Executive Summary

Digital business and the experience economy dominate much of today’s discussions about how to run a successful company. Yet understanding of “digital business” often seems limited to engagements through digital channels. And “customer experience” is too frequently viewed as an exercise in empathy rather than a way to drive results and mutual benefit for buyers and sellers. Customers’ expectations have been shaped by their interactions with digital natives. They have come to expect all businesses to use digital channels and communications equally as well as those natives do.

In this Big Idea report, Constellation posits that the new mental model for successful business operations centers on developing and managing digital products in a manner similar to lifecycle strategies for any other type of product, whether a business is digitally native or not. To manage digital products well requires a digital optimization platform, a mindset change, and coordinated ways of working across disciplines and teams. Digital product strategies must leverage intelligence drawn from customer behavior and actions—not to mention customer expectations for access, convenience, and shared brand experience—to evaluate impact across the business’s broader portfolio and measure success in terms of impact on the overall customer experience. This report describes the necessary attributes of a digital optimization platform and how it works.

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