How to Get Your Digital Transformation Plans Off the Ground
Digital transformation is a term that is often used – in some cases, overused. Although it sounds like a buzzword, all it really means is investing in a company-wide commitment to digital technology. Whether that means adopting tools such as marketing automation across every department or taking a good, hard look at your entire digital marketing process, digital transformation helps to identify areas for improvement, change the way that you operate, and, ultimately, add more value to your customers.
Today, we’re taking a closer look at this strategy to find out more about digital transformation and learn how you can get started.
What is Digital Transformation?
In a nutshell, digital transformation is a way of integrating digital technology into every area of business. As its name implies, it is about transforming the way that your business operates. But it’s also about adding more value to customers. Because it needs to be adopted on a company-wide level, it requires a fair amount of change, experimentation and even failure to learn how to truly embrace digital from top to bottom.
This approach is typically used in the private sector but it can also be used to improve the digital footprint of government agencies, NGOs and other public sector entities. Although there are many different reasons that an organisation may embrace transformation, those that are more likely to take this approach do so when their current strategies are no longer working. This could be due to outdated models that cannot easily be adapted to the current digital marketing landscape or to issues at digital marketing adoption at any level.
This type of strategy will usually be very personalised and designed according to each company’s specific needs. There are, however, a few common focus areas that are included within most transformation strategies, including customer experience, culture and leadership, operational agility, team enablement, and digital marketing integration.
Best Practices for Successful Digital Transformation
Once you have decided that digital transformation is required, what is the best way to move forward? Some of the typical steps involved in transforming your digital approach could include the following:
Ensure that stakeholders are aligned with your digital goals.
If your key stakeholders are not on board, it will be very hard to bring about change. That means getting approval at all levels, including stakeholders, owners, investors, and board members, who need a clear indication of the outcome that can be expected for this strategy. This is especially true in the case of larger sized companies who have large-scale transformation strategies.
To get approval from upper level stakeholders, it can be very useful to focus on small early successes that showcase the benefits of transformation. Small improvements such as reduced customer complaints or better adoption of a new tool can help to bring support from management.
Maintain support throughout the process.
Getting support initially is one thing. You will also have to get continued support throughout the process as well. You will need to focus on both long and short-term goals to show that there is value in transformation further down the line. Rather than focusing only on immediate goals, it is worth looking at the long-term value that shows how transformation can help to make life easier and better for employees as well as customers. For this, you will need clear direction and a detailed strategy that outlines your goals and requirements at every point along the way.
Prepare for transformation.
Once there is a clear strategy in place and detailed direction, it is time to start preparing for digital transformation. This process does not happen overnight and can take a while. Companies who are just getting their digital campaigns up and running can be put off by the length of time it can take, although those with newer digital strategies may find it easier to transform as they do not have the downside of large outdated systems.
Companies that have managed to keep up with digital growth may have gone through single and multi-channel strategies before launching an omnichannel digital marketing strategy, with new systems added at each stage. In that case, it could take more time to integrate systems and streamline processes. When companies who are new to digital are able to head straight into an omnichannel approach, there are far fewer systems at play. Ideally, all teams and departments need to work together to understand the steps involved as well as their role within the process. Preparation and communication are both essential to the process.
Set clear priorities.
It is essential that everyone is on the same page when it comes to priorities. If management and board members are focusing on one goal and teams are focusing on another, it will be almost impossible to see any results. Getting everyone to agree on priorities is not always easy, of course – less so in large companies. Digital teams will be focusing on trying to get things off the ground while sales might be expecting instant results and customer service teams may be wondering why processes have to change at all. Set clear priorities right from the start and make sure that everyone understands what they are before things get going.
Clean up data.
Without clean data, this entire process will become difficult and frustrating. Data needs to be at the centre of transformation so that all digital campaigns can be executed effectively. You may look at setting up a data team or you may that using marketing automation or other tools with your CRM helps to clean up your data. This will allow the transformation to take place without any hitches.
Avoid digital fatigue.
Finally, another thing to watch out for is digital fatigue. Over time, it can be harder to stick to new strategies. All departments will start to run the risk of lapsing and those who are heading up the digital transformation will have a much harder time keeping everyone motivated. Regular communication across all departments, combined with a commitment to consistency is the best way to ensure that everyone keeps moving forward towards digital growth.
While this is one approach to take, it is also possible to integrate new systems without taking a company-wide overhaul. At Grapevine Interactive, we aim to help you streamline your digital marketing results with a comprehensive marketing automation solution that is tailored to your requirements. Contact us today to learn more about how our tools can help with digital transformation.