Author:
Lars Becker

ISPO Academy Lecture by Plan.Net Partner Klaus Schwab

Digitalization in Sport: "Users Do Not Accept Complexity"

Digitalization is changing the expectations of customers in the sports business. At ISPO Munich 2019, digital expert Klaus Schwab will reveal how companies have to deal with this. The Managing Partner at Plan.Net Group for digital communication has some tips in advance.

Woman with heart rate monitor and Smartwatch jogging
Digital Devices Change Customer Expectations

Utility Value for the Customer in the Leading Role

On the 5th of February (Tuesday) Klaus Schwab will be at the ISPO Academy Stage in Hall C6 from 10 a.m. onwards. With the Argonauten he already founded a digital agency in 1998. Since then, he has advised companies on strategic digital communication in various positions. In addition, the current Managing Partner of the Plan.Net Group for digital communication is a guest lecturer and author of several publications on the subject.

ISPO.com: What does the customer expect in the age of digitalization?
Klaus Schwab: Just as the digital ecosystem is constantly changing, so are the expectations of users. Many media fight for people's attention. This leads to the fact that the user isolates himself. To get through to the customer, companies must find the right key. The utility value for the customer, also called utility, plays a major role. The user asks himself the question: Why do I need this information? Another important factor is usability. In times of digital devices, users no longer accept complexity.

How can the highest possible utility value be achieved with a high degree of user-friendliness?
It is important for companies to personalize, i.e. to provide each customer with relevant information and to address him personally. For example, we send around 500 million newsletters for Lufthansa. More than 40 additional products are successfully sold there. This works so well because the newsletter is highly personalized.

Gap in the Sports Sector

How well does the sports industry deal with the topic?
I think there's a big gap in the industry. On the one hand, there are companies like Nike or companies from the digital sector that include this very good. On the other hand, many normal sports retailers are lagging far behind. There is unbelievable efficiency potential in personalization. However, this would require much more data to be collected and used. You have to know your customers' needs in order to meet them perfectly.

Do you have any tips on how to address customers perfectly?
Companies must always place the user at the centre of their thinking: Who am I talking to? What does this man want? That's the origin of everything. This thinking is difficult for companies from all industries. And it's not just about the app, the social media presence, the newsletter or the online presence. Many companies also fall in love with their products and services and no longer have their customers in mind.

Klaus Schwab
Klaus Schwab

Thinking from the Human Point of View

Do you have an example of this from the sports industry?
Yeah. I bought alpine skis the other day. I have been offered a variety of shoes with seven or more different soles - an unmanageable variety. It's incredible how hard it sometimes gets to find the right products. In other industries, this already begins with the fact that many manufacturers do not have their products tested by customers before they are introduced. You wouldn't believe how rarely that happens in relation. Though the decisive factor is what the people out there, think of this new product. The motto must therefore be: whether in the product range or in the digital area, one must always think from the human perspective! It's about a perfect customer experience.

Author:
Lars Becker
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