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The Building Blocks of Digital Transformation

Author's avatar By Robert Allen 04 May, 2017
Essential Essential topic

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.

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 of different systems which can lead to massive headaches when they inevitably either leave gaps or clash. What is more, trying to focus on digital tactics without actually integrating them into an overall strategy means they'll usually fail to deliver actual business goals and instead leave marketers chasing vanity metrics like 'likes' or 'followers'.

The way to prevent this, is to start with setting business goals with specific SMART digital channel objectives and work down, rather than starting with tactics and working up. Once well thought out goals are set, you can set to work working out how you can break down silos between different components of your business by aligning them with these goals. Then comes developing a proper strategy. To do so you'll need to draw on planning methodologies like SOSTAC® and digital marketing models like the RACE framework. Not to be discounted are the traditional marketing models such as the 7Ps which will help to align digital and traditional channels into a single strategy.

When you have a proper strategy in place, you should consider how you can continue to improve by constantly measuring and optimising. No battle plan ever survived contact with the enemy, and no good strategy lacks provisions for further tweaking based on evidence. So when planning your transformation process make sure to consider how you will gather data on the success of your efforts and crucially how you will then turn that data into insights and act on it. An analytics department that does nothing but report to suits at the top without anything ever being done as a result may as well not exist.

Only once all those building blocks are in place should you start to consider what tactics you will use. The infographic provides a pallet of tactics you may want to draw upon, but which ones you chose to invest most in will depend on the nature of your organisation. Use this infographic as a checklist to make sure you have all the necessary aspects of digital transformation in place. Once you've started developing your strategy, if you are serious about making change happen in a larger business, our detailed 54 page guide to Managing Change for digital transformation by consultant Mark Chapman (For business members).

Building blocks of Digital-Transformation

Author's avatar

By Robert Allen

Rob Allen is Marketing Manager for Numiko, a digital agency that design and build websites for purpose driven organisations, such as the Science Museum Group, Cancer Research UK, University of London and the Electoral Commission. Rob was blog editor at Smart Insights from 2015-2017. You can follow Rob on LinkedIn.

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