Did you ever fall asleep at a party — and have the unsettling experience of waking to discover you’re all alone? If you can empathize with that feeling, you’ll understand the imperative of staying current with digital business trends.

From new business models to transformative approaches to providing better brand experiences, you need to wake up and innovate. It’s time to take advantage of new technologies to guide customer behavior and drive ongoing digital engagement.

Alas, staying awake is sometimes harder than it seems. So to recap a few conversations you may have missed, let’s recap some great advice from ARKE leadership.

Digital Transformation

Since 2000, 52 percent of companies in the Fortune 500 have either gone bankrupt, been acquired, or ceased to exist because of digital disruption. The collision of the physical and digital worlds has affected every dimension of society, commerce, enterprises, and individuals.

ARKE co-founder and CMTO said digitally mature organizations have powerful opportunities to predictably and repeatedly create results. “But many digital transformations have stalled because of confusion, misperceptions, and lack of executive agreement,” he warned in a recent article on CMO.com.

He added:

“Because there are so many definitions of digital transformation, digital maturity is often an amorphous concept, assessed subjectively against the shifting backgrounds of whim and desire. That’s why you need to develop or leverage a methodology that evaluates a company’s progress across five dimensions: experience, people, processes, technology, and data.”

The Subscription Economy

Customer relationships are key in the subscription economy. Photos by Jeroen Werkman, Maja Dumat

Customer relationships are key in the subscription economy. Photos by Jeroen Werkman, Maja Dumat

Office 365 revenues exceeded revenues from perpetual software licenses during the past quarter — a first, Microsoft reported. Office 365 is becoming more profitable as well.

ARKE VP of Strategy Margaret Wise had an interesting take on this new paradigm.

In a recent article, she discussed the subscription economy. It shifts the priority from client acquisition to the effective adoption and use of a product or service.

Subscription models “create stickier customer relationships, generate deeper customer insights, and equalize the balance of power between businesses and customers. Businesses gain the ability to predict revenue through recurring sales — as long as they serve the needs of the same customers consistently, repeatedly, and over the long-term.”

Site Search

On many corporate websites, search is just an understaffed, IT funded afterthought, Forrester analysts said. That’s unfortunate because users don’t want to “search”; they want to find — and get information.

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But “enterprise search is not a ‘fire and forget’ technology — it takes an effort to ace,” Miles Kehoe said, adding that bad search is “often a result of bad methodologies.”

So what should you do? First, recognize the power of optimized site search. As Andy Uzick, ARKE’s Sitecore Practice Director, and Coveo Product Manager Simon Langevin noted in a recent article:

“Intelligent search has the power to personalize content to each one of your website visitors, making your investment in visually stunning and compelling website content worth it.”

Intelligent site search deepens insights about customer behaviors. That enables companies to capitalize on low-hanging fruit and improve return on investment, they added.

Fractional Executives

ARKE's Eric Stoll, Margaret Wise, and Chris Spears

ARKE’s Eric Stoll, Margaret Wise, and Chris Spears

Fractional or on-demand executives are becoming more popular. More companies “realize they can now afford an outstanding executive without having to pay for a full-time executive or pay benefits or other costs associated with full-time permanent hires.”

Spears did a deep dive on the ways ARKE functions as a fractional CMTO in an article on LinkedIn.

“Chief Marketing Technology Officers (CMTO) blur the lines between marketing, IT, and data science, closing the gaps between CMOs and CIOs. … They could be the most necessary senior executive your company your company has yet to hire.”

ARKE, he explained, functions as a CMTO or Chief Digital Officer (CDO) for organizations of all sizes. In this capacity, the company acts as a cross-functional advisor to a company’s sales, marketing, and IT teams.

Noreen Seebacher is the content evangelist at Arke, where she researches, writes and continues her long career in news reporting as a brand journalist. Noreen lives in Beaufort, South Carolina with her husband, her dog and four formerly homeless cats.