What does it take to win with E-Business? We believe that the secret to growing E-Business results in your organization is to benchmark to find a better balance between enablers, readiness and performance.
This is copy of an article posted on SmartInsights: What does it take to win with E-Business?
How come some organizations are able to repeatedly deliver results while others struggle to keep up the pace (or never reach it)? High performance E-Business organizations have several things in common but most notably, they are better at balancing E-Business enablers, readiness and performance while using benchmarking to identify improvement areas. So start using the E-Business Monitor to benchmark where you are and get actionable insights on where to improve.
Why Other E-Business Benchmarks Fall Short?
The last decade has shown a tremendous growth of online channels. Now, organizations find themselves facing tough questions concerning the effectiveness of their E-Business (including digital marketing and E-commerce). Key questions faced are:
- How does my E-Business really perform?
- How do we measure up against our sector and/or best practices?
- Do we have the right team and organization structure to keep improving?
- Are we able to successfully sustain E-Business?
- How is E-Business adding value to our organization and how can we capitalize on this?
- Do we have what it takes to take the next step, and what do we need to focus on?
To answer these questions and more, a number of benchmarks, maturity models and other tools have been used, adopted or launched. In itself a great step. The more (and better) tools are available, the better we can grow E–Business for our company and the E-Business industry as a whole. But having set up a number of maturity models, I have come to the conclusion that from an organization’s perspective, none of these models and tools quite cut it. They never look at the whole picture.
For example, there are online benchmarks looking at traffic, conversion, order value and all those great online metrics. First issue is to compare these across organizations, sectors and countries. Biggest issue is that you are only focusing on results and not how they came to be. For me it feels like looking at the Monday morning football rankings. Yes, we know our team is in the top half of the table and we need some more points to get to a position to play European League. And yes, if we scored more goals, we probably would get those points. But the key thing is: how do we get our team on the pitch to deliver those results and what must we do to give them the best change in reaching our club’s ambition (win the league obviously). Train differently, buy a striker, dismiss the trainer (popular choice), get more crowd in to support us, or something else?
Other tools, like maturity models, only take a look at the process, not the outcome. Do you have a process for digital campaigns? Do you track and measure? Do you have the right organization and commitment? The assumption is that more mature organizations will get better results. Based on research, we find this is indeed the case. Again helpful, but it will only tell us how ‘mature’ you are. The club can have the greatest vision, best plans, greatest infrastructure (stadium) and fans, if the coach and players are not working well together, it will be hard to get the results. During the E-Business Maturity Benchmark I did in 2008, we found that energy companies were most mature in terms of strategy, governance, processes, IT and even culture. However, direct contribution of E-Business to turnover was less than 10%. Not in the same league as less mature but online better performing organizations.
Three Pillars Key To E-Business Success: Which Areas Do You Need To Balance?
When working on creating the E-Business Monitor, we identified three key pillars of success. Let’s discuss them:
Enablers: What Is Your E-Business Net Promoter Score?
First step towards winning at E-Business is knowing what drives your E-Business initiatives and what is holding them back. Start by taking a look at customers, market and internal drivers. The E-Business Monitor benchmarks 6 key areas which impact your organizations E-Business: customer / market readiness, your companies customer & competitor orientation, how much your company is geared towards the future, the internal view on your E-Business team abilities and internal commitment and sponsorship from management and employees.
Readiness: Is Your E-Business Organization Really Ready?
Second step is to review your internal organization. What is the focus of your strategy, is the process clear and at what level are online and traditional business aligned? Is governance clear and at sponsored at the right level. Has you online team the ability to execute in terms of skills and supporting processes? Do they have the means to execute: are your online channels and tools up to the task? Are you able to work with your internal IT and are your internal systems linked to the online channels? And of course last but not least: do you have a process and tools in place to measure results?
Performance: What Are Your E-Business Results and What Is A Good Target?
The hardest part was finding the right key to measure performance and a means to balance the results. In the end, we chose to use the Balanced Scorecard as the basis to create one for the E-Business Monitor. We have chosen to use % scoring only to enable comparison. In order to be able to establish how effective the online channels are, we compare to the company’s other channels and budgets.
E-Business Monitor offers an internal assessment and external benchmark
The E-Business Monitor offers a platform which can be globally used by E-Business, digital marketing and E-Commerce executives, managers and specialists who are willing to challenge the norm, build successful (e)businesses and lead the way. The E-Business Monitor helps them to:
- Determine where they are
- Identify areas to improve current performance
- Clarifies which steps need to be taken to grow
- Offers organizations the benefit of benchmarking against cross-industry best practices
The E-Business Monitor is more than just another survey, it is an improvement tool, offering an internal assessment and an external benchmark. This means that participants need to invest about 45 minutes in answering all three key pillars: readiness, performance and enablers. Underlying these three pillars are 16 different topics and 64 questions. After completing each topic, results are directly available in the Reporting section (My Report). Your results are presented on 4 levels (the E-Business Monitor Index):
- Innovators: are well balanced across all disciplines, indicating both a well performing team, effective channel and the ability to get results. These organizations are well under way to become truly ‘E-Business’ organizations.
- Professionals: are well balanced across all disciplines but also have some areas that need improvement. These organizations are above average performance and represent the 50-75% of participant scores.
- Learners: score well in at least one section but typically have multiple areas that need improvement. These organizations have potential for improvement, often relatively easy to realize. This group represents the 25-50% of participant scores.
- Starters: are the least performing organizations, facing challenges in multiple areas. They have an average score low 25% of participant scores.
Please note: your classification changes with each participant on the E-Business Monitor!
The E-Business Monitor also offers custom benchmarking (My Benchmark) against global, country, sector and custom peer groups. Enabling you to verify your objectives and help set new ones.
How to join!
Participation is free and easy. Just come over to http://e-business-monitor.org/register to create your account and find out how better balance can bring you better results!
More information on the E-Business Monitor: