10 inspiring digital transformation case studies 0

Posted on March 13, 2017 by Rob Petersen

digital transformation case studies

Digital transformation is “the realignment or new investment in technology and business models to more effectively engage digital customers at every touchpoint in the customer experience lifecycle” according to Brian Solis.”

  • 87% of companies think that digital transformation is a competitive advantage (Capgemini Consulting)
  • 85% say they have a digital transformation time frame of two years or they will suffer financially and fall behind their competitors (Business2Community)
  • 67% of the CEOs of Global 2000 enterprises will have digital transformation at the center of their corporate strategy by 2018 (Forbes)
  • 62% say their organization is in denial about the need to transform digitally (Progress)
  • Only 27% of companies say that their executives possess the skills necessary for digital transformation (Verndale)

Last week, I gave a webinar on digital transformation case studies. Digital transformation case studies examined include Amazon, Burberry, General Motors, McDonald’s, P&G and Starbucks.

Here are the stories for these companies in 10 inspiring case studies of digital transformation.

Do this case studies help you understand digital transformation? Are you looking to accomplish a digital transformation at your company?

15 fascinating studies on the science of mindfulness 2

Posted on March 06, 2017 by Rob Petersen


Mindfulness is paying attention in the present without judgement. Because the present is the most powerful resource we have.

For thousands of years, people have used mindfulness practices—techniques to develop awareness of present experience with acceptance—to deal effectively with a wide range of life challenges. A large and fascinating body of scientific research now validates the benefits of mindfulness and its value in the workplace.

Mindfulness is showing up to be your best self. But that takes practice.

Over the weekend, we attended a Mindfulness Workshop at Grace Farms conducted in collaboration with the Copper Beach Institute. It was taught by Founder and Executive Director, Dr. Brandon Nappi.

Here are 15 fascinating studies on the science of mindfulness.

  1. 1,000,000,000 heartbeats is the lifespan of every living creature. The idea is to make the most and appreciate every one. (Copper Beach Institute)
  2. 2,000,000 American practice mindfulness. (American Mindfulness Research Association)
  3. 70,000 events is how many, on average, every human brain experiences every day. (Aware)
  4. 15,000 employees at Aetna have participated in at least one mindfulness meditation class. Those who have report, on average, a 28% reduction in their stress levels, a 20% improvement in sleep quality and a 19% reduction in pain. They also have become more effective on the job, gaining an average of 62 minutes per week of productivity each. Aetna estimates it’s worth $3,000 per employee per year. (NY Times)
  5. 4,000 scientific papers were combed through by researchers to write “Contemplating Mindfulness at Work,” which was published in the Journal of Management. Their main conclusion? Mindfulness is linked to better workplace function because it heightens the ability to concentrate,  pay attention, and listen. It also positively impacts work relationships and the ability to work in teams. (Omega)
  6. 500 employees at General Mills attend a Mindful Leadership program, created by General Mills’ deputy general counsel, Janice Marturano. According to the company’s self-report data: “After one of Marturano’s seven-week courses, 83% of participants said they were ‘taking time each day to optimize my personal productivity’ – up from 23% before the course. 82% said they now make time to eliminate tasks with limited productivity value – up from 32% before the course. And among senior executives who took the course, 80 percent reported a positive change in their ability to make better decisions, while 89% said they became better listeners.” (Financial Times)
  7. 342 people, in a study, aged 20 to 70 published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that participants using Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) had greater improvement in function and back pain compared to the group that remained in standard care.  (Omega)
  8. 200 employees Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF), a global law firm with around 5,000 employees, have gone through the 6-week HSF mindfulness program in the last 14 months. They saw “a 12% increase in employee focus; a 10% increase in employee performance; a 10% increase in employee efficiency; a 17% increase in employee work/life balance; an 11% increase in employee communication skills; a 14% decrease in employee multitasking.” (L&D Professional)
  9. 120 pieces of information is how much our mind can process every second (Psychology Today)
  10. 89 participants from the Dow Chemical Company were selected and randomly assigned to an online mindfulness intervention (n = 44) or wait-list control (n = 45). The results of the intervention found “the group had significant decreases in perceived stress as well as increased resiliency, and vigor. This online mindfulness intervention seems to be both practical and effective in decreasing employee stress, while improving resiliency, vigor, and work engagement, thereby enhancing overall employee well-being.” (Association for Talent Development)
  11. 50% of the time we are distracted (Copper Beach Institute)
  12. 20 fold increase in mindfulness research since the millennium began. (Psychology Today)
  13. After an 8-week course of mindfulness practice, the brain’s “fight or flight” center, the amygdala, started to shrink. This primal region of the brain, associated with fear and emotion, is involved in the initiation of the body’s response to stress. (Scientific American)
  14. 3-4 seconds is how long average present moments last now before our minds drift to other thoughts (Psychology Today)
  15. A 2-point decrease (on a 10-point scale) at Intel in stress, 3 point increase in overall happiness and well being, and a 2-point increase in having new ideas and insights, mental clarity, creativity, the ability to focus, the quality of relationships at work and the level of engagement in meetings, projects and collaboration efforts is report among 1,500 employees at Intel who have taken part in a mindfulness program (The Guardian)
  16. When two groups were compared– those who practiced regular mindfulness relaxation techniques, and those who didn’t– they found the people who engaged in meditative mindfulness practices had more active genes that protected them from things like infertility, high blood pressure, arthritis, pain, inflammation and even cancer. (Harvard Medical School).

