When it comes to the digital transformation of a business, “one of the big inhibitors to making the leap is an increasing pressure on organisations to perform financially in the short term”.
So says fit tech expert Bryan O’Rourke as he speaks to Wexer CEO Paul Bowman in the latest episode of The Wexer Podcast.
O’Rourke continues: “You do have to keep finances in mind, but it isn’t just about quarterly balance sheets.” In fact, he says, this sort of short-term focus “often flies in the face of what you should actually be doing for the long term”.
So, what does good practice look like?
“That depends on who you are,” says O’Rourke, “but more than anything it’s about being honest about what your value proposition is based on your business model. What is the exact user experience and how are you going to operationalise and execute that? It’s easier said than done, but it’s all about the execution.
“Make choices: you can’t be everything to everyone. Incorporate digital in a thoughtful way to help deliver a very specific customer experience. Plug in the tech that serves this experience rather than being distracted by the new shiny thing.”
He continues: “There are some great examples outside of the fitness sector: Target, for example, which a number of years ago recognised the need to adopt a new omnipresent strategy, making it as much a digital retailer as a bricks and mortar one. Tesla, which doesn’t even have car dealerships – it goes direct to the consumer. Starbucks, with its mobile ordering for speed of delivery. And Dominos, which became a digital-first company to meet consumer needs.”
Using tech to meet consumer needs is, says O’Rourke “the basics of it, and it’s easy to say but hard to do!”
He concludes: “In the fitness space, there are a lot of businesses that aren’t really awake to what’s going to happen, but in turn, there’s an opportunity for entrepreneurs to rethink business models and better serve customers’ needs. There will be a lot of risk, but also a tremendous amount of opportunity in the next decade.”
To succeed, he says: “It takes commitment from the leadership, a vision of what’s going to happen, and a will to embrace what’s going on around the customer, doing what needs to be done to meet that need. That takes guts. That’s what leadership is.”
Listen to the full podcast with Bryan O’Rourke here
The Wexer Podcast sees Wexer CEO Paul Bowman speak to digital pioneers and experts from around the world, offering listeners insights and advice to support their own digital journeys. Follow the podcast, browse all episodes and listen righ