Digital Strategy Q&A with Mousumi Behari

With more than a decade of experience in marketing and eCommerce strategy and implementation, Mousumi Behari is our fearless Digital Strategy Practice Lead. From helping global luxury retailers define and design their mobile and web experience to advising the C-suite in nearly every industry on mitigating risk and optimizing opportunity, she’s our resident expert on digital roadmaps for today and tomorrow. We’ve put together a little Q&A for you to not only meet your subject matter lead, but also to answer some of your best questions about strategy.

What do you do at Avionos? 

I am the Digital Strategy Practice Lead at Avionos. We specialize in creating road maps for clients that include business recommendations on how to operationalize business capabilities while defining the organizational structure and determining investment guidance. We also have strong Change Management frameworks that enable digital transformations.

Tell us about an example where strategy spurred deeper understanding of eCommerce or marketing goals for a client.

We had a client who was curious as to whether people would make a large luxury purchase online and if they were interested, how would they be able to support that service. Through determining what the customer journey should be we layered in the business capabilities needed to meet the customer’s needs. From there, we created a prioritized and actionable road map that illustrated how to leverage technology through people and process. This particular client is just embarking on the journey for eCommerce based on our business case and recommendations.

How would you explain why strategy is such an important starting point for digital transformation (eCommerce, integrated marketing, etc)?

You never start to build a house without a budget, a blueprint, and a contractor. Digital transformation, or digital enablement as I like to call it, is the same thing. It’s easy to get a budget and then spend it on what you think will make a lasting impact. But often the shiny object is fool’s gold. Savvy clients understand that it makes sense to take a step back, assess their current state, determine what they want the future state to look like, and then define a plan to get there. Introducing strategic objectives, KPIs and business capability maps are just some of the tools that enable the plan and ensure the delivery will be healthy and successful.

You say that Strategy is the people, process part of implementing technology. Can you explain that?

Often we see companies coming up with point solutions to fix an issue. It’s important to look at the picture as a whole and determine the cause of the problem. What are the symptoms? Sometimes the right technology is deployed, but people do not have the needed skillsets to use it optimally. Or perhaps there are too many technologies and no one is sure how to orchestrate them or what processes could be streamlines to find efficiencies. Although technology is always a part of the strategy, it’s not usually the starting point. I like to look at strategy through all three lenses (People, Process and Technology) to determine the most effective means of digital enablement. Let’s understand the customer needs, find the right business capabilities to meet those needs, and finally use technology to enable it.

How do you think strategy enables CRM, commerce, integrated marketing, and experience management?

Strategy is a horizontal practice in that since it is technology agnostic, the frameworks could be applied across any discipline. Once a path forward has been declared, are you using the right KPIs to monitor the health of the roadmap? The right strategy should be measurable and actionable. At Avionos we believe in an outcomes based approach which means having quick wins along with more strategic endeavors.  With each implementation, resources need to be trained, change needs to be managed, and those changes need to be communicated. Strategy can help with this in messaging both your internal customer (employees) and your external customer.

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