There’s no doubt about it. The speed at which digital is changing the world is unprecedented and companies simply have to keep up or will likely fall to the wayside in time to come. Transformation is not easy for businesses of any size. Companies feel like they have to stay on top of 101 things that they are being told digital can do for them – otherwise they’re “missing out”. For many organisations both big and small there also can be a reluctance to change what has always worked. These issues combined can lead to the perception that there is a mountain to climb before any progress can be made. Both of these issues though, are not as daunting as they seem – once they’re broken down.
Transformation starts at the foundation
Before diving into the world of digital in a truly immersive way – goals must be decided. The obvious goals here are to be competitive and garner a larger market share. These are great but they are not digital goals. Digital goals will undoubtedly compliment these high level goals but digital goals need to focus around your consumer and processes. Find goals that help you decide how you can better serve your customers or streamline internal processes to free up employee time. Nailing down your digital goals at this point is vital for a successful digital transformation.
How to Get Ready
To have a successful digital transformation it’s important to have processes in place around what can go wrong and to take some steps before getting started.
- Slow Down
You would be surprised at how often people within companies have limited knowledge of what other departments or even colleagues do within the company. This is a key issue that needs to be addressed before digital transformation. It will be vital for a number of people from varying roles in different departments to work together to create digital transformation but this will be hampered if everyone is on different pages.
- User – friendly
Technology in varying formats is going to form the heart of digital transformation within a company. The reality is clear. If both employees, consumers or both find something difficult to navigate or use – they won’t use it and will revert to the method used before. From an HR and upskilling perspective it is important to identify at this stage who needs training and to what extent. In addition bear in mind that even if you have an entire team of people considered digital natives – if they don’t perceive the technology as intuitive they will simply move elsewhere.
Transparency is vital for both employees and consumers alike during a digital transformation process. Staff who are reluctant to work toward change are asking why? Consumers who have been following a specific process for years will ask why? If the transformation leads to even more tediousness everyone will be asking why. The reasons for change are different for every company and it is vital to clarify it.
- Break it down
At this point you know your goal, why you are achieving it, have assessed your staff’s ability skill wise to implement change digitally and are ready to take your first step on the path toward digital transformation. Identify a plan to follow, but be prepared for deviations along the way.
3 Methods of Digital Transformation
Once you have reached this point you need to find a method to implement the steps of the plan.
- Strategic Partnerships
Every company has their limitations. Understanding these limitations is crucial. Having identified areas that there is no available internal expertise it is much easier to bring in and create partnerships with relevant experts. A consultant with the ability to actually come and work with the company throughout the process, so they can fully understand the organisation’s needs is ideal.
- Digital Garage
This is a great way to explore new technologies if you want to trial aspects of a digital strategy without disrupting the day to day running of your organisation. One example of this being done is by Porsche. They created a digital lab to test blockchain, AI and IOT in order to improve driving experience but also working conditions for staff.
- The Change Team
Another method to implement digital change is by creating a team of tasked with the change. This can be a mix of both internal and external members to create a balance between outside perspective, internal processes and internal department needs. It’s also important for diversity in this team, the wider the diversity, the better the outcomes tend to be. In addition, remember to make allowances for those on the team. It’s difficult to expect a team like this to implement workable change if they are executing this on top of their regular day to day job. Make sure they have designated time carved out and that this work doesn’t impact their other work and vice versa.
The Impact of Digital Transformation on Company Culture
The most common reaction from an employee when being notified about digital transformation is undoubtedly anxiety or fear in some form. What does this mean for my job if X or Y becomes automated? Am I still valued if my role can be replaced by technology? Will I be able to keep up with the advancements?
Communication is a key aspect of digital transformation. Staff not only need to be on board but they also need to (if possible) be excited about the change and the opportunities it will bring with it. Technology solutions provide a far wider opportunity to internal processes and staff than just speeding things up. It can provide support for those with disabilities, it can decrease barriers to communication across languages and it can help people with autism be more comfortable in the workplace. These are just the tip of the ice-berg. It plays a vital role in improving diversity and inclusion.
When marketers map out a strategy for companies it is to help guide consumers through a process known as the buyer’s journey. They work on raising awareness, satisfy an interest in the company through content and builds a desire/need/want through communicating effectively and driving action from the consumer.
After a digital transformation has taken place the marketing model for that company needs rethinking. If the consumer aspect has been taken into consideration during the buyer journey then it is likely that the journey has changed. There is undoubtedly a wealth of information uncovered during a digital transformation that is directly relevant to online marketing. The strategy can change and be complemented by the transformation in a series of ways:
- With Data Driven Insights
- Through the Power of Automation
- Be Optimised by Analytics
Digital transformation can provide a wealth of information alongside forming the backbone for effective digital marketing both during and post implementation.
This is not the only area of the business that can benefit from the information uncovered. A great idea is to have a post implementation meeting with all departments for a data and experience sharing opportunity for all departments to benefit from.
If you’d like to find out more about working with us to drive your data into customer focused digital marketing strategies feel free to contact us here.