Preparing Your Business for Digital Transformation

No matter where you look, there’s a marketer talking about transformation, disruption, innovation or experiences. These subjects are typically talked about as if, alone, they are the only parts in the digital puzzle. However, organizations need to combine pieces of each in order to truly grow their business, driving scalable customer engagement and loyalty.

When it comes to experience, it’s no secret that industry competition is more fierce and widespread than ever before — Adobe Summit 2017 put a hard focus on, “Making experience your business.” With countless origins of digital threats, many companies don’t know how to respond, and the panic is noticeable.

The core focus of any digital transformation is to put your customer at the center of your business. This requires organizations to create an agile customer experience that can adapt to the needs, wants and preferences of their audience. Data is fast becoming the most valuable asset a company has, and can unlock the secrets to the type of experience your customers want to engage with.

Companies today are challenged with the ability to integrate technology, content and data to their audience’s preferences, to help drive a more engaging experience that boosts sales and returning customers.

Why Your Business Needs a Digital Transformation

Digital Transformation is redefining a business strategy based on the potential of digital technologies and data. It’s a new way of thinking about customers, products, services, business models, talent pools, organization structures and technical ecosystems the business relies on.

Digital transformation is a huge priority and challenge for companies of all sizes. Forrester projects many companies will budget more than one billion dollars for it in 2017.

85% of enterprise decisions makers feel they have a timeframe of two years to make significant inroads on their digital transformation before suffering financially and/or falling behind their competitors.

— Progress

Companies don’t have the luxury of waiting years to begin the digital transformation process. Ideally, making smaller changes now, with a larger strategy in mind, will help organizations manage their resistance to change and create a model that can thrive in the future. This requires companies to invest in the fundamentals of transformation. What does that mean? It’s restructuring the business, marketing and content, while determining what metrics will be used to measure success.

Enterprise transformation starts with the customer: How can you better understand your customers, improve service levels and continuously innovate the customer experience?

To thrive in digital business, leaders must marshal a greater connection between content marketing, data and technology. Emotion is the currency of the customer experience and content is the driver that influences emotion. Data provides the viewpoint into how that content is impacting user behavior and business objectives, and technology allows you to gather that data.

Companies need to create a supply chain of increasingly sophisticated and interactive content to feed consumer demand for information and engagement, not to mention a mechanism for managing the amounts of data generated. Creating optimal customer experiences requires deep customer insight, which is informed by more than the mining of survey, demographic and behavioral data.

Ways to Start Your Digital Transformation

A successful digital transformation consists of strategically connecting content, data and technology. It’s where the organization is not afraid to fail, take risks or embrace the challenges that inevitably come with change. They will adopt a mentality where they Fail Fast, Fix Quickly and Innovate Often.

This starts by remembering that you cannot scale what you do not quantify, and you cannot quantify what you do not define. You should also ask yourself: What is “digital” for us? What kind of growth do we seek? What’s the No. 1 metric and which KPIs must change?
If you’re having difficulty answering these questions, let us help you define what your digital efforts look like and how to determine future success. Here are just a few steps you can take to begin defining your digital efforts and transformation:

  1. Develop a Data-First Mentality – With more CEOs having digital ambitions, nearly half of companies have no digital transformation success metric. Using data in creative ways to better understand not only the progress, but what impacts that progress, will go a long way now and in the future toward continued growth.
  2. Adopt Customer-Centric Thinking – Move from telling customers what to think, to inviting them with value-driven content that improves their lives. Consumers feel like the brands they love are genuinely relevant to their lives and are providing them something of value, from information and insights to inspiration and instruction — as well as the products and services they’re selling.
  3. Work from a Digital Technology Core – To step into tomorrow, marketing leaders need to use technologies that let them do everything from one technology “stack,” or integrate the most critical systems. This type of technology foundation allows you to connect all the dots of your marketing and see clearly the impact being made on revenue growth.
  4. Rethink Roles for Innovation – When your priorities, workflow, strategies and culture evolve, the roles that were once held will have to change. Some tasks will fall to the wayside, while others will emerge as critical to a well-functioning, agile marketing team.

Focusing on these areas is essential for any and all businesses because each equally contributes to a great customer experience. Using design to initially draw in customers, with emotionally appealing and easy to navigate experiences, sets the stage to deliver relevant and authentic content through innovative technologies.

In the always-on digital world, our customers expect constantly changing and innovative experiences. Many companies are scared to take the first steps because they’re afraid of changing the status quo.

If you find yourself saying, “We’ve always done it that way,” you’re impeding innovation and already falling behind your competition. The key is to start by understanding how it can benefit your business and the advanced experience it can bring your customers. It’s never too late to start implementing some of the steps toward a digital transformation.

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