Digital transformation is an organisational change from using traditional forms of marketing, to prioritising digital and online promotions. Fast paced digital developments have led to the continued evolution of the digital world and have subsequently affected customer expectations and behaviour. Mobile usage has increased, and the way we obtain information and purchase goods has now meant, that many companies are having to put digital at the forefront of their thoughts in order to capture the benefit of new trends and to keep up with competitors.
To stay competitive and relevant, it is important for companies to start progressing their digital transformation. Becoming a ‘Digital First’ company in a fast-paced modern digital world is essential for the growth of many businesses. However, a recent study by MIT and Deloitte Digital suggest that the pace of transformation is slow. Which is surprising when in 2018, a report by SAP found that 84% of companies believed ‘digital transformation was crucial’. So why is it that so many companies feel that digital is important but there has only been a slight rise in implementation?
The Difficulties Of Transformation
The movement towards digital marketing isn’t always easy and some companies struggle with the transformation. Those that find it difficult tend to come from the more traditional sectors for example, engineering, legal professions, shipping and haulage. So what are the fears and barriers that affect a company’s ability to go digital or to fully integrate digital into their marketing practices?
Underestimating the benefits of being in the digital marketing space, tends to be one of the major reasons for not transforming, others include:
- Uncertainty about change.
- Lack of resources.
- Lack of skilled staff or dedicated marketing staff.
- Concerns about continued learning and up-skilling of staff.
- Cost of implementation and continued ongoing costs.
- Mindset – holding on to traditional methods and working practises, through fear of change and lack of understanding about digital marketing.
Why Digital Marketing?
1. Digital marketing doesn’t have to cost the earth; campaigns can be created relative to a company’s situation, budget and goals. It can be a more cost-effective method of reaching a target audience, compared to traditional methods.
2. The ‘world is flat’ when it comes to marketing online, there are no geographical boundaries; the world’s audience is readily available.
3. One of the major benefits of digital marketing is the ability to monitor results and use data to fine-tune campaigns. There is a wide variety of analytical platforms available that can measure return on investment (ROI), software such as Google Analytics, for example, can provide detailed data on website visitor activity and behaviour.
Start with building a digital orientated culture, leaders and the workforce should all be on-board, without this the transformation will not fully happen. Decide who is going to drive the change forward and set out responsibilities. Positive attitudes are important with leaders and key staff encouraging a shift in mindset to new ways of thinking.
Decide on business goals and how the goals are going to be achieved. Undertake a SWOT analysis to evaluate your current marketing position and to identify strengths, weaknesses and opportunities that could be exploited. Some companies need help at this stage, especially if knowledge is limited and there is no one with the required skills and experience to drive the project forward.
Outline key indicators that can be used to measure success and which will be used to form the basis of a core strategy. Divide the strategy into short term, medium term and long term goals.
Put in place monitoring tools and continue to evaluate, improve and where necessary, make changes to achieve identifiable goals. Most importantly, deeper more targeted analytics results in better decision making.
If you need help or advice on developing your company’s ‘Digital First’ Strategy please get in touch here