you should build a CDP (light) as data lakes are not built to solve last-mile use cases. Your digital and marketing experiences will struggle as you will not be able to utilize Data Lake to full potential.  CDP implementation will be lightweight and primarily focus on

  • Append digital and marketing specific data that is not available in Data Lake.
  • Create customer 360 and build segments for activation
  • Connect with last-mile experience and marketing systems to activate the data

If you only have CDP, you should look into building a Data Lake to solve bigger use cases and enable digital transformation in other areas like Sales, Customer Service, finance etc. Data is the blood for a Digital Transformation. 

If you don’t have both, you should start at least with CDP as those can build quickly and you can start hacking growth while you build data lakes that can take years in a large enterprise. As I mentioned above, you will still need a Data Lake. Plan to have that in the long term.

The question of DMP vs CDP vs Data Lake is not right as all these systems come together and help you enable transformation in the digital age that we all call Digital Transformation.


More suggested content from some experts in this space

Some additional content from the post on LinkedIn where I got some good feedback from experts in this field:

Most organizations are looking to add CDP to their MarTech stack as they are getting a data lake stood up, leading to parallel efforts and often times the 3rd party CDP (with speed to market) beating the in-house data lake build initiative. Then it gets to be buyer-beware as all CDPs aren't true and good CDPs. It's all about having laser-focused CDP use cases ready to deliver business value and knowing which vendor to partner with to maximize ROI. - Fauzia Chaudhry (Senior Manager, MarTech, Robert Half)
Today’s customer is on at least 5 or more connected device at any given point in time and with this device hopping the expectation is to have the same intimate moments of delightful and seamless experience on all of the channel of engagement and that is where CDP makes an immense impact, especially with privacy and regulations. - Raphy Mathias (Domain Information Officer, Toyota Financial Services)
CDPs are designed from the ground-up to solve both of these problems using AI to make sense of the data, and automation to active data into individual channels. As channels proliferate and customers move to Digital consumption modes, this combination of activation + automation is a must-have to grow Revenue without adding complexity and cost. - Shashi Upadhyay (EVP, Dun & Bradstreet)

Digital Transformation, Digitization and Digitalization

I came across three words related to transformation in the digital age; Digital Transformation, Digitization and Digitalization. These words were quite confusing especially Digitalization hence decided to explore the definitions and real-life meaning. Here is what I learnt in the process and will love to hear your thoughts and feedback.

Digital Transformation

Digital transformation is the practice of leveraging emerging technologies to build new business systems, business models, consumer & employee experience, or to change current ones to address increasing industry and market needs.

Digital Transformation is focused on CX, EX, Business Systems and Models
Digital Transformation is focused on CX, EX, Business Systems and Models

Digital transformation goes beyond conventional systems such as distribution, marketing, and customer support. Instead, digital transformation starts and ends with the way you think about customers and the way you engage them.

Digital Transformation, Digitization and Digitalization

Since all of these words have “digital” in them, they must be the same. Wrong. These words define and describe three different things and are not interchangeable. Let’s take a brief look.

Digitization

Digitization is the transition from analog to digital. Not that long ago, businesses had paper accounts and ledgers to keep track of their activities and transactions. The business data was analogous, whether handwritten in ledgers or typed in documents. You dealt with physical documents, such as papers and binders, Xeroxes, and faxes, if you wanted to gather or share information. Digitization is the process of converting information into a digital format as per TechTarget

Another great example is our videos in VHS to CDs or DVDs and audio in cassettes to CDs and eventually MP3. Computers became popular, and several corporations began turning all those paper and physical documents into digital data archives. The method of transforming material from analog to digital is called digitization.

Digitalization

This one is very confusing for me at least. For some, it means Digitization and for some digital transformation.

As per my understanding Digitalization enables and improves business processes by leveraging digital technologies e.g. APIs, big data, cloud etc. Digitalization is not about changing the way you do business or creating new business models. It is about making everything quicker and easier now that the data is readily available and not stuck anywhere in a rusty folder in a file cabinet or a homegrown database server.

In the example of customer support, Digitalization has fundamentally improved operation by allowing consumer information simple and fast to access via the device. The simple customer support approach did not shift, but as scanning paper ledgers became substituted by inserting a few keystrokes on a computer screen or mobile app, the procedure of answering a query, looking up the appropriate records, and providing a response was far more effective. It has not changed how you provide support by using new platforms like social media etc.

As per Gartner Digitalization is the use of digital technologies to change a business model and provide new revenue and value-producing opportunities; it is the process of moving to a digital business.

Closing thoughts

Digital Transformation, Digitization and Digitalization
Digital Maturity: Digital Transformation, Digitization and Digitalization

Digital Transformation, Digitization and Digitalization are all steps in the right direction at different times with different outcomes and value. While Digitization initiates the journey, Digitalization accelerates the business systems and makes it easier to access information. It is Digital Transformation that enables the end to end game that every organization needs to win it’s customers, employees and investors.

Recommendation

The companies who are just happy with Digitization or Digitalization are the ones that will not be able to compete and stay in business for the long term. Even if you are not competing with Amazon, Uber or Delta but your customers and partners are learning what good CX looks like and they expect the same from you!

Go Directly for Digital Transformation as Digitalization is partial and digitization is too basic. Digital transformation strategy and tactics will enable all you need for hacking growth via great digital experience and business models.

