Article by Jake Leinen, Director of Marketing
Digital transformation: the transformation of a business, where everything from operations, to admin, to customer experience, is digitised and improved by the implementation of new technologies into the business model.
For many businesses, a total digital transformation has been a long-term goal since the concept was conceived in 2012, as a way to maximise profit, efficiency, and to cope with the growing needs and expectations of the consumer.
However, in light of the pandemic this year, businesses across the world have been forced to bump digital transformation up their list of priorities, as a matter of survival.
Especially for businesses who relied mostly on in-person interactions and sales – before lockdown and social distancing were ever necessary – it’s been imperative for them to undergo enormous internal transformations, and go digital, but how do you get started?
You need to have a vision.
In order for digital transformation to be effective, you should think about what you want to achieve with the transformation; each step in your digital transformation plan should relate to a tangible business outcome.
A good place to start is to look at what you already have. Consider what isn’t working, what needs improving, and what can be done more effectively by a software or piece of technology; do this at every level of your business.
Make sure that your workforce is on the same page.
While it’s important for the business owner, CEO, and senior staff to have a vision for the business, this isn’t enough. If you’re planning your business’ digital transformation, everyone needs to be on board, in order to work effectively towards the same goal.
With the IT department, especially – who often work on a project-by-project basis, and not usually with larger company goals in mind – you should rendezvous, and find out about the systems they use, if there are any conflicting systems in place, and how they think business operations can be streamlined.
There are a huge amount of limitations to the human workforce, and while people play a vital role in the effective running of a business, there are many times where a machine just does the job better.
For example: do you often lose business as a result of late replies to leads who’ve contacted your customer service department out of hours? Then, you should consider installing chatbots, as a technological solution to an old, analogue problem.
In addition to customer support, you should consider automation to handle social media marketing, business expense tracking and to replace the manual process of updating the CRM, and more, if you can see that the automation of a particular process will have a beneficial effect on your business.
The aim of automation is to increase efficiency, and to free the hands of the human workforce, so that they can do the tasks that only they can do – meanwhile, your machines can left to the tasks that they do best.
Inform your business choices using AI and machine learning.
The potential applications of AI and machine learning are limitless, and this is only going to become more true as the years go by, as businesses uncover more and more ways to employ AI into their strategy. So, for many businesses, implementing AI is crucial to maintaining a competitive advantage.
For one, by employing machine learning into your marketing strategy, you’ll be able to reveal buying patterns and trends among consumers accurately, allowing you to figure out what marketing strategies are working – and, critically, whether these strategies result in leads with ‘intent to buy’, which is difficult to decipher without the tools that a digital transformation provides.
Furthermore, by using AI and advanced data analysis to uncover these trends, you’ll be able to see what consumers are interested in at that moment, and even be able to predict what they will want in the future, which can help to inform decisions related to present and future products.
These technologies can also be used to collect data which measures the success of your current – and, particularly, new – business innovations, to allow you to continuously adapt and improve the systems within your business, to keep up with the continuously evolving digital world.
Consider your competitors.
What new trends are emerging in your industry? What digital trends are working for your competitors? Could these trends boost the success of your own business?
One of the most popular digital trends adopted by businesses this year was live streaming, which helped to bridge the gap that lockdown created between businesses and consumers – and the businesses that caught on to this trend and adopted the strategy early reaped the benefits.
In order to carry out steps to achieve a successful digital transformation, consider researching other businesses in your industry – which softwares and technologies have they adopted? Are they working? How did they enable this transformation?
Then, you can figure out the best method to achieve your own business’ transformation.
Especially in the wake of the pandemic, it’s become more crucial than ever to accomplish digital transformation within your business, as the world becomes even more digitised. And, by implementing these digital transformation strategies into your game plan, you can be sure to reap the benefits for your business in the future.