There’s no such thing as a digital transformation template. But there are some qualities and components that successful digital transformation strategies share.
In this article, we’ll break them down for you and pose some questions you need to consider when developing your own digital transformation strategy.
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What is digital transformation?
First, let’s start with the definition of digital transformation. Digital transformation is the process of evolving a business, business practices, culture, and technology to become digital-centric.
4 key areas that define successful digital transformation strategies
Your vision should be informed by two key areas:
i. Market Research
You need to understand the key trends for your market, considering products, technologies, competition, and customers. These are the external factors that the best digital transformation strategies address.
A digitally dextrous business works transformation into all its digital channels, and takes advantage of all relevant digital tools available for conducting marketing research.
Knowing your customers is business 101. Successful digital transformation strategies take advantage of digital tools to build buyer personas and map customer journeys.
Keyword research is another essential part of your digital transformation, particularly if your organization is in retail. It will help you answer questions like:
- What sort of terminology are people using to find what I can offer?
- How many people want these things and where are they?
- What other topics will help me get their attention?
Digital transformation is about moving digital to the core of your business. In doing so, your business goals and your digital goals should be well-aligned.
When setting goals, consider:
- What are your goals for digital transformation?
- How might digital transformation change your business overall?
- What are your business goals?
- What is the role of digital in meeting those goals?
- How can you measure your goals?
“Digital transformation must be driven by an ambitious, capable team who share your vision.”Kwasi
Who are the leaders, experts, and what skills do you need to drive digital transformation? What cultural changes might you require?
Leadership, culture, and expertise are the foundations of your digital transformation from a team perspective.
Resistance to change and fear of the unknown are among the most significant obstacles to digital transformation, as with any major change initiative.
Successful digital transformation strategies have people at the very centre; after all, it’s people that will drive and be impacted by digital transformation. The people that work for and buy from your organization must adopt digital rapidly and wholeheartedly in order for it to be effective.
People’s preference for digital channels provides enterprises with more opportunities to find, understand, and acquire customers — so don’t leave any stone unturned here.
Then there’s the customer experience (CX).
“Today, brands live and grow or die based on the quality of their customer experiences. While you can do all the “branding” work in the world, it’s the experiences that people have with you that becomes your true brand.”Kwasi
But CX is so much more than branding. It delivers real results to the bottom line. The Temkin Group found that companies earning $1 billion annually can expect to earn an extra $700 million (on average) within 3 years of investing in customer experience.
And what about digital empathy; are you using it effectively to engage your audience?
Digital empathy (adjective): the ability to understand, share and respond to the feelings of the person on the other side of a screen. (Wojcast.com)
How do you harness automation, artificial intelligence and new digital processes to allow for unprecedented growth and change?
Digital should be at the heart of all your processes in order for true transformation to occur. Ask yourself:
- How many aspects of your business are still governed by written processes?
- What opportunities exist to improve processes with digital tools?
- Can you better inform any processes with data and analytics?
- Can any processes actually be replaced by AI or automations?
Automation is one of the easiest ways to scale your digital capability quickly and efficiently. Can any repeated actions in your strategy or operations be automated?
What new capability would automation bring to your strategy? Can you automate any parts of customer service? And what about AI and machine learning — what aspects of your business can be enhanced by advanced algorithmic technology?
These are the hallmarks of great digital transformation strategies. Now you just need to go away and make it your own.