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New digital business models: Why 2018 is already the year of change

John O’Keeffe
|Apr 27|magazine10 min read

We are now in the second quarter of 2018 and have already seen some interesting market changes. Legacy brands such as Kodak, for example, recently announced it is overhauling its business model completely and launching its own cryptocurrency, KodakCoin. Atari, another long-standing brand, also jumped on the cryptocurrency bandwagon and introduced its own ‘Atari Token’. These are bold moves designed to increase revenue and grow market share. But, what does it mean for the rest of the tech sector this year?

Here is my take on why we are preparing ourselves for a year of major changes:

Online experiences will make or break brands

Online shopping is now second nature for most of us. Customers have a declining tolerance for anything but a frictionless experience and business models are adapting to take advantage. Models adopted by companies such as Amazon that cut out the middleman, pass on savings to customers and focus on experience are being looked at across all industries. Those organizations that do not create good online experiences will pay the price.

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More acquisitions for digital-first companies

Legacy brands know they are on the back foot compared to newer digital-first rivals. With business models built in the cloud, digital-first companies offer customers a seamless experience and adapt to change quickly. It is therefore likely that many will follow Accenture Interactive’s acquisition of numerous agency groups, such as Fjord and Karmarama, with more market consolidation. More retailers will look to accelerate their delivery through mergers as well as acquisitions in 2018.

Insights, not just data

We have been talking about the big data revolution for some time. In fact, the hype has outpaced the reality: slow, expensive and tedious work querying data sets. However, this year it has all of a sudden become much faster and cost effective. As a result, we will see more organizations using powerful database tools behind the scenes. These new tools have made it easier to integrate data. Businesses can now use insights derived from those data sets to make decisions by applying one single source of truth.

Personal relationships at scale

The best brands establish and command meaningful relationships with customers. For these organizations, it is not just about selling products and services. With the massive amounts of data businesses now collect and analyze, many emerging brands are starting to understand how to use that data to create deeper relationships with customers – at scale.  

New partnerships will transform the customer experience

Part of Amazon’s success has come down to its ability to show customers the products that people like them are buying. Predictive information like this could also transform the customer’s experience with Whole Foods following its recent partnership with Amazon. However, it is not just happening in the retail industry. In fact, the BBC is collaborating with Google to launch a new virtual reality experience inspired by Blue Planet II.

Both these partnerships are putting technical innovation at the heart of the customer experience and consumers can only benefit as a result.

With global competition growing, brands delivering a seamless, intuitive customer experience will come out on top. Advanced data analytics is at the heart of achieving this as more organizations embrace change and get to grips with true data insights this year.

John O’Keeffe, VP EMEA at Looker