The key takeaways from P&G Demo Day
As the pandemic has triggered tectonic shifts in the business landscape and companies have adjusted their operations accordingly, managers are increasingly concentrating on building long-lasting relationships with their customers. How can digital technologies be of assistance with this? The ABSL P&G Demo Day revolved around how to get to know customers better, in order to tailor products and services to be more responsive to their actual needs. In his opening statement, Janurz Dziurzyński, vice-president of ABSL, observed that companies will only start to emerge from the global lockdown by being customer-centric. With dramatically accelerating digitalization, companies will have to increasingly rely on technological solutions provided by start-ups to meet the challenges created by customer experience becoming more and more driven by AI, big data and machine learning. Hence the idea of a tech lab, as a platform of co-operation between both business worlds, fostering a creative clash of ready-made solutions to more effectively confront the new business reality.
In her keynote, Małgorzata Szturmowicz, CFO of Booksy, focused on the transformation that her company had to undergo in the face of the global pandemic. As an app facilitating appointments to cosmetic salons, it was hit especially hard by the lockdown, which saw the whole beauty sector go into hibernation. The most important lessons drawn from the experience was that empathy towards both customers and employees should be deeply woven into a company’s fabric. Being proactive and anticipating customers’ needs will enable businesses to build a firm relationship based on trust. As employers, companies should invest in employee to employee communication (for example, by recreating “coffee moments”) and creating a corporate culture that values inclusion, individuality and social harmony, and thus cultivates psychological safety.
The ensuing panel discussion, titled "Follow the Customer", doubled down on the issue of customer-centricity that is increasingly dominating the business mindset. Moderated by Tomasz Kowalczyk, partner at Rebels Valley, the panelists shared their views on what this issue means to them. Esra Yavuz, Vice President of P&G, responsible for IT and global data management, pointed out that focusing on the customer is all about delivering value. That is why, on its journey to becoming an algorithm driven company, P&G uses reams of data in actionable form to enable managers to make decisions in real time. For Aga Szóstek, a strategic experience designer, people have become more conscious about their choices and how they want to live their lives. Therefore, businesses need to look for their aspirations and find out what version of themselves they want to be. This point was emphasized by Małgorzata Bajorek-Binkiewicz, head of Warsaw Custody Operations CSC SSO at Citi, who emphasized that we need to not only understand what customers want but also why. That is why a wide array of globally available banking products makes it easier to tailor them to specific needs. Janusz Dziurzyński pointed out that the events of the last several months have changed customers’ attitudes, as they have come to expect a seamless experience regardless of the sales platform. Those who adjust fastest will win. Any technological solutions aimed at helping along the way need to successfully tackle three crucial issues: supply chain, analytics, as well as flexibility and adaptation.
During the last part of the event, three tech companies participating at the ABSL tech lab program, presented their solutions, answering challenges set by the host of the day – P&G.
One of these challenges was increasing the efficiency of online sales initiated by offline activities. The Polish company Justtag presented how, thanks to their mobile app, they are building a connection between the offline and online worlds. Based on collected data, they run campaigns targeting consumers based on their offline behaviors, which is helpful for marketers when measuring and analyzing the impact of online campaigns to the offline world.
The Polish technology provider, Brainly, with one of the highest reaches of the target group, answered P&G’s challenge regarding effective communication to teenagers. Thanks to their online platform, they combine educational activities with establishing a lasting relationship with the brand. Creating content that addresses teenagers’ high concerns, it is possible to focus and place more attention on particular topics that are important for young consumers.
WiseShelf, a startup from Israel, presented their solution regarding the effective monitoring of downstream supply chains. They optimize store operations by minimizing shelf out of stock incidents. Wiseshelf is an appliance mounted on existing retail shelves and providing real-time information regarding the stock level of each product. Thanks to that, the store shelf can be a platform for interacting with customers in a variety of use cases.