An introduction to the what, why and how of digital transformation covering examples and 5 key challenges to overcome

We’re working in an era where the development of technology exceeds companies' capabilities to manage the challenges created by the technology. New platforms, apps and tools are emerging daily and as they do, customers, prosumers and keyboard warriors are adopting the technology, talking about businesses and brands, sharing feedback and pinning images of what they’ve bought. Marketers and brands have lost control forever. On a regular basis we witness well-known companies managing customer conversations very publicly. And it’s not always positive. Some businesses have made a full transformation to digital. They embraced 'new media' at an early stage, listened to customers and have digital strategies fully integrated within their businesses. Examples include RS Components who realised that they needed to create their own customer community and created Idea Spark, a forum for engineers to…

What are the essential parts of a digital transformation plan?

Digital or online marketing is any form of marketing that involves using online channels for goals of acquisition and retention. It also includes digital technology and the use of data to target audiences more precisely with personalized messages. Since creating awareness and achieving conversion still commonly involve offline channels such as a call-centre or in-store, digital marketing plans need to define integration between channels using techniques like customer journey mapping. [si_guide_block id="104085" title="Download business resource – Digital Transformation Playbook " description="This playbook will provide you and your business with a comprehensive structure to follow, which will help you plan and prioritize transformation activities across different marketing communications in the customer lifecycle using the Smart Insights RACE planning framework."/] The purpose of a digital marketing plan is to define how to compete more effectively with digital marketing. Its scope of a digital marketing plan is…

Three essential steps to kickstart Digital Transformation

Digital Transformation is a focus for many organizations right now and as you can see from the Google Trends search volumes, it's increasing in popularity recently. As with any change within an organization, there are many challenges (as shown in my previous post on Understanding Digital Transformation), so once you've identified digital advocates in the organization, it's time to map out the journey. [si_guide_block id="38465" title="Download our Business Resource – Managing digital transformation guide" description="This practical guide was created to support our Business members throughout the digital transformation process."/] In recent months, several companies have mentioned to me that their CEO is committed to digital, but they're having challenges at middle management levels, where it's harder to gain commitment. This can be easier if there is a clear plan shared with all. You can, as many do, call this your digital roadmap,…

Chart of the Day: How popular are Digital Transformation programmes?

Our Managing Digital Marketing research reveals many challenges for how digital marketing is run by companies today. Problems included a lack of focus on integrated strategy, testing and optimization and structural issues, such as teams working in silos or lack of skills in integrated communications. To counter these types of problems and to make the most of the opportunities for growing a business through digital marketing, many businesses are now putting a digital transformation programme in place. The chart shows how many are active in transformation. You can see that over a third (34%) of businesses already have a transformation programme in place, which is an increase from the 30% who last year had a programme set up. On top of this, 31% are looking to launch a digital transformation programme imminently, showing the…

Responsibility for driving digital transformation and the common barriers to meeting digital priorities

It's a common misconception that digital transformation is solely the integration or upgrading of technology in organizations, and therefore that its the responsibility of the Chief Technology Officer to drive the digital agenda. According to Dr Dave Chaffey, the digital transformation process should be broader, since it must provide a vision and roadmap of how digital media and technology can transform the customer experience of a brand and marketing communications across the customer lifecycle. The review of technology is imperative to driving a more integrated multichannel experience for both customer and employee, but its down to the senior management team to collectively agree on a roadmap and an experience for every customer, at every touch-point. Improving engagement through personal interaction between customers and employees should be the focus, it is…

An invitation to benchmark your digital future with an upcoming digital transformation webinar, presented by Dr. Dave Chaffey

Digital Transformation is not just a buzz-word. It's an important (if not absolutely essential) transformation process that every business needs in order to stay competitive in a digital economy. The digital transformation process is a necessity for every organisation wanting to future-proof and is achieved through the creation, implementation and adoption of a philosophy of continuous improvement across the business.

As our benchmark your digital future webinar presenter, Dave Chaffey, of Smart Insights explains:

Far too often, Digital Strategy is seen narrowly as a technology solution, but for me, it should be broader since it must provide a vision and roadmap of how digital media and technology can transform customer experience of a brand and marketing communications across the customer lifecycle. Yes, this requires review…

Chart of the Day: What challenges do a successful digital transformation programme need to overcome?

Our latest Managing Digital Marketing Research report showed that many businesses are actively pursuing Digital Transformation with over one-quarter (30%) of businesses already having a transformation programme in place. 33% are planning to start a digital transformation programme within the next 12 months. By its very nature, successful digital transformation requires significant changes to diverse areas including marketing, technology, and skills. This new July article from the McKinsey Quarterly highlights a range of challenges according to a survey of senior respondents in large businesses. It's useful since it highlights the main risks that need to be managed in a transformation project: The biggest challenge featured as the headline and recommendations of the McKinsey article is not digital-specific, but relevant to any large change management project, i.e. Cultural and Behavioural changes. The other challenges…

The must-know essentials to increasing your footfall through destination marketing online

If you work in the destination sector, you’ll ultimately be judged on ticket sales. We notice time and time again that the leisure and tourism attractions that smash their ticket-sales targets are the ones that fully understand (and influence) the modern consumer’s reliance on the internet when booking holidays or days out. Today’s consumer will turn to the internet to research where to go, what attractions to visit whilst there, where to avoid, and what events coincide with their stay. It’s your job as a destination marketer to get your attraction noticed during this research stage. This article will teach you how and will include details on how and why you need to... Create buyer personas Work from a content calendar Influence each stage of the buyer’s journey Employ the right tactics Ensure your website is traffic-friendly [si_guide_block id="81120" title="Download Paid Member Resource…

Facebook digital transformation journey is 'only 1% finished'

I recently had the opportunity to visit Facebook’s Dublin HQ for a deep-dive immersion session. The objective was to up-skill everyone in the latest thinking and best practice in digital and mobile marketing from a Facebook/ Instagram perspective and over two days we covered a range of topics, from the rise of mobile video to the evolution of communication. All of the presentations provided some really interesting and valuable insights, however it was the opening presentation that covered Facebook’s culture of innovation that really struck a chord. At first I assumed this would comprise mainly of corporate propaganda, a list of reasons why Facebook is the #1 channel for marketers and ultimately an unassailable force for social good. Whilst there were inevitably elements of this there were also some interesting insights into a company that is a living and breathing example of digital transformation at…

Use our infographic as a visual checklist for planning digital transformation across your entire organisation

Digital transformation is an incredibly complex undertaking, particularly in larger organisations. But given modern consumers' propensity to demand more from brands, it is not optional. Businesses have to become more adaptive and quicker to utilise the latest technology to improve the experience of their customers. If they don't then they'll rapidly find themselves disrupted by more agile competitors since there are so many sophisticated multichannel marketing techniques required today. [si_guide_block id="84595" title="Download Free Member resource – Integrated Marketing 2020" description="10 essential success factors for a joined-up marketing strategy."/] Too often companies recognise these trends but fail to transform successfully. They start a digital transformation process because they feel like they should, but do not integrate it across departments. Worse, they often focus on attempting to use new digital tactics whilst failing to actually develop a cohesive digital strategy. This leaves a mishmash…

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