What is Digital

You must have heard people claiming that the world is going digital. Well, have you ever wondered what is digital? Every single aspect of our lives is slowly evolving and stepping into the modern era of the digital revolution. The world is gradually becoming paperless, and every single activity is now carried out via technology, smartphones, and the internet. From necessary communication to overseas conference calls, websites, apps, television, etc. the world is run on digital advancements.

Today, we will discuss what is Digital, how it is changing our world. Once you thoroughly understand what is digital, you will understand how to use it to your advantage, and how is digital changing the businesses around the globe.

Role of digital in our life
(Source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-holding-laptop-beside-glass-wall-1181316/)

Textbook Definition

Basically, a digital system can only differentiate between two values or two states: off and on. These are represented with the help of 0 and 1, respectively. Nowadays, every piece of machinery and equipment is digital in nature and uses 0’s and 1’s to store, manipulate, and retrieve information. You can read more about the history of digital here. We can spend a lot more time discussing what is digital but let’s try to understand it using real-life applications.

what is digital
(Source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/photo-of-woman-writing-on-tablet-computer-while-using-laptop-4348401/)

What Is Digital Evolution’s impact on Business World?

For some business and technology leaders, it’s more about the technological infrastructure, while for others, digital is a new form of customer engagement especially if they are in digital or marketing. Some business owners perceive digital as a whole different way to do business. None of those concepts are incorrect.

Let’s take a look at how the digital advancements are impacting the customer relationships, engagements, and user experience or in other words how is digital is changing our world

Reinventing Business Frontiers #Disruption

Some business owners employ modern digital practices to investigate new demographics and engage with them. Reinventing the business frontiers have become more accessible, quicker, and more accurate with the help of digital devices.

Digital systems offer the power of evaluating new investment sectors and communities and also highlights the possible opportunities, threats, and competitors in the field. Moreover, some businesses are employing data science practices to understand the precedents and the past of the sector to come up with profitable strategies for the future.

The exploration of business frontiers has also allowed businesses to offer a better user experience. For instance, in the automotive industry, companies are now using digital devices to provide in-car entertainment, automated navigation systems, and even automated driving systems. The reinvention of the business frontiers allows businesses to point out the flaws in the existing business models, restructure them, and offer a better user experience for maximum customer engagement.

Big data, analysis, and data science algorithms allow businesses to reevaluate their current impact on the audiences, restructure the business strategies, and enhance user journeys.

Restructuring Value of Core Business #BusinessTransformation

The next aspect of digital technology is to reconsider how modern technologies will be utilized to change the way consumers are engaged, served, and benefited.

This is embedded in a fascination with knowing every phase of the buying process of a customer, regardless of the medium, and talking about how digital technologies will develop and offer the best product experience in all areas of the market. The digital era offers new ways to serve customers and enhance their overall interaction with the business.

For instance, the supply chain is essential to the advancement of consistency, quality, and speed to produce the best commodity effectively in a manner that the consumer needs. At the same time, data and analytics should rely on delivering information regarding consumers that, in effect, control and drive decisions regarding promotions and revenue.

The digital revolution is all about introducing a cyclical environment where systems and technologies are continually changing depending on consumer feedback, promoting sustained product or loyalty. Everything comes together to enhance user interaction with the company and also boosts the company’s revenue by increasing customer loyalty and identifying more opportunities to serve them better.

Offering Fast Work Process #Agility

Digital technologies allow companies to become faster, quicker, and more agile in terms of serving customers and identifying market needs. Being modern is about leveraging data to make smarter and easier choices, delegating decision-making to smaller teams, and finding even more iterative and simpler methods to do stuff. This way of thought will not be limited to only a couple of roles. It will provide a wide variety of how companies work, including innovative collaborations with external firms to broaden the requisite capability.

Look at how computing, computing, infrastructure, technology development, installation, continuous integration, and everything else has changed due to cloud services from Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Netapps, and many more. How building websites has changed by companies like Wix, e-commerce by Shopify are some of the everyday examples I come across. What used to take years two decades ago, months in the last decade; can now be done in days.

Another way of looking at it is from the viewpoint of modern devices and networks that allow the users to interact with the companies quickly. Back in the day, everything took weeks, and it took weeks for companies to reach out to their customers. However, with modern digital platforms and devices, the companies can freely and openly interact with their audiences in a matter of seconds.

Redefining Customer experience #CX

The old and traditional methods of engaging customers are changed and have been tailored to offer an enhanced customer experience. A prime example of this experience is available at Amazon, Uber, Zappos, Delta, and many more.

With the help of modern digital technologies, companies can now understand what the users want and offer it to them individually. This means that if one group of users want to see sci-fi movies, while others want to see history movies, digital technologies can understand this, and offer a personalized and tailored GUI for these groups. Prime daily life example is Netflix, Hulu and many others.

Moreover, you can use technology to enhance the overall level of customer satisfaction by allowing them to interact with your social media platforms, customer service platforms, and finding new mediums of contacting you.

New Customer Experience
(Source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-holding-tablet-computer-3082341/)

Closing Thoughts on what is Digital

Digital continues to change how customers behave and businesses work. It all began with ones and zeroes in 1703, but it has come a long way!

Today, modern digital technologies allow companies to understand better new sectors, existing demographics, customer journeys; to offer a new level of customer experience, interaction, satisfaction, and explore new business models and markets.

I hope this offers a quick view of what is Digital and how is digital changing our world. Will love to hear your thoughts on how digital is changing the world and especially the one that you live in?