Some visitors to the NEXT digital conference may have been humming the lines of Tim Bendzko’s hit song, “Keine Machine” (“I’m not a machine. I’m a human being made from flesh and blood.”) for reassurance. However, the motto, “It’s me, your digital ego” was illustrated by fascinating keynote speeches and cases to show the extent and speed at which artificial intelligent is spreading to some parts of our lives. The consumers of the future took centre stage at the trend and business conference in Hamburg from September 22-23. Over 50 keynote speakers from Europe, Asia and the United States debated topics such as the area between man and machine at venues in an around the Reeperbahn.
In an interview with Hamburg News, Matthias Schrader, founder of NEXT and CEO of the Hamburg-based SinnerSchrader agency, reveals where the digital journey is heading and what companies simply must do now.
Tip 1: Think of your new customers
The consumer is changing. He/she takes that little gadget into their hands 150 times to 200 times daily. The smartphone is becoming a remote control for everyday life. If I no longer occur on my customer’s smartphone life, then I no longer matter to them, practically, or I will lose part of my business.
Tip 2: Create concrete gains
Companies make products and put them into a digital service envelope. The question behind that is: what should my relationship to the customer look like? What products does the customer really need? Do I make products that work or have a very specific and swift gain for the customer?
Tip 3: Time is money
We are living increasingly in a one-click economy. The consumer’s attention span is sinking rapidly. It has sunk an average of six minutes to 60 seconds today in just a few years. The customer must be able to assess the use and value of your offer immediately.
Tip 4: Make the product fun
A service is one example. The perception of the service and what I, as a customer, experience is changing. Ask yourself: what is the customer’s digital experience. Is your digital product fun to use? Too little has changed in banking, for instance, for about 15 years.
Tip 5: Always think of the digital equivalent
Products change. Every physical aspect will have a digital aspect in future. The car, for instance, is also increasingly a digital product as well as a service provision.
Tip 6: Do not rely on the alleged power of a brand
The brand aspect is increasingly fading into the background. In future, the functional use of a product will increasingly come into the limelight. This rethink is particularly hard in Germany. But I eventually got to know Google and Amazon not through an emotional TV spot, rather through the immediate gain.
Tip 7: Service, Service, Service
Traditional sales paths are losing greatly in importance. The digital connections are already being rolled out. Now, I just have to offer a service relevant to the customer to remain relevant as well.
Tip 8: You are boss
Digital transformation is a huge challenge for the entire company. Naturally, it is a question of taking staff aboard as well. But remember – the customer is the source of the added value and the client is the top priority.
Tip 9: Come to NEXT
Seek contact to consumers wherever you can. That’s, for instance, an important motivation for NEXT – bringing different kinds of people together like consumers on the street with the marketing executives from an office.
Tip 10: However..
Do not go along with every hype. Analyse what really makes sense, which digital tools and channels really drive your business model and what creates real uses for your customer. Sit back calmly and let a digital trend rush past you by occasionally.