Digital transformation explained by business growth consultant Midnight Oil Corporation Denver, Colorado.
Talking with prospects, I get the question, “What do you mean by digital?”. It is a very valid question. I think people use the term all the time. It is a hot topic for companies.
We are barraged with the terms ‘digital’ and ‘digital transformation’. To the point now when we are often reluctant to ask the basic question of the definition because we feel we should all know it!
So simply put, digital transformation is the extent where you maximize your digital tools (CRM, website, software, technology). You transform from the lowest extent which is “Initial” to the highest extent “Optimized”. Hopefully the image below helps.
You want to maximize the system, mechanize, automate and use all the features possible for the tools you use.
Why you really need to care about digital adoption.
- You’re directionless
We find that companies don’t have a clear strategy for what they want to achieve in terms of gaining new customers or building deeper relationships with existing ones. Most companies simply don’t put in enough resources to reach the goals. Take that one more step and most companies don’t have any digital activities focused on new customers.
- You don’t know your online audience or market share (the ideal customer)
Customer demand for online services are usually underestimated. Without a digital transformation you won’t understand your online marketplace. Online dynamics are different to traditional channels with different types of customer behaviors, competitors, propositions, and options for marketing communications.
- Existing and start-up competitors will gain market share
If you’re not devoting enough resources to digital marketing or you’re using an ad-hoc approach with no clearly defined strategies, you can expect to become obsolete.
- You don’t have a powerful online value proposition
A clearly defined online customer value proposition tailored to your different target customer personas will help you differentiate your online service encouraging existing and new customers to engage initially and stay loyal. Developing a competitive content marketing strategy is key to this for many organizations since the content is what engages your audiences through different channels like search, social, email marketing and on your website.
- You don’t know your online customers well enough
It’s often said that digital is the “most measurable medium ever”. But analytics and data will only tell you volumes of visits, not the sentiment of visitors, what they think. You need to use other forms of website user feedback tools to identify your weak points and then address them.
- You’re not integrating across the business
It’s common for digital marketing activities to be completed in silos whether that’s a specialist digital marketer, a separate digital agency. Doing it this way is less effective. Digital media works best when integrated with traditional media and response channels. We always recommend developing an integrated digital marketing strategy and once digital transformation is complete digital marketing activities will be part of your marketing plan and part of business as usual.
- Digital doesn’t have enough people/budget given its importance
When insufficient resources are devoted to both planning and executing e-marketing there is likely a lack of specific specialist e-marketing skills which will make it difficult to respond to competitive threats effectively.
- You’re wasting money and time through duplication
Even if you do have enough resources, they may be wasted. This is particularly the case in larger companies where you see different parts of the marketing organization purchasing different tools or using different agencies for performing similar online marketing tasks.
- You’re not agile enough to catch up or stay ahead
If you look at the top brands like Amazon, Dell, Google, Zappos, they’re all dynamic – trialing new approaches to gain or keep their online audiences.
- You’re not optimizing
Every company with a website will have analytics, but many companies don’t make or have the time to review and act on them. Once a digital transformation strategy enables you to get the basics right, then you can progress to continuous improvement of the key aspects like search marketing, site user experience, email and social media marketing.
55% of startups have already adopted a digital business strategy compared to 38% of traditional enterprises.
A business may take on digital transformation for several reasons. But by far, the most likely reason is that they must: It’s a survival issue for many.
Why do some companies adapt to digital transformation, and why do others get left behind?
Here are 5 reasons companies struggle with digital transformation
1 Unrealistic expectation. Some organizations are overly optimistic. The excitement ends up more around the digital technology rather than the transformation itself. You must realize the transformation is equally important, if not more.
2 Lack of skills and experience. Companies suffer from talent and competency gaps, and organizations find it difficult to reskill current employees. The gap is “big, and probably getting bigger.”
3 Poor communication. Silos exist because companies want to piece together solutions rather than use a single source like Midnight Oil Corporation. What happens eventually, is the strategy gets lost, there is lack of responsibility and disjointed efforts on how to acquire customers.
4 Don’t know where to look. Many companies don’t know where to look for a comprehensive trusted advisor that can help with strategy, implementation and the entire lifecycle. A place to start is Midnight Oil Corporation.
5 Constant competition. Meanwhile, customers’ digital expectations continue to rise, constantly raising the bar in real time. Take the example of taxis: The best taxi app has become the de facto norm. You’re always measured toward the best, and the bar is being raised constantly in terms of how you deliver your customer experience.
“Technology progress is well in advance of our ability to adapt our organizations. … I fear that we’ll see a polarization over time between organizations that have managed to do digital and integrate in to the sales process, and those companies really struggling. In my view, these struggling companies face the danger of being left behind.”
How can I get started on digital transformation?
At Midnight Oil Corporation, we help our clients with selecting some building blocks to move forward with. We typically focus on customer experience and operational agility (think sales processes).
Schedule a discovery call:
We cover 11 focus questions about your business.
We identify 3 – 4 problems you’re currently facing.
We provide analysis of our discovery call and provide some answers on how to transform your business.
In our analysis
1) We prioritize action items and areas where we can help.
3) We document what needs to get done, the processes, and who is responsible for each task.
4) We devise how we plan to execute with an agreement to move forward.
How much is your company truly leveraging its digital assets?
We’re the only full-stack solution designed for growing small businesses. We’d love to have a drive thru strategy call with you.