11 Steps to Prepare for Digital Transformation  

The digital revolution has evolved to ongoing digital transformation.

What’s changing in the digital environment?

  • CXOs are replacing CMOs 
  • Control has given way to openness
  • Customer service is now a competitive necessity
  • Content is now the game changer
  • Data drives competitive edge

How to best prepare managers for this transformation?

Strategic Marketing Management - 7

Marketing managers must focus on three major drivers of change — digital, global networks and broad data — and adjust their marketing strategies to remain competitive.

It begins with the core marketing concepts of the 4 P’s (product, placement, promotion and pricing) and how these strategic marketing decisions affect the individual’s interactivity with the “digital screen” (e.g., computer, tablet, mobile device or TV). The digital screen and how it is used is transforming the business landscape.

Today’s ongoing digital transformation offers a number of advantages to businesses: it opens up access to global markets and communities of interest; empowers consumers to suggest product innovations; uncovers new pricing models; revolutionizes placement and distribution of products; transforms media, online and promotion options; facilitates collaboration and efficiencies within the organization; and generates vast, broad sources of data.

Strategic Marketing Management integrates the changing roles of the consumer networks, digital technologies and analysis of emerging data into the fabric of management and the entire enterprise.  The interaction of the three drivers of change determine their goals, strategy and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs.

11 Steps to Digital Preparedness

To position their businesses to capitalize on this digital transformation, C-level executives must do the following:

1.  Adopt a Digital Mindset: Executives must understand that the digital revolution is not merely comprised of the next hot social media tool. Rather, it is an all-encompassing paradigm shift, and as such, demands a fundamental shift in thinking. The “digital mindset” is grounded in a foundation of openness, flexibility, collaboration and shared network thinking. Executive teams need to adopt a digital mindset as a core value and integrate this mindset into how they communicate and service their employees, consumers and greater community.

2. Develop an Integrated Digital Marketing Strategy: Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) refers to integrating core marketing concepts with traditional, online and social media to effectively connect with target markets. Integrated Digital Marketing builds on IMC by weaving the drivers of change (digital, global and broad data) into a more comprehensive and responsive strategy.  This strategy (e.g., sustainable goals and responsive tactics) recognizes the changing customer touch points (online, social, mobile) and acknowledges the rapidly-evolving dynamic of a global digital world.

3. Understand Consumer Empowerment:  Managers need to leverage the new power of consumers by gathering research data, gaining input on brand, pricing and distribution, and prioritizing customer service. With the explosion of the Internet, social and mobile, consumers are working into their roles as product reviewers, sources of trusted information, product advocates and brand champions.

4. Build a Powerful, Responsive Brand:  Brands need to respond to consumers and generate value to their social communities. They need to combine insights from social engagement and mentions, focus groups, and consumer/employee feedback to develop the brand promise and value proposition.

5. Generate Relevant Content: Content Drives the Digital Engine.  For success in this changing digital environment, marketers must design content that is easy to access and consume and is “valued by” the consumer.  Content is not about broadcasting ads to sell more widgets, but about engaging and involving the consumer and creatively connecting them to the brand.

6. Deliver Customers from Social Communities and Global Networks: The shared network lies at the core of integrated digital marketing.  Through social network analysis, marketers match common interests and buying patterns with digital behaviors, providing access to new communities of potential consumers.  Emerging markets, with India and Brazil the leaders, have embraced social media, offering brands real-time access to growing markets.

7. Leverage Broad Data: Big Data is the new digital buzz. Managers need to expand their thinking to encompass Broad Data or the collecting and leveraging of appropriate levels of data related to the company’s size and goals. Yes, large corporations can aggregate and analyze social messages and weave the results into a new digital strategy.  But small and mid-size companies and nonprofits have different levels of access to data and the resources to analyze it. There are significant sources of “low hanging data” that can be plucked and readily integrated in marketing strategies. The effective use of data will determine one’s competitive edge.

8. Monitor the Digital Footprint: Listening to feedback and using social tools to monitor company “chatter” and social performance are the basis for responsive strategies. Alerts, analytics and social mentions provide executive teams with real-time insights into their organization’s digital footprint and guide timely adjustments.

9. Evaluate the Digital ROI: Digital ROI helps brands analyze the performance of different marketing tools in achieving company goals. This expanded ROI reflects companywide performance in the digital environment. It considers the impact of digital technologies on brand engagement, customer relationships and advocacy in addition to traditional action metrics of sales and marketing exposure.

10. Design a Strategic Marketing Plan:  Management needs to design a comprehensive strategy that imposes order on the chaos and addresses changes in the marketplace. The plan must continuously gather and incorporate target audience data to build the digital brand presence, integrate traditional and digital tactics, and achieve key performance indicators.

11. Demonstrate the Value of the Social Enterprise: Executive teams need to integrate the transforming power of digital marketing to generate innovation and collaboration throughout the organization (IT, marketing, human relations, operations, finance, customer service) to insure market position and growth.  They need to respond to changes in the social business environment to gain competitive advantage.