Since transitioning my career from operational talent and recruitment this year into a more strategic business development role, conversations with business leaders are now where I spend my days!
I find it fascinating to get inside the mind of Leaders, CEO’s, members of The Board of Directors, Company Founders and Start Up Entrepreneurs across the globe in a variety of industries to understand a few things.
What motivates and inspires them to do what they do?
Which brands do they most admire?
What innovation and technology will most disrupt their industry?
Using hindsight, what strategies would they have implemented sooner knowing what they now know? and………
Who would they go into business with dead or alive if they had their pick of anyone on the planet?
What inspires me to write these articles?
- I have found in my career that if I only look at my peers for knowledge and inspiration, I am limiting my capabilities. It is when I look beyond my peers and traditional network that I gain the greatest insight and inspiration. I encourage everyone to follow this journey.
- I want to make the thoughts and feelings of industry greats more accessible
- I want to give value back to my network
In today’s article I am very pleased to introduce a valued member of my network
Rüdiger Spohrer www.linkedin.com/in/ruediger-spohrer
Rüdiger is based in Dusseldorf, Germany and former Senior Vice President of Wacom, a global technology innovator who are listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Rüdiger was a member of the Executive Board of Directors and reported directly into the Group CEO in Tokyo. Previous to Wacom, Rüdiger was Marketing Director, Commercial Banking for Commerzbank AG, a leading international commercial bank operating in over 50 countries.
It is fair to say that Rüdiger knows a thing or two about Marketing and Digital and following a group restructure this Autumn, Rüdiger has since moved on to Co-Found a hugely exciting Management Consultancy based in Germany www.supersieben.de
Management Consulting in a very unique way. “Business Engineering”: the development of scientifically sound solutions for the areas of brand, marketing and business models. I am excited to see how the business grows and wish them every success.
Here are my questions to Rüdiger. I hope you enjoy.
What has inspired you to set up your own Management Consulting Business?
In today`s discussion, digitisation is strongly connected with negative emotions like fear or uncertainty. As a result professionals come up with questions like “will we keep our jobs as we know them?”, “do we have to totally reorganise our company?”, “where can we hire the right talent and what are we exactly looking for?” “How much do we have to invest?”
For sure, top management of almost every company has to give a reliable and trustworthy answer to all these questions. To do that it is helpful to develop an inspiring vision, followed by clear digitisation targets and strategies in alignment with the management team, set up cross functional project teams that work on the agreed initiatives.
How will your business help others achieve better results?
With s7-PlugIn, we provide a positive, inspiring, hands-on and successful digitisation success template – tailor-made for a company’s individual needs.
Who is your target market and why should people speak to you?
Specialised in digitisation s7-PlugIn helps medium-sized enterprises to become more efficient, faster and more profitable by utilising the possibilities of digitisation for the areas branding, marketing and business model.
People speak to us because they are looking for strategic support, for moderating and building bridges between the various company departments. On top of that, they often need external digital leaders as senior interim managers or they are looking for digital specialists mainly in the area of E-Commerce, Digital Marketing, Content Development, Social Media, Web-Development to complement their existing teams.
s7-PlugIn is a network of senior leaders and digital experts with a proven track record in digital transformation processes and projects. They will work in the company as interim managers or project managers. They make sure that the agreed projects will be successful – and that digital projects will be regarded as positive and motivating, internally.
Which brands do you most admire?
These are brands that are really creating a new experiences. I learn a lot from these brands, every day.
We all know these brands as for many of us they already started to play an important role in our day to day life such as: Uber, Airbnb, Alibaba, BlaBlaCar and deliveroo.
Another very good example is the cycling clothing company Rapha. Founded in 2004 by Simon Mottram, a former director of brand consultancy Interbrand.
At that time the market of cycling clothing was dominated by companies for racing enthusiasts or hobby racers (with lots of advertising prints on the jerseys) as well as cycling clubs with their own club jerseys. Not always optimal in terms of design or quality. Rapha successfully entered this difficult market as a challenger and online pure play company with a modern, high quality, design oriented an recognisable clothing range.
It is now more than just a clothing company it is a modern (digital) brand.
Including own physical retail locations, pop-up stores, luxury travel and a cycling club with global membership.
What innovation and technology do you feel will disrupt global markets in the next 5 years?
Artificial Intelligence is for sure the important development for all of us. We are still at the beginning and will see many more innovations in this area over the next years.
On top of this I believe three trends are especially interesting for professionals.
Software: Creative Cloud Products like from Adobe as well as Marketing Clouds.
Hardware: New, high performing mobile computers with a new form factor and pen input like iPad Pro, Microsoft Surface Pro
Augmented reality: Applications like augmented paper that enables us to take notes on paper plus push a button and get an automatic upload into the digital world.
What strategies would you have implemented in your previous positions if you could have used hindsight to your benefit?
I am sure that Service Design is now a key differentiator and driver for growth for brands. Service Design, done in the right way, is consequently setting the customer and their experience in the centre of all thinking.
It goes far beyond promoting the benefits of an offer to the identified target audience. It combines the the pre-purchase, purchase and post-purchase phase into one seamless experience for the customer.
Can you give me any examples?
To make it simple, think of it as going to a coffeeshop:
You can either have a coupon on your Smartphone, go into the shop, order and pay, wait in the cue to get your coffee and go away – or
you can download the coupon at the right time, when you walk by, get access to priority lane and priority service and pay automatically with mobile payment.
On top, with one click, you can invite friends that are currently in walking distance to also join the premium service and meet you in person to say hello. All done in a seamless and automated way!
Which coffee shop would you prefer?
Matt – Nice!!!
If you could only choose one part of digital to strengthen a company’s position, what would it be?
I would focus on Digital Service Design as it attracts the customers into the brands ecosystem and makes them stay and recommend it to others. Within a company it requires a close collaboration of many departments and disciplines. Sales, Marketing, Customer Care and others. This is also why it is not always easy to implement.
Companies who understand this as a key strategic cornerstone and are able and willing to take the first step into this journey will have a competitive advantage tomorrow.
If you set up a business and could choose one business partner, dead or alive, who would it be?
Elon Musk, as he is maybe the most inspiring person we have in todays business world.
His ability to ask fundamental questions on things we all take for granted and would never ask him so outstanding.
What is your greatest passion outside of work?
On the weekend, cooking dinner while listening to music with my partner and sons as well as riding a bicycle as often as time allows.
Thank you Rüdiger for playing such a major part in this article, your contribution was fantastic and I can’t thank you enough.
www.bps-world.com Twitter and Facebook @askmattgrady
Until next time