Joerg Niessing, Affiliate Professor of Marketing

Adapting to the ongoing digitization of the economy, and of society in general, is arguably the most challenging transformation every business is currently facing. Digital technologies have become the core of almost every industry. But one of the most important ‘laws in business’ has not changed at all: Customer centricity. You can only create value and drive profitable growth if you understand not only what customers ‘need’ but also what customers really ‘want’. However, creating customer value and building long-term relationships is even more challenging in a digital world where customers (a) expect more, (b) are well-informed, (c) trust their peers, (d) have more choices and (e) have a voice.

In today’s ‘Age of the Customer’, digital technologies, digital trends and customer centricity have to go hand-in-hand: new channels & touchpoints, new devices, diverse & smart data, social media, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, robotics, and IoT. Today, every business is, in part, a digital business and successful companies embrace and deploy digitization in the right places at the right time and are up to 30% more profitable than digital beginners. That is why digital transformation should be on every senior executive’s agenda.

Although we will be looking at the enterprise-wide impact of digitization, this course will focus mostly on how companies tackle their digital transformation through a more focused lens: value creation through customer centricity. The reason is simple: The customer experience is at the heart of every digital transformation. Steering the digital transformation by transforming organization, processes, and technology without putting the customer at the centre of your digital strategy simply does not work. In several studies ‘improving the digital customer experience’ was ranked as the top strategic priority by senior executives. We will discuss the importance of decomposing, understanding, and mapping your customer journey. This is the first critical step to understand at what stage which digital trends could be leveraged to optimize the entire customer experience.

The digital transformation only works if companies put the right enablers in place because it has a significant impact on the entire value chain. Steering the digital transformation of the customer experience also requires a transformation of leadership, people, organization, culture, processes, and technology. Therefore we will also reflect on these enablers and barriers and discuss what leaders – and organizations – should focus on to make the next step towards a customer-centric, digital, and agile organization.


  • Understand key digital trends that are changing the way companies should do business today
  • Embrace the ‘3 laws of business’ as the foundation for being successful in a digital world
  • Understand todays customer and their evolving needs and expectations
  • Deliver targeted value to your customers in a world of infinite niches
  • Leverage the power of branding in a digital world
  • Understand how digital tools affect a company’s relationship with its customers
  • Uberization: Understand the new rules of competition
  • Build a social media strategy for long-term customer engagement
  • Re-think the marketing funnel: from mass marketing to online communities
  • Learn how to measure the success of digital marketing in terms of brand awareness, association, engagement and ROI
  • Improving customer experiences across channels and touchpoints
  • Understand key enablers that allow for a digital transformation

To reach these objectives, the course will build on a mix of case discussions and real-life examples reflecting diverse approaches to successful digital & social media integration.