Do these studies increase your interest? Are you interested in showing up to be your best self?

37 facts how online reviews impact what we buy (Infographic) 0

Posted on February 26, 2017 by Rob Petersen

online reviews

Online reviews tell us where to stay, what to eat, when to go, how to get there and who to watch.

All of you reading this post right now not make buying decisions based on online reviews and most or you have participated in the review process yourself sharing recommendations and experiences with others. That’s what research shows.

Megan Arevalo. of Websitebuilders, has created a comprehensive Infographic of the research on online reviews and how they influence our buying behavior. Websitebuilders is a group of techies who have invested time, energy and money to review all the contemporary website building platforms to make a non-programmer’s life easier.

Here is the summary, 37 facts how online reviews impact what we buy, followed by Megan’s comprehensive infographic that contains many more facts and all their sources.

  1. 133% higher conversion rate occurs for consumers who view user-generated content
  2. 127% of consumers who read an online review are more likely to do it on a smartphone than a desktop
  3. 99% of businesses are hidden when a Yelp user sorts online reviews by “Highest Rated” or “Most Reviewed”
  4. 98% of consumers found that TripAdvsior reviews accurately reflect the actual experience
  5. 90% of consumers read less than 10 reviews before forming an opinion about a business
  6. 86% of people will hesitate to purchase from a business that has negative online reviews
  7. 84% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
  8. 84% of patients use reviews to evaluate physicians
  9. 83% of job seekers place their decision to apply to a company for a job based on online reviews
  10. 81% of females would not visit a restaurant which reports cleanliness issues from a review
  11. 77% of patients use online reviews as a first step in finding a physicians
  12. 76% of travelers said they would pay more for a hotel with a higher review score
  13. 72% of consumers say that positive reviews make them more likely to trust a local business
  14. 60% of job seekers would not apply to a company with a one-star rating; 33% would not apply to a company with less than a three star rating
  15. 59% of travelers say online review sites have the most influence on their booking decision
  16. 55% of consumers use Facebook to learn about brands
  17. 42% of travelers use review site when planning their holidays
  18. 37% of patients didn’t choose a doctor because of a bad rating
  19. 35% of patients choose a doctor because of a good rating
  20. 33% of travelers posted a travel-related review
  21. 31% increase in consumer spending is likely for a business with excellent reviews
  22. Up to 30% of online reviews for certain products may be fake
  23. 27% of people trust online reviews only if they believe they are authentic
  24. 22% of consumers will not buy from a company after reading a negative online review; after reading 3 negative online reviews, that number jumps to 59%
  25. 20% of online review on Yelp are fake
  26. 18% uplift in sales is produced by reviews
  27. 16% of travelers share their hotel travel experiences online
  28. 11% room rate hike can occur for hotels that achieve a one-star increase on a five-star scale
  29. 10% of travelers spend more that 1 hour reading online reviews before making their booking decisions
  30. 10% of Google SERP (Search Engine Results Page) or search page entries are contributed by online reviews
  31. 5%-9% increase in revenue for every star a business gets
  32. $350,000 in total fines among 19 companies was collected by New York regulators in a crackdown of fake reviews
  33. 50 or more reviews can mean a 4.6% increase in conversion rates
  34. 30 customers, on average, is what a single negative review costs a business
  35. 12X more trusted are consumer reviews that descriptions that come from manufacturers
  36. 5 positive online job reviews make up for 1 negative one
  37. 3.9X more likely are consumers to choose hotels, with equal pricing, that have the higher rating

Do these facts on online reviews reflect your behavior? Here they are, and many more, organized by industry, company and media type in Megan’s comprehensive and compelling infographic.

online reviews

7 biggest digital advertising trends for 2017 (Infographic) 0

Posted on February 20, 2017 by Rob Petersen

digital advertising trends

Digital advertising trends show digital is now the largest advertising channel in the U.S. Advertisers spending $60 billion dollars a year. Digital advertising is expected to be the largest advertising channel in the world this year with advertiser spending $202 billion dollars.

