There’s a gap growing between an increasingly digital society and the organizations that serves it, B. Bonin Bough, senior global director of digital and social media at PepsiCo, said during the second annual What’s Next D.C. event.
As consumer consumption of technological advances increases at a breakneck pace, brands are fighting to keep up with a society that thinks in 140-character status updates. But most companies are failing to evolve, Bough said, and instead are staying stagnant, unable to keep up with the technology that has captivated their customers.
Society thinks digitally now, and mobile has taken the world by storm. In fact, Bough added, there are some countries where more people have access to mobile phones than running water. Is your company ready to keep up?
Bough challenged attendees to perform digital fitness tests on their own companies in order to evaluate the readiness of their organizations to evolve and adapt with their consumers. Here’s what he suggested.
- Invite innovation. Encourage a company culture that’s open to new ideas, and you might find that last midnight brainstorming session just yielded your next million-dollar idea.
- Challenge convention. Find ways to make your brand stand out and don’t be afraid to break the mold. What worked last time doesn’t need to dictate what will work the next time.
- Experiment. How do you encourage experimentation? Often, people will stick to what they’re comfortable with — such as television or radio campaigns — because they have experience with those media and know what to expect. Experimenting with newer outlets — such as mobile or social media — is the only way you can say you’ve experienced them.
- Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good. It’s not a matter of releasing the perfect product. Spending two years developing the “perfect” mobile application just means you’re two years too late when you finally release it. In fact, using feedback from your customers might be the best way to develop and launch a better version 2.0.
- Learn, rinse, repeat. What were the successes and failures of your latest efforts? Use them as lessons for your next attempt.