The top 5 digital trends in 2018 that make a difference

Making a digital difference
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Scanning across the trades, industry opinions and announcements, and most importantly in work with clients and business leaders, there are leading trends in digital business for 2018 that are making a difference:

1) Stay hyper focused on the digital / real world customer.  The customer experience remains key, and needs to be continuously aligned with.   Journey mapping the customer experience (B2B or B2C) across your real world and digital touch points with your brand and service / solutions makes a major difference as you adopt digital solutions.  Your digital presence should amplify and enforce your brand promise, and your underlying technology eco-system (from CMS / content publishing site to the CRM / engagement solutions) need to act as one in that digital customer experience.

2) Digital Sales Enablement is the secret weapon to digital growth.  Digital marketing and social media are ‘table stakes’ activities – you need to do it, your brand absolutely needs the visibility, and- it has become a commodity.   Digital Sales Enablement – integration of ‘facilitated sales platforms’ and CRM solutions is becoming the major capability that companies can leverage to increase sales and growth.

black and white blur board game challenge
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3) Artificial Intelligence has reached a maturity stage, where smaller players who are specializing and partnering.  You will see A.I. embedded in over 1/3 of your products and platforms in the the course of the next 24 months.   It is now found in part on chips in the newest iPhones, and more importantly – the cloud-enabled platforms are embedding and making possible for customer service, sales support and analytics, relationship builds with customers, and even tailored customer intake processes.

4) Robotic process automation (RPA) is ready for the prime time.  As more companies are struggling with outsourcing (either visas, quality, or contract renewals) – the alternative that is now commercially viable is RPA.  Over 20 solution providers now exist in this space, and you will see the major consulting companies and outsourcing / system integrators will be offering this as a strong / lower cost alternative to the traditional BPO / ITO solution.  Get ahead on this curve and decide which makes sense for your company.

5) Digital collaboration platforms (with video and content targeting and sharing)  that work on mobile are becoming a major supercharger for corporate speed and decision making, and engaging field / remote team members with a core corporate center.  We are finding companies who leverage these new generation are finally making a difference in the area of collaboration.

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Is this it?  Certainly not – there are hundreds of combinations that differentiate per industry and geolocation!  These five are strong foundation stones to any digital experience for 2018 – optimizing for your business and focusing on the experience that matters is key to maximizing your digital opportunity!

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