The digital economy will become the outcome economy – outcome as in the quantifiable output the company’s offerings help produce on the customer side.
In the outcome economy the purpose of business is to help its customers produce measurable outcomes – and business will use its customers success parameters as their own. Companies become completely committed to delivering quantifiable value for their customers.
How To Understand Digital, Change Your Mental Model
Digital is a mental model. A way of thinking about customers, business, offerings, management and technology that challenges the current thinking companies are operating on. In my experience the reason some struggle to imagine what digital can mean for them, is because they are comparing digital to other technologies and not seeing it as a mindset for how the corporation produces and generates value.
Customers are becoming an increasingly important strategic asset for companies (1). This complicates things; because managerial theory and practice have told companies for decades to keep customers on the outside (2)(3). This has created a gap between companies and customers, so wide that it is hard to find measurable indicators demonstrating that creating customer value is beneficial for the company. Why is this important to digital?
Hardware Becomes Software And Products Become Networks
We are at the beginning of the third wave of technology; changing products into networks and hardware into software. Power and capital will concentrate into the hubs, and companies will have to rethink their business models and products to fit the distribution channels. The result for employees and customers are less focus on mass – and more focus on producing valuable outcomes for individual customers. Hopefully the dreary desolate age of soulless, meaningless and dumb products are behind us.
The Customer Map - How Can Customers Change Our Thinking
If you ask customers the right questions the answers can change the way you think about your business.
The Customer Map is a prototype trying to put several different approaches into one canvas. I am hoping it has some content or triggers that generates new thinking or curiosity. It’s not by any means a complete or final suggestion to what customers can offer, but it is a start. It could possibly offer some people a greater perspective on how customers can offer more value than how they are using them today.
At conception ‘Industry’ and ‘core business’ are both sensible terms to frame and communicate the purpose of a business. But they are limiting. Especially when it comes to maneuvering or adapting the course of the business – as customers, markets and society demands alterations and redesigns.
Eventually this leads to a strangling of the customer and product pipe as consumers find other providers and niche businesses which offer products with a better design or fit – to the current version of the job.
How do we approach customer thinking in a programmed world? Where the customer experience is controlled by computers, data and signals of 1’s and 0’s?
The customer as a signal is a way to understand how computers work in the interaction with customers. To understand the limitations of the computer but also see the potential of data driven customer experience.