There's been a lot of buzz about "Digital transformation". The pandemic and remote working have been a huge catalyst for concepts such as "online collaboration", "process digitalisation" and especially "digital transformation".
Moreover, we all know the tech marketing's tendency to transform everything into precious words. Saying that you sell pens & paper is not enough. Now you should call it a "note capturing solution". And you must have seen words like "agility", "flexibility" and "scalability" in pretty much every product description.
All this hype and precious language have cluttered the concept of digital transformation up to the point where everyone has a different definition. Job roles like Head of Digital Transformation mean totally different things from one company to another, even in the same industry.
The goal of this article is to explain, in plain English, our vision on Digital Transformation.
We believe that digital transformation is about modifying your business processes to make the best possible use of today's digital tools and infrastructure. The purpose of digital transformation is to increase the overall efficiency of the company and reduce the amount of repetitive, manual work.
Digital transformation is NOT about installing a piece of software which magically makes all the problems go away. It involves, first of all, changes in mindsets, operational processes and even job descriptions.
Here are the top 5 topics we approach with clients when discussing about digitalisation and digital transformation:
1. Email is meant for external and NOT internal communication.
Using email internally creates clutter. In some organisations, reading, writing and responding to emails tends to become perceived by employees as the main job function. So there are less and less resources to do effective work.
For unstructured internal communication (like quick questions) you have chat solutions like Slack, Google Chat or Microsoft Teams. For collaborating on projects, exchanging documents and asking deliverables, you have project management & operations software, like monday.com.
2. Avoid (AT ALL COST) losing customer and prospect data
Yes, this is about sales reps storing information in their notebooks and personal files. When they leave the company, the know-how leaves with them and the new hires need to start from scratch.
Instead we desperately advocate for using a CRM where every client, every lead and every interaction is logged. When a new rep takes over an existing portfolio, he knows exactly what's the status of every prospect and he can see all previous conversations. Have a look at what Hubspot can do for you here.
3. Effectiveness of PPC investments to be tracked obsessively
Media investment is a big chunk of a company's marketing budget. Using proper software a company can track the effectiveness of its PPC investment way beyond the standard reports made available by the ad platforms like Google, Facebook or Linkedin. You can track which person (yes person, with name and address) clicked which banner, then what purchases he/ she made. So you can compute true ROI.
4. Send offer, follow-up and repeat
It may come as a shock, but, to most prospects, buying your product is not a mission critical thing. They have one million things to do, so it's very easy to forget about the offer you sent them. Research shows that it takes 4 to 7 iterations and reminders before a prospect truly engages in the buying process. So sales reps must take care to run this repeated follow-up process professionally and timely. Proper sales software can take this reminders heavy lifting off the sales reps' shoulders.
5. Email marketing isn't dead at all
Today's main problem is the way email marketing is done. Take for instance the eCommerce industry. In many cases email marketing equals a 10,000 pixels long email, full of products from all categories, sent to the entire database. Needless to say this means low open, click and conversion rates, but high unsubscribe rates and "list fatigue".
The "digitally transformed company" approach is much more sophisticated. It uses marketing automation software that relies on CRM and behavioural data to judge each email address independently. Instead of sending the same content at the same time to everyone, it sends personalised content at the most relevant moment, for instance when a new website visit is detected on the baby food category.
And a golden rule for the final: it is perfectly true that digital transformation involves using software. But the software is only as good as the people using it and that it gets better the more it's used.
So make sure when you're planning to invest into digital transformation you:
- select a software that is easy to use; it doesn't help to have the most complex solution on the planet, if learning it and using it requires a degree in quantum physics.
- plan your budget not only for software licenses but also for training, onboarding and supporting your team
- make sure you enforce the adoption of the new processes with clear KPI, rewards and warnings
Aaaaand, to close this down with a familiar tone: "Hope this helped, and our message found you well!"
Image credits: marketoonist.com