Imagine a checklist of the biggest challenges a Chief Digital Officer can face. Renault’s Patrick Hoffstetter has been dealing with all of them since becoming CDO at the French automaker in 2011:
- Bringing innovation to a 116 year-old legacy organization
- Implementing digital transformation to a worldwide network of 120,000 employees
- Staying competitive in a sector in the midst of digital disruption
To truly gain a perspective on how far reaching the responsibilities of a Chief Digital Officer are and how essential this role has become in today’s economy, look no further than what Hoffstetter has done at Renault.
Digital innovation, and thus Hoffstetter’s responsibilities, have touched nearly every part of the company, from internal operations to sales, and even the development of the cars themselves.
The task was so big that he helped create the Digital Factory, a separate unit in Renault in charge of all the group’s digital activities.
“It’s a centre of expertise where we pull together all our experts on social, mobile, e-commerce and connected cars. We are centrally based in Paris but we connect with partners across the global to develop the overall digital customer experience,” Hoffstetter told siliconrepublic.
Digital transformation touches every part of the customer journey.
First, Hoffstetter transitioned marketing from the old mass market, advertising model to include mobile marketing and social media. Renault now has 700,000 fans on their Facebook page and millions of followers on other channels.
“Most of our work is focused around understanding and amplifying the overall consumer purchase funnel and understanding those moments of truth that lead to people buying a Renault vehicle,” he told siliconrepublic.
He copied a page from Apple’s Genius Bar and gave dealerships and garages tablets to help improve the sales experience.
But to change the way Renault employees conduct business, Hoffstetter had to step into the CDO ambassador role:
“Our role within the company is one of a scout, we evangelise staff on the implications of digital,” he told econocom.
As part of this process, he launched an internal enterprise social network called My Déclic. The network quickly grew to several thousand members.
Finally, Hoffstetter is keen on implementing digital within the cars themselves. Customers have come to expect far more than a simple radio and navigation with their new car, they now want an experience akin to using their smart phone or tablet.
To do this, Renault has partnered with Facebook to bring notifications into their vehicles, and are in discussions with Spotify. Smartphone apps are being developed to provide information such as driving habits, battery charge, and vehicle diagnostics right into the driver’s hands. An app to remotely unlock your car and even pre-heat it are in the works.
“We see the car as the sixth screen,” Hoffstetter told siliconrepublic.
Renault is also developing self-driving cars, which are on track to revolutionize the automotive experience within the next decade or two.
Hoffstetter is the co-founder of eG10 and founder of NewMedia360. He was previously Vice President, Europe at lastminute.com and Chief Product Officer, France at Yahoo! Europe. He has an MBA from the HEC School of Management.
Digital leaders and organizations in Europe who want to know how Hoffstetter spearheaded the massive digital transformation initiative at Renault need to see his keynote at the upcoming CDO Summit Amsterdam on November 4th, 2015 at the Conservatorium Hotel.
If you want to learn how this Chief Digital Officer overcame some of the biggest challenges any CDO can face, don’t miss your chance: reserve your seat now.
The Conservatorium Hotel
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