DigiCon: User experience at the core of digitalization

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User experience at the core of digitalization
A man checks his smartphone in this file photo taken at the Quezon City Memorial Circle in Manila on Aug. 23, 2016. -- AFP

By Patrizia Paola C. Marcelo

COMPANIES AND organizations must adapt to digitalization by focusing on user experience, corporate leaders and industry experts discussed during the Digital Congress (DigiCon) 2017.

At the first day of the second DigiCon, themed “DX: The Culture of Digital Transformation,” and organized by the Internet and Mobile Marketing Association of the Philippines (IMMAP), guest speakers and panelists discussed and agreed on changes companies and organizations must make to meet the demands of digitalization.

While companies try to adapt to growing digital demands, it is essential that decision makers in companies always prioritize user experience, and seeing the products and getting a feel of the experience offered by a company, through the point of view of the consumer.

Analyst and author Brian Solis said in his keynote speech that at present, consumers are less inclined to look at branding, but are mostly driven by how the product experience affects them.

“Your brand is defined by those who experience it,” Mr. Solis said.

He emphasized that companies should always “design for humans” in line with their transformation brought by digitalization.

“Once people taste a new experience that they like, they do not go back, they do not compromise,” Mr. Solis added.

Corporate leaders also shared how they adapt to digital habits of consumers.

Kenneth Yang, president and CEO of McDonald’s Philippines, said that while McDonald’s has always put the customer in mind when changing their processes, the company still has work to be done by continuously knowing their customers.

“Our goal is to be anytime, anywhere accessible to them…We pioneered it years ago, our delivery service… As an industry, we haven’t been disrupted that much, but we have to innovate for ourselves, we have to change the way we do things, from the way we communicate with our customers to how they experience our products in the stores or even outside the stores. For us it really starts from knowing our customers,” Mr. Yang said in a panel discussion.

For Globe Telecom, CEO Ernest L. Cu said that as a telecommunications player, digital transformation is “a matter of survival.”

“Calling, SMS, long distance, is going away in favor of a digital lifestyle for Filipinos. That’s what the public wants, that’s what the consumer wants,” Mr. Cu said.

Mr. Cu shared that Globe has capitalized on the demand for video streaming by partnering with Netflix, for example, as well as the demand for free messaging, despite the impression that these messaging services, like Facebook Messenger, are Globe’s competitors.

“We were able to pivot once again and say, let’s use these apps like Netflix…Facebook, to [make] mobile data revenues.”

Media companies also face challenges and disruptions. CNN Philippines President Armie Jarin-Bennett said that the network faces the challenge of getting information as fast as possible through social media despite the company offering TV broadcasting services.

“The disruption for us is getting on Twitter the fastest info,” Ms. Bennett said. She added that the company is also using its social media channel to upload parts of the video material it broadcasts on the CNN Philippines channel, given that less people are taking the time to watch news programs on television.