Two Advantages of Being a Latecomer to Digital Transformation

To keep up with con­sumers’ ris­ing expec­ta­tions for con­ve­nience and per­son­al­i­sa­tion online, com­pa­nies must under­go their own transformations—not only using the lat­est dig­i­tal tools but also reeval­u­at­ing long-held beliefs about what cus­tomers want and how to best serve them.

Embrac­ing a cus­tomer-cen­tric busi­ness trans­for­ma­tion is impor­tant every­where, but par­tic­u­lar­ly so in Swe­den, where dig­i­tal adop­tion among con­sumers is among the high­est in the world. As com­pa­nies com­pete for busi­ness, the race is on to set new stan­dards for cus­tomer expe­ri­ences. Con­ven­tion­al wis­dom might pick out ear­ly adopters as hav­ing a dis­tinct advan­tage, but that’s not nec­es­sar­i­ly the case. In fact, one com­pa­ny is build­ing a win­ning strat­e­gy as a late mover.

Telenor Swe­den is the country’s third-largest mobile oper­a­tor and fixed broad­band provider for con­sumers, and it recog­nised it lagged behind con­sumer expec­ta­tions for dig­i­tal expe­ri­ences. But two years ago, the com­pa­ny set out to turn that laten­cy into an advantage.

“As a late-mover in our dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion we gain the advan­tage of being able to choose more mature, proven tech­nolo­gies and hire peo­ple with great expe­ri­ence,” says Chris­t­ian Bar­rou Thrane, CMO at Telenor Swe­den. “We’re set­ting the bar very high because we know con­sumers com­pare us to all lead­ers in dig­i­tal expe­ri­ence, not just to our direct competitors.”

The com­pa­ny is already see­ing impres­sive results, dou­bling its dig­i­tal sales and increas­ing cross-sell­ing and upselling by a fac­tor of five. Chris­t­ian and oth­er mem­bers of his team, includ­ing Patri­cia Eng, MarTech and AdTech own­er, view two advan­tages as key to mak­ing Telenor Sweden’s dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion stick and succeed.

Advantage #1: Choosing mature technologies to personalise experiences at scale

Tech­nol­o­gy is essen­tial to any dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion, and Telenor is in an ide­al posi­tion to make the most of it. Being rel­a­tive­ly late to the game, the com­pa­ny has the lux­u­ry of select­ing pow­er­ful, inte­grat­ed tools proven to deliv­er on the cus­tomer expe­ri­ence mandate.

As Telenor engages with cus­tomers online, the mar­ket­ing team uses Adobe Ana­lyt­ics, Adobe Expe­ri­ence Plat­form Launch, and Adobe Tar­get to con­tin­u­ous­ly refine the expe­ri­ences it deliv­ers. That includes test­ing against dif­fer­ent audi­ence seg­ments through Adobe Audi­ence Man­ag­er and bring­ing its search mar­ket­ing in-house with Adobe Adver­tis­ing Cloud Search.

“We’ve gone from deliv­er­ing a few ad hoc dig­i­tal expe­ri­ences a year ago to deliv­er­ing more than 30 expe­ri­ences on our web­site at any giv­en time,” explains Patri­cia. “Cus­tomer insights enable us to pro­vide each vis­i­tor with the best expe­ri­ence, what­ev­er their intentions.”

Advantage #2: Learning from people who have led digital transformations

Telenor’s trans­for­ma­tion meant restruc­tur­ing into cross-func­tion­al, agile mar­ket­ing teams focused on cus­tomer val­ue and break­ing down bar­ri­ers between mar­ket­ing and IT. With help from Adobe Cus­tomer Solu­tions, Telenor cre­at­ed role-spe­cif­ic train­ing plans for every­one on the team, span­ning from prod­uct own­ers and dig­i­tal mar­keters to data ana­lysts and media buyers.

“One of the most valu­able things we gained by work­ing close­ly with Adobe is giv­ing teams a more data-dri­ven mind­set,” Patri­cia says. “The Adobe team taught us how to mea­sure against KPIs, eval­u­ate the data, and come up with strate­gies to exe­cute and gauge returns.”

From latecomer to leader in Customer Experience Management

The cus­tomer-cen­tric busi­ness trans­for­ma­tion has brought new ener­gy to Telenor Swe­den, inspir­ing teams to reach higher.

“We’re viewed as a leader and we need to offer pre­mi­um expe­ri­ences to match,” explains Chris­t­ian. “By under­go­ing a broad trans­for­ma­tion, we’re not lim­it­ing our­selves and instead can re-imag­ine expe­ri­ences that exceed our cus­tomers’ high expectations.”