Digital transformation is crucial for all businesses, whether small or large.
This message seems to be reiterated in every discussion, whether in online articles, panel discussions, keynote speeches, or expert studies that are related to how businesses can remain relevant and competitive in the increasingly digital world.
However, what isn’t clear to most business leaders is what digital transformation really is. Is it just another catchy method of announcing that a company is adopting cloud technologies? Well, let’s find out.
What Does Digital Transformation Mean?
Digital transformation signifies integrating digital technologies into every area of business, giving birth to fundamental changes in how organizations operate and deliver value to customers.
Simply put, digital transformation is about changing how businesses interact with their customers and how they manage to provide their consumers with consistent experiences wherever and whenever they need them.
In fact, when questioned about the factors that led to the decision to adopt digital transformation, most organizations listed customer satisfaction and customer experience as their top priorities.
Those companies that do manage to transform digital also create a high number of engaged customers. What’s more, these consumers are:
- 2-times more likely to make purchases from a preferred brand even though competitor products may be offering a better price or product.
- 4 times more like to refer this brand to their family, friends, or other connections.
- 6 times more likely to try out new services or products from this brand
In addition to these benefits, a highly engaged consumer has been known to buy at least 90% more, spend at least 60% more, and add 3 times more annual value to preferred brands.
Oh, it gets better.
An MIT study found that the companies that have managed to successfully pull off a digital transformation have increased their profitability by 26%/ more than their competitors.
Consumers Are Now More Digitally Conscious
Digital technology has managed to transform consumer habits. Automation, machine learning, mobile devices and mobile apps are now allowing consumers to get exactly what they want whenever they need it.
Consequently, these digital technologies have also resulted in a noticeable shift in the expectation of customers, resulting in a whole new kind of buyer persona. Consumers nowadays are continuously connective, aware of apps, and more informed of what these technologies are capable of.
It is quite clear that customers now rate products and services based on the customer experience they offer on digital platforms.
Digital-first now requires organizations to strategize the way they plan on communicating with their consumers. For example:
- For marketing functions, digital transformation signifies reducing the resources companies spend on offline marketing efforts such as TV ads, billboards, and direct mail. Nowadays, your customers expect to see highly targeted marketing messages, and this can only be achieved with the help of data-driven decision making. If you agree with all of the above, your organization needs to implement email, account based, and search engine marketing strategies.
- In B2B sales, digital transformations entail the replacement of cold calls with social selling. A majority (if not all) of your customers are going to already be active on social media, which is exactly where you should be. Instead of relying on your consumers to contact you, you should have strategies in place to reach out to them yourself, build strong relationships, and educate them about how you can benefit them. This can be done by developing sales content about your expertise and solutions.
- When it comes to the customer service function, you will no longer be limited to waiting for a fax to come through or a phone to ring. Digital-first doesn’t entail organizations being reactive. Instead, it is more about implementing a proactive strategy to help customers who seek your services through a variety of channels. Review sites, social media platforms, online communities and forums now are an integral part of the customer service process.
How to Get Started with Digital Transformation
Digital transformation is now offering interested organizations the opportunity to truly understand modern buyers, engage them, and deliver based on their expectations and with the help of multiple channels.
Still, it was found that from the $1.3 trillion investment in digital transformation, over $900 billion had gone to waste. So why is it that some efforts for digital transformation go to waste while others succeed? While there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, we’ve rounded up a couple of methods that could help your organization successfully implement digital transformation.
First Define a Strategy
Modern businesses are quite fast-paced because of rapidly evolving technology and innovations. Even some of the most established companies out there have experienced disruptions due to advancements in technology.
For instance, over a decade ago, Uber sparked a revolution in the taxi industry by introducing a mobile app that could hail rides. Similarly, Jeff Bezos came up with Amazon Go to automate convenience stores with stations that allow customers to check out themselves.
Recently, Elon Musk and Google were competing for the title of the first self-driving car in the market. With so many of these new ideas springing to life, modern brands need long-term strategies to survive, adapt, and compete in this cut-throat digital landscape.
With that said, digital transformation strategies begin by first asking 3 crucial questions:
- Where do you stand currently?
- Where do you expect to be in the near future?
- How are you going to get there?
Nowadays, companies not only need a plan that covers which technologies need to be adapted but also one protects them against digital disruption. This is why you should first have a firm grasp of your core processes and systems. Doing so will help you identify opportunities, which is a crucial step before a company can harness the true potential of digital technologies.
Rethink Your Customer Journey
With more and more customers now taking charge of how brands deliver experiences, it is finally time to build experiences tailored solely to meet their demands. An HBR survey published that 40% of the participants were of the opinion that customer experience was set as their top priority during digital transformation.
Since all the experiences with consumers tend to impact the overall perception of brands, adopting an approach that focuses solely on the relationship of the company with customers will be a smart move.
The same survey also found that 72% of the participants were excited about shifting to digital-first since it created new opportunities for companies to create a better relationship with their consumers. Therefore, if you are trying to improve the overall customer experience of your brands, it is high time that you start investing your resources and time in new technologies that improve business relationships.
Create a Flexible and Agile IT Department
Having all the right technologies to power digital strategies is crucial for today’s business environment. However, most leaders don’t know that 45% of all executives think that their company lacks the necessary technologies to implement an effective digital transformation.
Fortunately, most organizations know the importance of implementing these agile systems. In fact, as many as 86% of all organizations know that cloud technologies are crucial for digital transformation.
Cloud technologies enable organizations to be flexible, quick, and dynamic, allowing them the ability to check out new projects which are low-risk and cost-effective. Simply put, cloud technologies allow organizations to meet the demands of their consumers a lot quicker.
For instance, by utilizing SaaS applications like customer databases, mobile and web apps, and big data analytics, you will have the ability to digitally record the touch-points required to put together a 360-degree perception of customers.
With the help of this data, you can easily learn why, how, and when your customers prefer your product or service. As a result, you will be able to provide a more improved and better customer experience.
In the midst of today’s fast-paced business environment and constantly connected society, organizations have no choice but to seriously consider adopting digital transformation strategies.
Digital transformation grants companies the opportunity to communicate effectively with modern consumers and therefore, deliver based on their expectations. The inevitable result of this is the perfect customer experience, regardless of the place or channel.
Have you considered beginning your digital transformation journey now?
We hope all of the above information motivates you to transition your company to a digital-first business. In doing so, your brand will be well on its way to making all the right decisions to reap the benefits of today’s digital era.
If you wish to learn more about the latest trends in digital marketing, you could visit my website or feel free to contact me to keep the conversation going.