Digital transformation isn’t an overnight process; it takes time and commitment.
To be successful, your company needs to be customer-centric, have the right team, and develop a digital framework.
Digital is no longer one of the many lakes we visit to fish for new marketing ideas. It has become the ocean — and we are all swimming in it.
Digital transformation has become essential for businesses to survive today. When you really look at it, digital transformation isn’t just another change initiative.
It’s the gate that every business must pass through to reach a viable future. You have to digitally transform in order to fit through that gate, evolve from caterpillar to butterfly, from grounded traditional marketing team to unfolding wings in order move through the digital ether.
It sounds dramatic because it is.
For those who don’t understand just what’s involved — and what’s at stake — they don’t experience a successful digital transformation. Others seem to take to it like a fish moved from its fishbowl to the vast and endless sea, thrilled by the endless possibility and potential of its new environment.
What does marketing transformation mean?
Ivan Menezes, CEO of Diageo, put it well when he said, “It’s not about doing ‘digital marketing,’ it’s about marketing effectively in a digital world.”A business digital transformation is the full and comprehensive leveraging of digital technologies, applied to every corner of a business’s operations. It entails not just existing technology, but also being flexible enough to evolve with future innovations.
For marketing teams, this involves all elements of the marketing process and centers on the customer experience. While there are many working parts involved in a transformation, most can be broken down into three pillars, with each one supporting the others.
- Adopting customer-centric thinking
According to research published by Salesforce, 86 percent of senior-level marketers believe it’s critical to create a cohesive customer journey. When your marketing team establishes a true customer-centric approach, content marketing and the use of inbound marketing techniques naturally dictate your strategies.While marketers have always considered customers’ needs and wants, the actual shift lies in how the relationship between brand and consumer is perceived. The idea is to move from telling customers what to think, to inviting them with value-driven content that improves their lives. As Moz writer Scott Wyden Kivowitz says, “Build relationships, not links.”This is very different from traditional advertising that implies customer and brand as two opposing poles. Today, the businesses that have excelled at social media campaigns, vlogging, and optimized mobile websites have done so because they have merged the relationship. 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 are selling.
- Working from a digital marketing technology core
The next pillar is to use technology as your operating core. You probably already use a CRM solution and a couple of apps to help with automation. To step into tomorrow, marketing leaders are implementing digital technologies that let them do everything from one technology “stack:
ROI measurement and analytics
Website visitor tracking
Landing page design and form builders
Real-time sales data
Social media marketing
This type of digital technology foundation allows you to connect all the dots of your marketing and see clearly the impact being made on revenue growth.
- Overhaul of marketing roles
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.
Here is an idea of the new marketing roles that you need for a successful digital future:
Chief content manager
Content program management
Online digital copy
Head of digital marketing
Why companies struggle with digital transformation
Implementing a business-wide transformation is never easy. Not only does it take a lot of effort and resources to get through the process, it also requires the individuals that make up a team to be willing and committed to transform.This means that everyone must see the value in a collective vision. This is easier said than done. With marketing, the need for an authentic and holistic digital transformation is more glaringly obvious than it may be for other business sectors — making it easier to inspire change. Still, there are serious obstacles that marketing leaders may face: