Across rapidly shifting global markets, one thing is certain: This is the age of the customer. Whatever the industry, whatever the location, customers expect companies to respond to — and even anticipate — their needs in a very personalized way. Many businesses are carefully studying changing customer preferences and generating new products and services through Internet-based digital business initiatives.
But not all businesses are on equal footing when competing in the digital business arena. Newer companies are often “born digital,” enabling them to follow a customer-focused strategy that is interwoven with digital assets from the start. In contrast, mature companies, sometimes called “digital immigrants,” frequently face uphill battles as they work to transform their businesses to compete with born-digital rivals. Their challenge is to shift from a traditional “inside-out” approach to an “outside-in” business model that puts the customer, and equally important, data about the customer, first.