Dr. Ira Kaufman is featured in this Gulf Business article on catalytic leadership and digital engagement:
“For Dr Ira Kaufman, CEO of Entwine Digital, ‘digital’ is a resource that is information rich and connected that would include the following aspects:
- Online and social media platforms: At the very least, companies, irrespective of size, will need a digital presence – having websites and social media platforms. In that sense, every company now has to be a tech company. Retail stores should have online marketplaces or risk facing the fate of Toys R Us. Once the largest American toy company, it had an exclusive 10-year contract with Amazon that resulted in its failure to develop its own e-commerce site. That, coupled with a crippling $5bn debt, likely led to its filing for bankruptcy protection last month. As Pierre Nanterme, CEO of Accenture, succinctly put it: “Digital is the main reason just over half of the companies on the Fortune 500 have disappeared since the year 2000.”
- Mobile technology: With more than half of online searches coming from mobile phones as compared to desktops, companies should ensure that their websites are optimised for use on mobile phones and consider whether to develop mobile apps or run mobile advertising campaigns.
- Customer experience: Having these digital platforms are not end goals in and of themselves; rather, they are a means to engage consumers and connect with them in more meaningful ways. Online presence is not merely about creating brand awareness or sharing new products and services with the customers, but also to receive valuable feedback. Elon Musk is a great example of how incorporating customer suggestions improves Tesla’s features while simultaneously winning them legions of loyal fans. In the digital marketplace, there are many touch points in the customer journey, starting from awareness of the brand through viewing an ad to involvement by ‘liking’ a post all the way to being a brand ambassador who actively recommends a company. All these customer touch points can be actively tracked, measured, analysed, and used in a manner that creates value for the company.
- Data analytics: The Economist recently described data as the most valuable commodity, outranking oil as an asset. Illustrating this concept is Facebook, the fifth most valuable company, with a market value of over $400bn, compared to traditional companies like Exxon Mobil (market cap of $350bn) or Walmart at $220bn. In addition to personalising marketing and customer relationship management, ‘big data’ (referring to the larger variety, volume, and velocity of data) could result in the development of new products and services, more efficient operations thereby reducing costs, faster decision-making, and better risk analysis to reduce fraud and cyber security threats. Essentially, big data can tell you what is happening (which customers are buying what products when), why this is the case by studying past patterns (e.g. peak sales after social media campaign), what might happen in the future (forecasting based on past trends) and what should happen (e.g. making recommendations for certain at-risk groups in healthcare).”