Digital Transformation: Buzzword and Challenge

The term “digital transformation” is a popular one in digital marketing, and is never far from the lips of senior executives and marketing consultants the industry over. The spectrum of adoption, however, is wide: some firms have already begun to leverage the benefits of a total digital transformation. Still, others are still struggling to adopt the necessary shifts to their own business operations.

The concept of a digital transformation, too, is a broad one: there isn’t just one definition of what it means, and expert’s opinions are varied.

“It’s not about doing ‘digital marketing’,” says Ivan Menezes, CEO at Diageo, “it’s about marketing effectively in a digital world.”

According to Brian Solis, principal analyst at Altimeter Group, a digital transformation is “the realignment of, or new investment in, technology, business models, and processes, to drive new value for customers and employees, and more effectively compete in an ever-changing digital economy.”

At the same time, more than a third of businesses view such a transformation as a real challenge.

The Challenge of Big Data

Firstly, a digital transformation necessarily involves the challenge of handling “big data,” meaning quantities of information so large that traditional software and databases are typically not up to the task. Even so, effective big data management is vital for a successful digital marketing transformation.

In many cases, the solution is to gather and centralize big data onto one platform. If data is stored in a single place, all staff members can access and analyze information with little friction. Examples of such a platform include the Google Cloud Platform, Oracle Big Data Solutions, and countless others.

The Challenge of Team Building

A digital marketing transformation requires people with a range of specific expertise in the digital realm to champion and manage a successful organizational change. Such a digital transformation could include the adoption of artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented realities, the Internet of Things, and innumerable others. People with a traditional marketing education may not be up to the task.

Staff expertise has a direct impact on a company’s ability to incorporate new technologies and adapt to changing business and market demands. Make sure you’re hiring the right people with the right skill base.

The Challenge of Digital Customers

Today’s digital customers have come to expect excellent customer experiences from firms. These high expectations drive innovation and necessitate that firms go to the next level to meet customers’ needs. For a successful digital marketing transformation, the customer must be at the center of your strategies.

When handling your digital transformation, analyze what your customers actually lack. Planning your digital transformation should focus on helping them meet these needs, and accordingly improve their experience.

In today’s rapidly evolving marketplace, it is essential that businesses keep pace with their competitors; if one firm is not carrying out a digital transformation, it’s rivals surely are. Indeed, a digital marketing transformation is often the core factor between an enterprise staying competitive- and falling behind.

Ronn Torossian

Ronn Torossian is the founder and CEO of 5WPR and one of the most well-respected Public Relations professionals in the United States. Ronn is the author of "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results with Game-Changing Public Relations."

View more posts from this author