As many senior-level marketers and executives are quickly finding out, digital transformation in the business world is no longer an option but a necessity. Whether your business sells insurance, handbags, consulting services or auto parts, it's crucial for every organization to become a thought leader in the digital realm and reap the rewards of its many opportunities.
Successful digital transformation is a top-down process, and you need to become a master rather than a victim. Close to 90% of companies don’t deliver technology as their primary business, but that doesn’t mean a business shouldn’t have a strong digital presence.
Find out 6 ways that digital leaders are outperforming their peers to get a firm grasp of the importance of continuing your business evolution.
1. Improved Customer Experience
The customer experience has taken on a whole new meaning in the digital age, and digital leaders are providing a more engaging and satisfying experience than their non-digital peers.
With over 3.5 billion people online, there are staggering numbers spending time on social media sites and shopping for goods and services online. There is also a range of devices in play including smartphones, tablets, laptops, and desktop computers.
Google handles 40,000 search queries every second, which means it is highly likely your target market is online and searching for what you have to offer. Digital leaders are improving the customer experience through each stage of the process: Discovery – Consideration – Purchase – Retention.
The detailed roadmaps that digital leaders are able to create following the online model make it possible to provide prospective customers with exactly what they need at precisely the right time.
2. Attract New Talent
Anyone in a leadership role within any business makes a point of trying to attract the best talent in their industry.
Businesses that have undergone a successful digital transformation have the potential to attract new hires that wouldn't be interested in working for a company that hasn't embraced the digital world. In the modern job force, work is something that you do more than it is a place you have to go every day, and digital transformation is what makes this concept a reality.
Transforming workplaces to be more integrated and immersive is a great strategy, as is implementing flexible work weeks. Old standbys like a solid benefits package are sure to make an impact, but all of these are just window dressings that won't attract the very best talent if the company hasn't embraced digital transformation in a meaningful way.
Talented individuals in every industry want to know that they are entering a progressive organization that is poised to make a difference, and that can't happen with an outdated way of thinking.
3. Engage & Retain Employees
Getting your employees to join your team is one thing, but keeping them engaged and retaining them for the long-term is another.
No one needs to tell you the cost of having to start from scratch with a new employee. There is both a monetary and emotional toll, and it can set a company back in many cases. Leaders who have embraced the digital world have an easier time keeping their employees engaged, keeping morale high, and retaining those employees for more extended periods of time.
When you utilize social media and other online tools to keep employees connected, it helps foster a culture where they feel part of something bigger than themselves.
Giving them opportunities to contribute ideas and thoughts about the company, products, and services is invaluable and made much easier with a digital platform in place. When automation of certain tasks allows team members to focus their attention on more fulfilling parts of the job, they will want to stay longer.
4. Use Analytics to Drive Business Growth
One of the most impressive and practical aspects of a company's digital transformation is the use of analytics. All successful digital leaders use analytics to help guide their organization's strategies and actions, and ultimately business growth.
Virtually every interaction a customer or prospect has with your company online can be tracked, from the initial point of contact all the way through to a conversion. And if a campaign or marketing initiative falls flat, you'll be able to see at precisely which stage your prospect abandoned the process.
Naturally, this type of intelligence gives a massive advantage to any business that takes the time to use it. The proper use of analytics by digital leaders and their teams helps save time and gives insights into what is really happening that wouldn't be possible otherwise.
The result is far greater marketing efficiency, an empowered sales force, and accelerated business growth.
5. Adapt to Changing Market Conditions
The use of analytics and online tools that are always evolving makes it possible for digital leaders to adapt to changing conditions before their offline competitors.
Once your digital transformation is complete, you have the potential to substitute new products and services when appropriate, reconfigure delivery models, modify value propositions, and create new digital avenues to reach your intended market before your competitors.
Digital leaders outperform their peers in this area by being able to stay ahead of the curve and make adjustments quickly, before they have an adverse effect on the company. It becomes more of a proactive approach rather than a reactive one.
Bing reactive in any industry leaves your company at the mercy of a range of different variables you have no control over. And even with a strong team and processes in place, you are bound to lose market share if you are not a digitally savvy organization.
6. Increase Profits
Increasing profits is the goal of company leadership in any industry, and digital leaders use technology to help them improve profitability. Digital transformation helps to open new doors and create new opportunities for increased revenue and ultimately profits. A Capgemini study showed that digital leaders typically made 26% more profit than their non-digital counterparts.
The study also outlined how B2B companies typically lag behind B2C businesses when it comes to adopting digital processes, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less important. B2B companies that have embraced digital transformation are 15% more profitable than B2Bs that haven’t.
The point is that digital leaders from all industries are helping to make their companies better in all areas, which leads to more favorable results in the profit-loss column.
All of the digital tools at your disposal to make the transformation can be considered the "What," but the execution is the "How." Without taking the proper action, your company will never make the transition or succeed in the digital realm.
To begin, your company must create the overall digital vision, frame it and define clear goals and outcomes that are in line with your company values. Once you have your plan in place and your metrics and incentives aligned, you must measure, track, and monitor results to ensure the model is sustainable. True digital leaders will also make any necessary adjustments along the way.
By committing to your digital transformation at a strategic level, you will find the resources to create a consistent experience both online and offline and not only compete but excel.