The future of digital is the rise of the consumer

Our Head of Digital interview series continues with Rebekah Horne, the Chief Digital Officer of Network Ten, one of Australia’s leading entertainment and news content companies, with assets across free-to-air television, online and digital platforms. Interviewed by Bugwolf CEO and Founder, Ash Conway, Rebekah was articulate and intense on the topic of digital, and was keen to share some strong ideas about the future of the digital space.
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Customer experience is the centre of everything - engaging a customer must be easy as they are always busy, according to Rebekah. She predicts an increase in apps that work across every platform, in response to the demand for interoperability between systems. Customers also want applications and services on demand, but only if the price is right.

Engaging the customer to create brand loyalty will be top priority.

"It’s definitely a buyer’s market”, stated Rebekah. “The problem is that the automation is terrible when it comes to making recommendations. Automation isn’t simple and there will probably always be a need for the human element, both in perfecting technology and in marketing, because customers are increasingly busy and getting their attention will become more difficult.” she continued.

Curation and recommendations are going to be crucial, which also means that machine learning will play a significant role in meeting customer needs. There is also a greater tendency for people to work on multiple platforms, which means the need for greater standardisation in the future. Rebekah highlighted that indeed “The challenge will be to get pricing and content balanced”. But, she believes that it’s a marathon and not a sprint. It will be the company that can build the long term infrastructure and strong customer service that will weather the changing environment and win.

Rebekah says that the best advice she has been given as a leader has been to listen, observe and look at the data, before making a decision. To be thoughtful, regardless of the noise and to realise that things always take 3 times longer than you anticipated.

Mashable, Techcrunch and Investors - Peter Thiel and Andreessen Horowitz have been both informative and helpful for Rebekah in her day-to-day decision making. This aligns with her view on key influencers and those who have had significant impact on her career, where she aligns herself with forward thinking people, those who continue to keep moving ahead.  Rebekah feels she is always learning and has been very fortunate to meet some great people during her career.

Above all else, Rebekah highlighted the need to stay focused on the customer and clearly articulated her love for software. Content, people and technology, the highly sought after (and oft debated) Golden Triangle.

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