Growth isn’t slowing down, either. The uptick in growth is 20% versus year ago with social growing at 55% and mobile at 66%.

Proliferation abounds from new social networks, native ads, ad blockers, mobile ads, outsream videos, instant articles, programmatic advertising platforms and chatbots.

To explain what you should know and what your business should do, Jomer Gregorio, Owner at Digital Marketing Philippines, created an insightful inforgraphic.

Here’s the summary, 7 biggest digital advertising trends for 2017, followed by the infographic which goes into greater detail.

  1. AD BLOCKERS: In 2014, 15% of internet users in the U.S. used ad blocking software; it is 26% in 2016. In 2017, more digital advertising channels are expected to offer subscribers and viewers an ad-free experience, if they pay for it.
  2. GOOGLE AMP AND FACEBOOK INSTANT ARTICLES: Mobile users are growing at a very fast rate and, with that growth, there is greater demand for faster loading speed and better consumer experience (UX).  Google AMP and Facebook Instant Articles unveiled new platforms to reduce latency of loading. And you can bet they will be looking to monetize them.
  3. FLAT DESKTOP AD REVENUE; EXPLODING MOBILE AD REVENUE: For the first half of 2016, digital advertising revenue scaled to $32.7 billion. Mobile ad revenue grew at 89% and represented 47% of total. Desktop revenue dropped -13%.
  4. GOOGLE AND FACEBOOK CONTINUE TO RISE: In 2016, 78% of growth in digital advertising went to Google and Facebook. It is expected Google and Facebook will account for 61% of digital ad revenue by 2018.
  5. PROGRAMMATIC ADVERTISING ALSO CONTINUES TO RISE: Programmatic advertising reefers to automated systems and data that media buying decision without human interference. The strategy for advertisers is a cost-effective way to promote their brands online with extreme precision. The IAB estimates that programmatic spending will grow to over 80% by 2018.
  6. MORE OUTSTREAM VIDEOS: Outstream Videos are a new type of ad format that allows publishers to to show video ads in the text line breaks and corners of web pages. 77% of digital ad agencies say Outstream Videos will be critical to their client’s success in the coming years.
  7. CHATBOT INVASION: WhatsApp, We Chat and Facebook Messenger are the leading messaging services. They are outpacing some of the biggest social networks in terms of monthly active users. As of now, 18,000 bots have been developed to help brands offer streamlined, individual service through chats.

Here is fuller explanation of what to expect in the infographic. Are you aware of these digital advertising trends? Are there any other you would include?

digital advertising

10 terrific traits of successful digital companies 2

Posted on February 12, 2017 by Rob Petersen

successful digital companies

Successful digital companies are organizations that use technology as a competitive advantage in its internal and external operations.

Many definitions abound but, in a nutshell, this is what makes them successful. Like any major achievement, success doesn’t occur unless the transformation changes the company culture as much as is does the company.

In this article, we study common characteristics. Here are 10 terrific traits of successful digital companies with examples.

