The emergence of the digital era has brought about a paradigm shift in the way businesses conduct their routine processes and operations. No more do they have to rely on the traditional tools and techniques of talent management, skill assessment, inter-departmental communication, or grievance redressal. Instead, they can simply utilize the immense power of the internet to streamline procedures, encourage innovations, foster connections, facilitate transparency and thus, enhance revenues.

Almost 89% of organizations across the world have either developed or are currently developing a detailed, targeted, and unique digital business strategy.

However, the formation, relevance, or impact of any digital strategy is rendered incomplete until it finds backing in a steady, smart, and integrated digital transformation process. This is because it is only by embarking on the path of a comprehensive digital transformation that businesses can hope to improve their operational efficiency, meet customer expectations, strengthen product quality, increase workforce productivity and reduce development costs.

At this juncture, we’re left wondering: what is digital transformation, and how is it bringing forth a change in conventional business models?

What Is Digital Transformation?

Digital transformation, in simple words, implies the integration, amalgamation, and consolidation of the latest digital technology with standard business processes to abandon complexity, induce efficiency, and refine value. Unlike common understanding, it does not just mean ‘moving to the cloud.’ Rather, this type of transformation involves triggering a basic shift in the organizational culture with the singular aim to create positive, long-term disruptions.

For different departments within an enterprise, digital transformation can acquire different meanings. In HR, for instance, it can mean digitization of employee records. Similarly, in accounting, it can mean the automation of data collection. Nonetheless, for 80% of business executives, the answer to what is digital transformation is an improvement in product or service delivery and enhancement of customer experience.

What Are the Stages of Digital Transformation?

In most organizational set-ups, digital transformation, customer journey, and revenue growth are heavily co-related. This co-relation stems from the inherent ability of digital transformation to pass through five clear stages. These are:

  1. Status Quo – The familiar legacy of old processes, models, metrics, and technology operates. No specific attempts are made to gain digital relevance.
  2. Initiation – Certain departments are chosen as pockets of digital experimentation. Simultaneously, digital literacy is given a slow but consistent push.
  3. Formal Collaboration – The entire organization is brought under the transformative impact of digital technologies. Strategic road maps are prepared.
  4. Convergence – A dedicated team is made for leading the digital transformation efforts of the future. New resources and infrastructure are sought.
  5. Innovation – The organization adapts to the transformation efforts, and digital technologies turn into a way of life. An innovative ecosystem is created to track the latest trends.

Why Should Marketers Drive Digital Transformation?

As per research by Deloitte, 87% of businesses believe that digital transformation can bring about their next big disruption. But the question remains as to which department will get to lead this sudden transformation? While most companies tend to rely on their IT teams for doing this job, their best bet lies with another prominent department – Marketing.

Here are a few reasons why your Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) need to lead digital transformation efforts –

Marketing Transformation Strategy

Devising a comprehensive marketing strategy can be a great way to achieve instant business success, especially in the case of digital transformation for marketing. This is because a digital marketing strategy can raise awareness, engage customers, nurture relationships, and improve experiences – which are the primary goals of digital transformation itself!

Disruption Management Experience

Most marketers are not new to unforeseen, disruptive changes. They have experienced massive bouts of marketing transformation, primarily in terms of reaching out to customers. Promotional texts and cold calling have now been replaced by PPC and SEO. This age-old experience places marketers in the perfect position to lead the digital transformation journey.

Integrated Approach

Most marketers plan their digital marketing campaigns centered around their customers. This allows them to craft a multi-disciplinary, integrated approach that is singularly focused on providing the best customer service. With marketing teams at your disposal, you can easily harness the impact of digital transformation on customer experience.

Data and Insights

No other department has access to the kind of data-based insights that marketing can provide. Powered by years of research coupled with the collection, collation, analysis, and interpretation of buyer behavior, marketing transformation can help you gather a better understanding of your customers. As a result, you can avail of newer and greater opportunities.

How Can Digital Transformation Revolutionize Marketing?

In the last few years, marketing strategies have undergone a fundamental change, owing to the rise of the digital age. Billboards, newspapers, flyers, and brochures have been replaced by the latest digital marketing methodologies. This has simply gone on to prove that while marketing can drive digital transformation, digital transformation for marketing can revolutionize this industry too!

Here’s what such marketing transformation can potentially look like in your business:

– It can refine your digital channels and help you assess their current value. You can thereby make credible changes and leverage the power of these platforms appropriately.

Marketing transformation can help your organization break through compartmental silos. It can act as a connective tissue that automates and integrates various digital tools.

– The influence of digital transformation on customer journeys, especially concerning marketing, is tremendous. You gain advanced insights, identify weak spots, and make holistic improvements.

– It can unify data across various divisions, thus enabling you to create and deliver up-to-date and personalized services.

– With digital transformation for marketing, your enterprise can tread on a step-by-step approach to analyze consumer behavior, conduct detailed experiments, and make iterative changes.

And this is just the beginning! Digital transformation for marketing can also handhold your customers throughout their buying journey while empowering and retaining them at each stage!

Top Digital Marketing Strategies to Drive Transformation

For most practical purposes, marketing transformation is driven by a plethora of interconnected strategies. However, the top digital marketing strategies which tend to drive such a change are:

  • Search engine optimization
  • Paid search marketing
  • E-mail marketing
  • Content marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • Marketing dashboards
  • Influencer marketing
  • Google analytics
  • Marketing diagnostics
  • AI and Chatbots

Ready to Join the Digital Content Revolution?

In the future, artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data, and cloud computing will begin to unleash significant changes through the portals of digital transformation. The impact of digital transformation on customer experience, marketing funnels, buyer journey, and business decisions, will prove to be just one part of these expected changes. The other, more optimized part, will relate to making a huge cultural shift that pervades and permeates all sectors of an organization, right from top to bottom.

Businesses need to intercept, identify, and utilize most marketing opportunities, which is why CMOs need to lead digital transformation. Thus, the only effective way of making this shift work without rocking the boat would be by placing your marketing department at the center of all digital transformation efforts.