October 1st was the first More Than Digital Day, an event that brought together leading speakers from business, academia and agencies. Over 200 professionals had a great time, gathered plenty of food for thought and were treated to refreshing insights and even a surprise office yoga session by the event’s host, Evy Gruyaert.
(Couldn’t be there for #MTDD15? Stay tuned for next year’s edition via the MTDD newsletter)
The event’s programme catered for executives and managers as well as for more hands-on marketers. It took off with an inspiring opening keynote by Vlerick professor Kurt Verweire on change management in the digital age. Two case studies, TeamSky (cycling) and KBC (banking) showed the strengths of Prof. Verweire’s “battery-powered” framework for digital transformation and change management.
Next, our very own Frederik Marain made the case for Customer Experience Design (CXD) as a management discipline and presented the framework we have been developing with our customers. (A whitepaper on CXD was released shortly before). As “experiences are sticky: difficult to forget, while goods or services consumed are easily forgotten”, CXD is not an option, but a must. What’s more, there’s more return on investment from CXD than there is from classical advertising.
Philippe Borremans, the man who keeps spicing up the PR profession, shared how he is using digital means (and hacks) to improve his thought leadership status. One of the many takeaways: internal stories (you know: the heroic, legendary things people talk about around the coffee machine) are worth gold. Don’t overcomplicate things and look for real, human stories inside your company walls.
The world is now a network (via @Jihes)
While Philippe Borremans was sharing his secrets to PR success, Olivier Van Duüren was introducing the audience to the future. The world has become a network and the implications are enormous. Add to that a preview of the Microsoft Hololens (“If you want the change how the world looks, change how you look at the world”) and you know you have an audience that can not wait to step into tomorrow.
Thomas Danniau, one of the many talented online marketers here at The Reference, held a breakout session on multichannel dashboarding, explaining how a comprehensive view on multichannel data can improve digital effectiveness. He offered a pragmatic set of steps to consider before deciding on what data to use, how to use it and what tool (Klipfolio, Tableau, …) will suit your situation best. Some attendees were afterwards heard saying they now “will need to think their dashboarding approach over again”…
Speaker Philippe Borremans, ready for lunch.
“No duck ass!” -- Evy Gruyaert does a surprise intermezzo of Office Yoga and gets the audience going (via @NinaThielemans)
After lunch and a surprise office yoga session by host Evy Gruyaert, JBC’s CIO Erik Cuypers shared how JBC has truly embraced digital transformation and is now playing in the “Champion’s League of fashion retail”. Data is key in building a single view on all aspects of the business and provide a seamless, customer-centric experience.
JBC's omnichannel foundation (source: @IDonvil)
While Erik Cuypers was recounting his story from the trenches, Sitecore’s Anders Engel Sorensen talked the audience through the “7 stages of digital maturity”, outlining a step-by-step approach to achieving ever more digital marketing effectiveness, evolving from a website-centric to a customer-centric digital approach. The guiding hand and vision of a leading market player was much appreciated in these times of increasing complexity.
Stephen Delvoye, Marcom Director at Bekaert, shared the history and future of digital at Bekaert. An honest and comprehensive talk about the challenges of moving an engineering organisation to embrace digital and acknowledge its many benefits.
In a parallel session, Henri de Roeck introduced the audience to the Internet of Things. B2B will be the main beneficiary of this evolution, as it is predicted business will be able to reduce the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of e.g. field services by 80%. That everything has become a “thing” in the Internet of Things Henri demonstrated by turning the audience’s smartphones into one swarm of connected devices.
Everything is a device (source: @pieterenco)
Afterwards, two more stories from the trenches were shared in parallel. Nationale Loterij’s Digital Channel Manager and Young ICT Lady 2015 Ellen Van den Berghe told her story of how 35+ digital channels are being brought together in one central digital hub. The challenges were many, the lessons learned and shared at MTDD15 were very valuable. Remarkable quote: “If you want to create a new channel, such as a new website, do it as with babies: release them after 9 months”.
Mariëlle Oostveen, Communication Project Manager at Rabobank Netherlands meanwhile shared a story from inside the company walls: how digital has helped Rabobank create a comprehensive employee empowerment programme. Her key takeaway: never stop improving by measuring, analysing and optimizing.
In the riveting closing keynote Google’s Creative Evangelist Jeremy Abbett confronted the audience with the tell-tale signs that change was effectively upon us. One such sign: grumpy cat making three times as much as Gwyneth Paltrow in the span of two years.
Grumpy cat wins! (Source: @Jihes)
Jeremy’s keynote was a memorable way of telling the audience that the 20th-century business model is no longer relevant: change happens exponentially fast, which means we simply cannot predict the future. Betting our companies on what we think the future will bring is therefore a very dangerous strategy, but it’s a strategy we’ve gotten all too used to.
Jeremy illustrated the point from a human perspective: what are we going to teach our children today knowing that the world will be in a totally different place in 10 years’ time?
The More than Digital Day 2015 was concluded by Jeremy’s final, inspiring message that in order for us to gain a glimpse of the future we should not look at technology but return to humanity itself: by observing our children grow up, we will understand best of what the future will bring us.“More than digital day #MTDD15: insights, scoops & office yoga. Me like!” (via @pieterjantroost)