What Is Digital Transformation, And How Can It Help Grow Your Business?

by | Jan 26, 2021

Savvy marketers change the way they communicate with prospective customers for one reason: consumer behavior changes over time. Remember the days when you let your fingers do the walking to find local businesses? Today, more than 70% of consumers say they never open their phone books, and last year, more than 95% of consumers used the internet at least once to search for products and services.

The first question you need to ask yourself is, “What has our business done to accommodate this dramatic shift in consumer behavior?” The second is, “How do we create strategies which best reflect the way people actually shop?”

Fortunately, there are proven steps you can take to ensure optimal customer experience and growth for your business. Taken together, those strategies have a name: digital transformation.

What Is Digital Transformation?

Because it makes information more easily accessible and manageable, digital transformation makes businesses more agile and adaptable. In addition, digital transformation makes your business processes more customer-centric and tends to generate dramatic growth. 

For example, an increasing number of companies are using digital tools like customer relationship management (CRM) software to organize all of their customer interaction data in a single location. This enables customer service reps, marketers, and salespeople to quickly retrieve that information to create more informed—and helpful—responses to customer queries, the kind that builds trust in your business. Others incorporate tools like marketing automation to increase email response time.

The bottom line is that digital transformation, because it empowers businesses to substantially improve customer experience and service, makes it easier to achieve:

  • Key marketing goals
  • Everything from lead generation and nurturing to better conversions
  • A more engaging customer journey
  • Larger profits for your business

How Can Digital Transformation Grow Your Business?

Every business is different, of course, with different customers, different business priorities, and different marketing goals. But the move to digital transformation is being driven by changes in consumer behavior that affect virtually every business and every industry. As more consumers work remotely and turn to the internet to find products and services, digital transformation is the most immediate and logical way to acquire and retain customers.

Consider, for example, these revealing digital transformation metrics from Forrester:

  • More than 40% of consumers now shop at “digital-only” stores. The lion’s share of these shoppers have indicated that they have no intention of returning to brick-and-mortar stores.
  • The move to remote workforces has grown exponentially due to the Covid-19 pandemic; it’s predicted to increase by 300% over the next few years.
  • In 2021, digital customer service will increase by an unprecedented 40%.
  • In 2019, US businesses spent in excess of $2 trillion on digital transformation.
  • Last year, more than 40% of all technology spending was dedicated to digital transformation.

What Are the Main Components of Digital Transformation?

The strategies which comprise digital transformation differ somewhat from one business to another. In general, however, you can prepare for digital transformation by focusing on three key elements, as follows:

1. Create Specific, Measurable Goals

Identifying clear marketing objectives is the top requirement for a successful digital transformation. That begins with a thorough and careful analysis of your company’s marketing challenges. Once you’ve done the requisite analysis of current business weaknesses, you can prioritize resources to strengthen those areas.

The operative word here is “specific.” Creating overly broad objectives tends to weaken your ability to create meaningful change. That’s what Procter & Gamble discovered in 2012 when its CEO, Bob McDonald, established the goal of P&G becoming “the most digital company in the world.” What McDonald failed to do was narrow that broad goal into a series of more specific objectives. The result was an ineffective marketing campaign grounded in goals that were difficult to measure. McDonald was forced to resign by P&G’s board the following year.

There’s a relatively simple fix for this potential marketing boondoggle. Each time you create a digital transformation goal, ask yourself, “How specifically will we measure results?” Said differently, each of your goals should be associated with a key performance indicator (KPI), enabling you to know more clearly that you have, or have not, been successful.

2. Make Sure Digital Transformation Starts at the Top

Digital transformation is a company-wide initiative—and that begins at the top. Your CEO and other C-suite members should all provide input and feedback to create goals and objectives. They should also disseminate the plan widely throughout the business.

For example, let’s say you create a Google Adwords campaign with the goal of increasing lead generation. Your PPC ads take interested customers to a landing page that instructs them to complete a contact form in exchange for the gated content they want. But your marketing team never shares the details of the plan with IT, which is suddenly confronted with a slew of new leads, but no plan for how to nurture them and move them through the customer journey. A plan like that is bound to fail. The result is wasted time and money. 

To solve this problem, do a few test-runs of every new digital transformation strategy. Make sure that everyone is in the loop and knows precisely what they’re supposed to do to ensure the achievement of your goal. 

3. Align Company Culture With Your Digital Transformation Plan

Transforming your company’s culture is critical to digital transformation success. To truly effect change and positive results, you need to ensure that your employees understand the need to do things differently than they used to. That requires a strategy to achieve buy-in throughout your business.

One of the best ways to do that is to have your employees walk a few miles in your customers’ shoes. If, for example, you’ve created a series of customer actions that take them from window shopper to loyal customer, have your employees go through those actions themselves. With this tactic, you not only ensure that all of your employees fully understand how the new system works but you will also get valuable feedback regarding any potential bugs in your digital transformation strategy.

Final Thoughts on Digital Transformation

Effectively leveraged, your business’s digital transformation will improve your brand, increase lead generation, optimize customer experience (CX), ramp up profits, and drive growth. But it can also be complex and confusing, particularly when this is your first go at it. That’s where we can help.

Our innovative helpdesk, powered by artificial intelligence, can empower a comprehensive digital transformation that will increase revenue while lowering costs, increase employee engagement, improve customer satisfaction, help you achieve your principal marketing objectives, and grow your business.