What’s a burrito got to do with digital transformation?!?

I recently read an absorbing piece on LinkedIn about how Tressie Lieberman has helped turn around the fortunes of Taco Bell, the US fast food company.

Tressie isn’t the CEO of Taco Bell, nor is she the CFO (although she now has a direct line into both of them!), in fact her roots are in marketing where she cut her teeth with Ogilvy then Slingshot before really getting into her stride leading the digital marketing team at Pizza Hut.

I work with some of the biggest B2B technology businesses out there. These global companies develop, design, integrate and run the IT systems that support organizations worldwide, 24/7, across every single facet of their business. And they are very good at it.

And so you might ask. Why I am writing a piece on Tressie Lieberman and the impact this gifted individual has had on the fortunes of a fast food company?

The answer is that Tressie is a figurehead for a new breed of gifted customer experience evangelist who understands and deploys digital technology and social media to reach, engage, unify and very often delight customers. These ‘social engagement specialists’ have an intuitive understanding of, and connection with, their customers.

And one other thing…

Digital innovators like Tessie are now at the helm and leading just how their organizations navigate digital transformation, ‘innovating & aligning’ their technology and business strategies in order to gain greater competitive edge by improving customer experience, engagement and subsequently, loyalty.

My clients, (the technology companies) no matter how good they are at what they do, are having to come to terms with this ‘new world order’.

Well practised in connecting with, selling to and delivering for, traditional IT leadership and functions – B2B technology organizations are having to reinvent how they engage their customers – many of whom are no longer even in the IT department.

Their customers are now far more likely to be leading the brand, marketing, sales, operations and HR functions of their business and want solutions not technology, ideas with sparkle and purpose, not the next IT upgradein this fast paced world they want transformation consultants and partners not IT suppliers.

And so this is the bit where you might expect me to create that clever little link that presents you with my company’s expertise, skill set and offers. Well you can find us HERE and we are good at what we do…

But the point of this piece is to celebrate a specific place in the maturity curve of technology.

A place where technology (especially digital & cloud) is being used to better serve not only the enterprises that buy it, but importantly the customers of these enterprises – and at every key touch-point.

And it’s the ‘new order’ of digitally enabled, empowered, empathetic innovators like Tessie who are making sure this happens.

Take a moment to read the next couple of paragraphs taken from the original article to see just what a difference she is making and why…

As Lieberman said “You walk into Taco Bell and you may have already ordered the food on our app and then you sit down,” the 35-year-old digital marketer at the fast food giant explained. “But before you eat, you might stage it perfectly to get the right shot with the right filter. Then you are sharing that with your community. Then you eat it and then you might start talking about it online and talking about what that experience is like.”

“Food used to be all about being fuel. It was just filling up,” she said. “Then it became a lot more experimental. Taco Bell is perfectly aligned with that desire to experiment because we are always innovative and we are giving you something to talk about. Taco Bell is really connected to culture. We create things that make people want to talk about them.”

It’s realizing that key distinction in the new way people eat that has made Lieberman and Taco Bell so successful today. Once a punchline of a fast-food brand — for several years before Lieberman joined in 2012 from Pizza Hut, same store sales were either flat or declining — Taco Bell is now one of the buzziest brands in the food business. With an irreverent personality on social media and quirky food inventions like the Doritos Locos Tacos, the Mexican food brand owned by Yum! Brands has stayed on the radar of millennials and older generations alike.

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