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Michael Kunst: Defining Digital

Leading companies that have embraced digital technology are able to develop products, collect customer feedback and refine their approach faster.

Video

Michael Kunst: Defining Digital
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Leading companies that have embraced digital technology are able to develop products, collect customer feedback and refine their approach faster. To get to that point, executives must first define what "digital" means to their companies, says Michael Kunst, a partner in Bain's Digital practice, in this short video.

Read the transcript below.

MICHAEL KUNST: I believe digital is critical because it affects and changes how companies operate from start to finish all along the value chain. And I believe right now we're at this tipping point where digital is no longer a thing that you've got to do, but you've really got to wire it into how companies operate—how they do research, how they go to market, and most importantly, how they collaborate with the external world as well.

When I work with my clients, the hot topics in digital are, first and foremost, to get to a common definition. Digital is one of those buzzwords where everyone has a different opinion and I find it's really important to get everyone on the same page—to say: what do we really mean with digital?

And then hot topics really vary for every company. For every company it's different. Where we do a lot of work with them is to say: what are the four or five things that are really going to make a difference to your business? And for some of those it's commercial, for some of those it's in research.

And I don't think it really matters that much what the hot topic is. I think it matters very much for the company to say: what are the one or two or three things that we're really going to go after? Because we see that they can get lost in the complexity of what digital means for them.

There are really fundamental changes on how companies have to look at digital and how to differentiate the speed with which they have to develop product, the speed with which they have to gather feedback from customers and consumers, just increases exponentially. And in order to stay ahead of the curve and in order to be competitive, there's no way around making digital really part of how you operate.

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