The term “digital transformation” is now as synonymous with a brand’s customer engagement strategy as digital is to marketing.
For something to truly earn the “transformation” label in today’s world though it needs to clearly drive real change to how a business either operates or communicates.
With everyone now interacting through a myriad of different devices and channels, brands are naturally looking for new ways to interact with their audiences and customers all the time, to ensure that they are not just adding value but improving the way they conduct themselves as a business.
It is not just brands that are jumping on the digital transformation bandwagon management consultancies and agencies are also looking at how they can use digital techniques in new and inventive ways.
As such this is redefining how we think and approach the sentiment behind the term.
To capitalise on the potential opportunities available, brands therefore need to start thinking less about digital tactics in isolation and focus more on the changes they need to make to their businesses as a whole and how these, in turn, can be facilitated by digital.
Digital should be seen very much as the tactic and medium for instilling change. So whilst a business may “transform” its digital footprint, its reasons for doing so need to be centred on the business as a whole.
- What is driving our need to change?
- What are we hoping to achieve by changing?
- How will this approach “transform” the way we conduct business eg. the sales process?
- Does it fundamentally change our brand story?
- What are the risks of not changing?
These are all important considerations that need to be made before any transformative strategy is developed. Take for instance the notion of being “customer centric”.
While it may be the flavour of the month, its reason for existing lies at the heart of a bigger story, “business transformation”. Digital may be the key in providing the ability to act in this way, but the decision to do so is inherently a strategic business decision.
While the media is populated with household B2C brands embarking on this approach to varying levels of success, it’s important to recognise that the B2B space is evolving too.
Global lighting manufacturer, iGuzzini is a great example of a business, who have used digital to better express the brand’s vision and transform the sales experience so it is more aligned to their customers’ needs.
On the surface, they’ve redone their website and beefed up their digital presence, but if you look deeper they have changed the entire way they now sell their solutions to their customers.
Architectural lighting is a complicated product to sell, it’s driven by product experience. Recognising they need to transform their approach to market was the driving force of their digital evolution.
This brings us full circle. We all know the innovation in the digital space is vast and continually evolving. However, for any change or innovation to have a lasting impact in the future, a change in approach is needed.
Digital transformation may have an impact on the lives of the consumer, but its business transformation, underpinned by digital that actually provides the catalyst for change that will move a business forward.
This article was first published on the Wall Blog on 6 May, 2016