Are you currently thinking about digital solutions and how you can reach and win your customers via digital channels in the future?
It shouldn't surprise you that you're not alone.
Does Switzerland still live in the digital Cretaceous period?
A study by the Zurich School of Economics (HWZ) shows that digital maturity in Swiss SMEs still leaves something to be desired: 85% still have the maturity level of a «digital dinosaur». Digital dinosaurs are companies that claim to have digitized neither their customer experience nor their operational processes.
The majority of respondents are executives and 37% of them admit that they still do not have a digital strategy.
That sounds alarming. It is.
Important lessons learned
Maybe a few more words about me as a person. For 6 years I was allowed to set the course for digital growth for Scout24 and Ringier Digital. I have summarized my learnings from these years in a book («Growth Hacking», 2nd edition published by Rheinwerk Verlag).
This book opened many doors for me and I had the opportunity to get to know many successful thinkers, doers, visionaries and specialists and to build up a large network. I had insight into the success stories of very successful enterprises, which provided me further enormously important realizations over it, how one can be successful today with digital solutions. I am able to contribute this knowledge to w-vision and pass it on to our customers.
Lean, fast processes – building, measuring, learning
If you want to be digitally successful today, you won't be able to avoid questioning your way of working. In a workshop Beat Neuhaus from Siemens told me that time is not more important than quality, time is simply part of quality today. I think he's pretty much hitting the nail on the head with it.
To be honest, I would sometimes prefer to have a little more time again and it remains a big challenge to reconcile quality and time pressure. But it doesn't matter whether we like it or not. If we don't face this challenge, others will deliver faster, better results and we will end up losing out.
When people talk about new methods, focusing on the user and agile work today, sooner or later the name «Eric Ries» or the topic «Lean Start-up» comes up. Eric Ries is an entrepreneur and author from the Silicon Valley (How could it be otherwise). As a result of the many, sometimes spectacularly failed start-ups following the bursting of the dotcom bubble in 2000, American investor Steve Blank developed a new approach that should lead to such mistakes being avoided in the future. Ries was his student at the time and further developed and popularized this approach under the term Lean Start-up. His way of thinking goes back to the lean production process of Toyota.
The basic principle is quickly explained, instead of working on a concept for weeks or months, you should develop ideas, implement them in a short time and test them on your target group at an early stage. Based on the feedback and, at best, measured data, you will then improve the product in short cycles. Ultimately, it's about involving the customer directly in the product development and thereby learning more about what works in the market and what does not. In other words, learning from mistakes as quickly as possible.
Almost all new approaches are based on this method. Whether you call it Design Thinking, Customer Centric or Growth Hacking.
A journey back to the past
I had the honor to meet «Eric Ries» personally this year at the Growth Marketing Summit in Frankfurt. I admit it, I felt backstage like a Backstreet Boys groupie and was pretty nervous before the meeting.
He was telling a story before and even though I wasn't new to the insights from the story, it was a great aha experience for me to see that an Eric Ries is still struggling with similar problems in Silicon Valley as I am here today.
So it's by no means the case that only we Swiss have a hard time with it. Digitization is a big challenge for the whole world.
Of course, you are excited about this story now, so unfortunately I have to put you off a little. Why do you only find out at the end of this article.
We're getting in the way of ourselves
It was a crazy year for us as a company but also for me. Another great wish came true at the beginning of the year (thanks to Michael Kocheisen from Inno Architects and many thanks again).
I was also able to meet Sean Ellis, founder of the «Growth Hacking» movement and CEO at https://growthhackers.com/, in person. Over a coffee he told me that he was quite shocked about the digital maturity of Germany and Switzerland. Holland, France, Austria and even Italy and Spain are much further along. He even said he considered Switzerland and Germany to be the most undigitised countries in the world.
Unfortunately, I have to confirm that he is not quite wrong. I do not see it as dramatic as he does and I always say that we do not always have to blindly copy everything that comes from overseas and we can continue to believe in what has helped us to succeed in the past.
But when I recently gave a speech at Xing in Zurich, the moderator, Stefan Huber from StoryUp, asked the guests at the end of my performance who had ever heard of Growth Hacking or Lean Management or my presented methods. And from over 100 listeners only one person hesitantly raised his hand. And that's not a good sign, because even if we don't have to copy everything 1:1, pretty much every success story I've heard in recent years would not have been possible without these methods. So we have to find a way to become more agile in the future without forgetting the typical Swiss quality characteristics.
That's why my public presentations on this topic are so important to me, and why I made it my mission to infect Switzerland with the Growth Hacking virus. We are now partners of Sean Ellis and growthhackers.com as w-vision, so we can count on the support of the inventor himself and are allowed to distribute his Growth Hacking software exclusively in Switzerland.
Beertalk – Grow your digital Experiences
I was able to convince my employer w-vision of my ideas long ago and infect them with the Growth Hacking virus. Therefore I am very happy to invite you as a customer to our first Beertalk.
But it is also no coincidence that I found open ears at w-vision. At w-vision, I found a company that was first of all enormously mature in every area and that uses Pimcore, probably the most advanced digitization platform in the world.
I've always believed that a superior user experience is the greatest lever for growth. And that's exactly where we can build great digital experiences with Pimcore in addition to my growth methods.
In addition to the technically advanced platform, Pimcore's approach of placing consistent, timely and high quality data at the heart of digitization projects is the perfect foundation for developing a superior user experience.
- We have the ability to aggregate all your company data in one place. So we can connect all your existing systems and interfaces (including CRM, ERP or analysis data) to the Pimcore data repository and you don't have to worry about data silos.
- This in turn allows us to distribute your data in all directions and on all desired channels; online, offline, apps, email, etc.).
- We can personalize and automate your experiences for your customers based on customer behavior, customer data, communication data, date, weather or location.
This enables us to develop not only websites but also intranet solutions, platforms or useful digital tools for SMEs. This in a quality that was previously only possible and affordable for large companies.
I would be delighted if I could explain to you at our first Beertalk with my «Speech» on the topic « Growing your digital Experiences»:
- what Growth Hacking is all about and what are my most important practical learnings?
- which are the 4 most important core drivers for digital growth
- why we at w-vision have the perfect foundation for creating digital experiences with Pimcore
- how we combine the development of digital products with growth hacking
- and of course I also like to tell you the story Eric Ries told us in Frankfurt.
As a thank-you for your participation, a small present awaits you at the end of the event.