Economic crisis: opportunity to innovate and grow

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In an economic scenario marked by uncertainties and pessimistic forecasts, investing in technology is the surest way to find viable and creative alternatives, either to reduce costs or to increase revenues or the company’s operating efficiency. It is a common point among specialists: without technological innovation there is no sustainable growth. Therefore, innovating to adapt to the digital reality was the alternative adopted by developed markets in times of economic contraction and has proven successful. It was during the crisis period of recent years that the digital technology market has made great leaps of innovation. It was also when mass membership, especially in the Northern Hemisphere, increased to analytical resources and digital solutions. Regardless of the territory of operation or size of the business, it is a path with no return.

Part of this diagnosis is due to the fact that, currently, more than half of the purchase day is carried out independently by the buyer. With the expansion of digital devices and media, access to information has also expanded considerably. In addition, many of the transactions and activities carried out offline now happen via the internet.

Tracking this change in habits, prospecting customers, and anticipating market demands accurately, before competition, demands innovation in marketing and sales actions. Traditional strategies tend to become obsolete in an increasingly digitized world. Actions based on “intuition” need to give rise to decisions based on the analysis of the characteristics and behavior of the consumer. Therefore, the need to invest in tools and analytical technological resources. In short, the complexity of pre-sales processes, in which the business-to-business buyer is increasingly connected and well-informed, demands strategies based on accurate and complete data on the customer experience.

Extracting and analyzing information that generates quick and accurate insight into each step of the buying cycle tends to become the great differential of successful strategies within the B2B universe. In addition to the data generated internally by the organization, there are numerous other external sources to be explored, according to corporate objectives. Companies that know how to turn this unstructured data into useful insights in order to support decision making will have a great competitive advantage.

The problem is that while BI / Analytics / Big Data themes appear high on the CIO agenda, organizations are poorly qualified to implement the necessary changes. For example, there is a lot of confusion around Big Data. Big Data is not confused with CRM, but it can include the internal data of the company, structured or not, in its analytical platforms. Big Data has to do with volume, speed, variety, variability and complexity. It is a large amount of data, structured and unstructured, generated daily in multiple media, most of them external to the company. We are talking about a variety of channels (emails, apps, social networks, videos, streamings, articles, uploads, downloads, financial transactions, searches) and devices (smartphones, tablets, GPS, desktops, smart TVs). All of these sources provide data that, if properly manipulated, provides insight into the customer, their behaviors, and the consumption steps.

Therefore, investing in technology is crucial to dealing with the reality of the new market and to stand out in times of crisis. But, cultural and organizational aspects of the company are just as important. For effective renewal, the understanding that new customer-centric management models need to be implemented must be disseminated across all departments. The culture of data analysis as a support for business decisions will be a decisive factor in differentiating companies in their competitive markets in the coming years.