In the first of a series of pieces in advance of our forthcoming eCommerce & Digital Strategy Conference in Amsterdam in May, I’m pleased to welcome guest speaker Sophie Lecocq as she outlines one of the key topics we will be addressing at our event.

Happy Spring from The Kantar Consulting eCommerce team. As we build up to our annual flagship eCommerce & Digital event in May, here are the first whispers around our Day One topic: Establishing a truly future-facing digital organisation.

Organisational Performance has long been a lynchpin in our Kantar Consulting offering through our network of market-leading global sales and marketing academies and capability training expertise. As an eCommerce practice, we work to combine our in-house OP knowledge with our individual eCommerce skill-sets and digital experience. This past year we have enjoyed working closely with our clients to help them future-proof their businesses and first and foremost their people, as we look into 2020 and beyond. Here are a few musings and the starting point for my session…

Companies are quick to set external-facing goals and don’t often spend enough time empowering their people to achieve them through upskilling, training, education and engagement. Your workforce is singlehandedly your biggest expenditure while also your biggest assets – everything that happens, good or bad, is because of them.

As millennial representation in the workforce grows, simultaneously with millennial shifts in consumer behaviour, we see an increasing demand for the opportunity to be informed, educated and enlightened continuously. (Quickly followed by empowerment to act, more on that later).

In order to provide that and meet these expectations to get the best out of their people, businesses need clear digital capability frameworks and appropriate learning journeys that equip us with the skillsets needed to perform on the digital stage whilst understanding their relevance and context in the broader business.

So where to start?

 (Capability Framework x Supporting Training) + (Solution Blueprint x Supporting Empowerment)*

*Lecocq’s Law of eOP success

Capability Frameworks with Supporting Training

Sales and marketing competencies are baked into organisations. These are fundamental skills the business needs and while many of the skillsets and behaviours required haven’t changed - for example, negotiation and building customer relationships - the skills required to perform them and potentially the reason why, have. These frameworks need to be revisited, tested and refreshed where necessary to leverage the shift in opportunities, everything from the sell-through nature of eRetailers to the wealth of data to support performance marketing.

We have seen digital capability become the string that weds sales and marketing together and progresses their delivery for the consumer.

Solution blueprints with supporting empowerment

When we talk about blueprints, this is more than an org chart: these will include people, process and tools required and how that ecosystem evolves and matures over time. Team structures have always needed to evolve especially in the digital space and providing a blueprint in how this should evolve has proven invaluable to global organisations responding to varying levels of eCommerce opportunity across regions.

I would run out of fingers (in the entire office) if I had to count the number of times a client has asked us: “What org structure should I implement for my eCommerce team? Who should they report to?” Well, the answer to that is firstly: ‘What is your eCommerce team trying to achieve?’ And that doesn’t usually get a concise answer.

The end-goal should be that the job title prefixes of ‘digital-‘ or ‘online-‘ or ‘eCommerce-‘ that we are all so fond of need to disappear as the siloed approach to online channels melts away. But most of us aren’t there yet. For now, we should build our blueprints for the evolution of teams, tools and ways of working and then get out of the way because, with an empowered, trained team with the right processes in place, you’re cooking on gas.

This is just the tip of the iceberg of the topic I will be discussing at our eCommerce and digital event being held in Amsterdam on the 15 and 16 May with industry experts from Kantar and the wider WPP family and supplier peers WD-40, Hero and Mondelez.

For more details and to find out how to register, go here.

Look forward to seeing you there!

Sophie

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