Since our partner Kerstin Clessienne was the moderator of the panel with such giants as Google, Ströer, Oath, Appnexus and Mediaimpact on the topic of “Who is the Fairest One of All? The Future of the Digital Advertising Value Chain ", I had a chance to look into the colorful world of marketing. While being skeptical of marketing, I understand that the question of how and with which tools I can reach the most clients is relevant. I find the automatization and digitization of UI super exciting and see how many new ideas have entered the economy and companies over the last several years. However, in my opinion, we cannot call it a revolution yet.
Because I also know what is buried beneath it all. CRM systems that don’t coordinate well with point-of-sale platforms, quintessential technologies that lie outside of the company’s control, low level of data security and transparency, antiquated websites, low mobile capability, digital patch-working on IT and process sides and a general feeling of “Oh, all this digital business is going to disappear again”. All of that is not a question of what is more important, front end or back end. The question, in my opinion, is how does the wonderful colorful world of advertising, from which the customer is heavily influenced, work together with the core of a company. How will it work at all, given that technologies and personalities clash that had little to do with each other before.
To automatize, digitize and equip the front end with AI is not enough, based on my experiences as both a customer and a consultant. The processes that lie behind it often still function manually; the IT back end often struggles with legacy systems and doesn’t perform in a way that ensures effective, seamless end-to-end processing.
The result for me as a customer: media breaks and quality deficiencies, clueless and overburdened staff on the phone – an experience, far from the advertised special customer treatment that leaves me disappointed.
And on the corporate side, most of the management and employees still don’t have a clear understanding, let alone capabilities, to create a customer experience that meets the demands of speed and availability and that has been marketed for the last few years. And I don’t mean programming skills or any specialized knowledge, but rather a very basic understanding of how IT, automatization and digitization work and what they mean for day-to-day work, workflows, roles and responsibilities, recruitment, attitude and behavior.
The revolution, both cultural and operational, must take place in the operational middle- and back end. That’s why we at Semler Company committed ourselves to digital transformation. We support you in tackling exactly the in-between of front and back end and to involve a critical mass in the revolution.
Otherwise, the only thing left for me as a customer is the bad aftertaste that it was just an ad.