  1. ARE UNREASONABLY ASPIRATIONS: Being “unreasonable” is a way to jar an organization into seeing digital as a business that creates value, not as a channel that drives activities. However the vision is described, if you aren’t making the majority of your company feel nervous, you probably aren’t aiming high enough. Burberry, in 2006, was a stalled business whose brand had become tarnished. A series of groundbreaking initiatives, including a website ( that featured customers as models, more robust e-commerce catalog that matched the company’s in-store inventory, and the digitization of retail stores through features such as radio-frequency identification tags leaped frog Burberry over competitors and tripled revenues.
  2. ARE CUSTOMER OBSESSED: Knowing what the customer wants has always been the key to successful digital companies. Advances in technology and data science make it possible to analyze the complete history of customer transactions and identify individual shopping habits, patterns and motives that drive behavior. 86% of consumers say they were willing to pay more for a better customer experience. And 89% begin doing business with a competitor following a poor customer experience. This mind-set is what enables companies to go beyond what’s normal and into the extraordinary. If online retailer Zappos is out of stock on a product, it will help you find the item from a competitor. While it might seem heretical to buy from competitors, it’s worth it for Zappos because 75% of its orders come from repeat customers.
  3. KNOW CUSTOMER LIFETIME VALUE (CLV): It is 6-7 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to keep a current one. Successful digital companies recognize that, while customer acquisition is always important, there is often more to be gained be exploring ways to increase the Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) of current customers. According to a 2013 study by the Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, Amazon Prime members spend $1,340 annually. And that was 3 year ago. More important, Consumer Intelligence Research Partners estimates that Amazon Kindle owners spend approximately $1,233 per year buying stuff from Amazon, compared to $790 per year for other customers.
  4. ARE SOCIAL MEDIA ADEPT: If your company is customer obsessed, then you’re constantly listening to what your customers have to say about your brand, your competitor and your industry. Successful digital companies not only listen, they are adept at doing something with this data. McDonald’s decision to serve All Day Breakfast may have been a surprise to some customers, but shows how the massive company is trying to move nimbly and take some risks with its messaging. “Customers were saying to us ‘Hey, McDonald’s, this is the next big thing. This is what we want from you,'” said McDonald’s USA Chief Marketing Officer Deborah Wahl. With help from Twitter and Sprinklr, McDonald’s found 334,000 tweets mentioning All Day Breakfast at McDonald’s and found the most “engageable” accounts to send customized messages.
  5. ARE QUICK AND DATA-DRIVEN: Rapid decision making that is data-driven is critical in a dynamic digital environment. A cycle of continuous delivery, experimentation and improvement, adopting methods such as agile development and “live beta,” supported by big data analytics, are characteristics of successful digital companies. U.S. Xpress, a US transportation company, collects data in real time from tens of thousands of sources, including in-vehicle sensors and geospatial systems. Using Apache Hadoop, an open-source tool set for data analysis, and real-time business-intelligence tools, U.S. Xpress has been able to extract game-changing insights about its fleet operations. Data on the fuel consumption of idling vehicles led to changes that saved $20 million in fuel consumption in a year.
  6. PREPARE THEIR INFRASTRUCTURE: To take advantage of all that a digital world has to offer, successful digital companies have to be willing to invest in digital-ready infrastructures that will accelerate their digital strategies and the digital experiences of their customers, employees or citizens. As part of its three-year IT overhaul following a brush with bankruptcy, General Motors closed 23 of its data centers worldwide and moved most of that capacity into two new data center in Michigan. Reducing the distance for data to travel was a huge financial motivator for the company to not only saves on networking costs but improved responsiveness. New data centers are ‘private-cloud-meets-mainframe’ operations that run cloud-ready apps.
  7. KNOW THEIR METRICS: Metrics are a proxy for what matters most to senior management. But the measurements of success varies widely between marketing, tech management, and business unit leaders. This can creates conflict and confusion unless your company is clear about outcomes being measured. P&G created a single analytics portal, called the Decision Cockpit, which provides up-to-date sales data across brands, products, and regions to more than 50,000 employees globally. The portal, which emphasizes projections over historical data, lets teams quickly identify issues, such as declining market share, and take steps to address the problems in measurement the company considers critical to success.
  8. OPERATE IN A DIGITAL ECOSYSTEM: A digital ecosystem is the detailed visual of how all digital and social assets of a brand interconnect and interact. When managing multiple platforms, it’s important to understand how they will all work together to achieve the brand’s goal. Starbucks offers the largest and most robust mobile ecosystem of any retailer in the world, with more than 12 million Starbucks Rewards™ members (up 18% year on year), 8,000,000 mobile paying customers with one out of three now using Mobile Order & Pay, and more than $6 billion loaded onto prepaid Starbucks Cards in North America during the past year alone. Starbucks digital flywheel has also continued to gain momentum with the launch of true one-to-one personalization.
  9. PUT THE RIGHT LEADERS IN PLACE: The fast-moving digital world is exposing gaps in digital leadership, especially with regard to front office disciplines (those related to the customer experience) and head-office disciplines (those related to enterprise strategy). According to Gartner, three types of digital business leader have emerged to fill these leadership gaps: 1) Digital strategist, 2) digital marketing leader and 3) digital business unit leader. “A lot of our digital talent is home grown – mavericks who have their own businesses and have adapted their business in entrepreneurial ways. It is important to find these people and leverage their skills,” says David Crowley, Chief Commercial Officer, British Airways.
  10. SHOW ME THE MONEY: Many organizations focus their digital investments on customer-facing solutions. But they can extract just as much value, if not more, from investing in back-office functions that drive operational efficiencies. Successful digital companies know the value of reducing the costs of doing business. One-third of the digital innovation projects at Starbuck are devoted to improving efficiency and productivity away from the retail stores, and one-third focused on improving resilience and security. In manufacturing, P&G collaborated with the Los Alamos National Laboratory to create statistical methods to streamline processes and increase uptime at its factories, saving more than $1 billion a year.

Are these traits you associate with successful digital companies? Any there others you would add? Is your company interested in developing the capabilities of successful digital companies?

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