Simeon Preston, the CEO of Bupa, in very simple words, stated the relationship between digitalization and human perception.
Today, as we look around, digitalization is influencing every bit of society, be it in the form of ideas, technology, business, or consumption. Let’s go back in time. Had anyone of us, 20 years ago, thought there was any other way for music storage other than MP3 format? Did anyone had any idea that mobile phones could assimilate a whole another ‘smart dimension’ inside their metal bodies. Or did people know the Internet could become a gateway for alternate businesses?
All of these changes happened at a smooth and gradual pace until they became a part of our lives. Today, we are in a mid-digital ecosystem where we are moving towards mainstream digital adoption at a speed so fast, anyone lagging behind could fall into the pit of extinction. This holds true for every business organization in the world. Consumers are more than ready to adapt to the digital transformation, and it’s high time, businesses understand this.
Digital transformation is vital for every business and the signal is coming loud and clear from every direction. Many businesses used to look at it as a facility rather than a need. However, the COVID-19 pandemic proved how essential digitalization is for business survival. It is taking the shape of a concept that is becoming the backbone of this age globally.
The Many Interpretations of Digital Transformation
The term ‘Digital transformation’ is tossed around quite casually these days. It seems to be the new trend. But there is nothing new about it. We have been transforming digitally ever since businesses replaced manual working with computers. But since then, the definition of digital transformation has evolved to a large extent. It kept adding so many concepts under it that it became an umbrella term.
Today, everyone can derive a common meaning with the term ‘digital transformation’ but not many people know its true meaning. It is heard very commonly in the business world. Since it’s used interchangeably for many concepts, its definition has become foggy. Is it about adopting the latest technology? Or is it about using new gadgets and software? Or does it mean switching to digital platforms to run your business? Well, it implies all of these and many more.
Digital transformation is the incorporation of digital technology into business operations in a way that brings fundamental changes in your business functioning and provides maximum value to your customers. It could hold different meanings for different industries.
If you belong to the human resource industry, streamlining your recruitment processes through digital mediums and using advanced technology to deal with the employees could be your vision of digital transformation. For a finance professional, it could mean reviewing, strategizing, monitoring, and managing financial decisions through electronic means.
Out of the many industries that are witnessing major changes, marketing and information technology seems to be leading the tribe. They are truly revolutionizing the entire ecosystem creating a positive customer experience penetrating digitalization at its very core.
A Digital Transformation in Marketing
The prime motive of a business is to earn revenue by providing quality products or valuable services to the customers. But every business leader is aware that in order to achieve this, they need to explore various aspects of the business. Marketing is one of them and, undoubtedly, absolutely necessary to raise awareness about your business and its offerings.
With time, it has seamlessly adapted the digital disruption. A few decades ago, a marketing strategy consisted of TV ads, print ads, radio marketing, banners, and billboards. Fast forward to 2021, these traditional marketing strategies are being replaced by digital marketing. This evolutionary shift has been a game-changer for the world of marketing. It led to the penetration of modern marketing approaches that revolved around search engine optimization ( SEO ), social media marketing, email marketing, pay-per-click ( PPC ) marketing, content marketing, and many others that didn’t exist until a few years ago.
The best part is it has just started. We are currently in a mid-digital ecosystem and are moving towards the post-digital phase at a fast pace. The future holds a space where the concept of digitalization would be in our bones. The marketing methods are bound to go even more advanced in the coming years. And therefore, now is the time to become a part of this marketing revolution and digital transformation. Let’s see how it can benefit your business –
● Changing Marketing Funnel into Digital Funnel
A consumer goes through a pathway before they purchase a product or service. It is known as the marketing funnel. A marketing funnel breaks down the entire purchasing process of a consumer.
It starts with the ‘awareness stage’ where the consumers locate your business and find out you offer products and services of their interest. The next stage is the ‘research stage’ where they take a genuine interest in your business and research about it to know if it meets their needs or not. Following it is the third stage called the ‘decision stage’. Here, the consumers enter into the decision-making process where they define a purchase set. The last stage is the ‘purchase stage’ where the consumer finally makes a decision of purchasing the product or service ( or not ).
In the traditional marketing system, there was no way to penetrate into the marketing funnel and develop strategies to make sure customers are moving towards the final stage. Marketers only had the option to create marketing material and hope that it’s working.
With digital transformation, digital marketing provided businesses with the tools and techniques to track the progress of their efforts. You, as a business, can interact with the customers in-between the marketing funnel and drive their actions into positive outcomes.
● Leaving Room for Personalization
Marketing is the bridge between your products or services and the consumers. It does not just make them aware of your business’s existence but promotes your products and services as well. The non-digital strategies included marketing through billboards, newspapers, magazines, pamphlets, or television. Businesses were putting out their message for the whole consumer community. No filter was being used to target just their audience segment.
With the advent of digital marketing, marketers understood the concept of the target audience. More than 60% of the world’s population is using the Internet. All of them can have access to your online marketplace. But not every online browser is your ideal customer. No matter how perfect your product or service is, it’s useful for only a particular section of society. The scale of the section is definite to differ from business to business. The digital transformation allowed the marketers to define their ideal target market and focus their marketing efforts on just that section.
Furthermore, since now you know your audience on an individual level, you can personalize your marketing strategies for them. You can recognize their purchasing behaviors and patterns, their lifestyle choices and standards, their needs and wants, and many more aspects. You now have access to the key traits and characteristics of every audience member through which you may create a buyer persona. This would drive your marketing efforts in the right direction directly impacting the leads generation statistics of your business.
● Provides an Effective Metric System
Digital marketing has become the third eye for businesses. It allows you to access the marketplace in a way that was never possible before.
The analytics of the marketing was a blind spot for businesses until the advent of digital marketing. Back then, traditional marketing ways were quite popular and straightforward. Setting up a new business? Distribute pamphlets in the nearby areas. Launching a new product line? Put out the product poster on the billboard. Focusing on creating awareness about the product? Get a television commercial to air.
However, none of the methods provides an option to know whether your efforts are successful or not. You can’t get to know if people are reading your pamphlets, seeing your billboard, or watching the commercial. Even if they are, you wouldn’t know which one of your marketing efforts are translating into sales. This leaves you with no leads as to plan your further marketing strategies.
Digital marketing analytics have changed the entire marketing scenario. You have every ounce of information about how, when, and why a consumer purchased your product or service. Be it your website, social media, emails, or online ads, you have the liberty to plan your entire marketing strategy on the basis of effectiveness. The digital metric system allows you to track every user’s action of the purchasing process, be it via any medium.
● Allows A Two-Way Interaction
Marketing has always been about the consumers. No matter which strategy your business follows, its aim is to put the consumers at its center. The digital marketing interference couldn’t have made this theory more practical. It changed the unilateral format of marketing into a two-way interactive process.
The traditional marketing strategies are all about feeding your customers with the information you want. Be it any medium, it’s you and your business talking at them rather than talking with them. Even though strategies are directed at consumers, they are not involved in the marketing process.
The digital transformation in marketing changed this completely. It makes the consumer the literal ‘king of the market’ by making them an active part of the marketing process. Consumers have the liberty of choosing how, when, and what they want to consume on the Internet. Through social media, a brand has the facility to communicate with its users. They can ask questions and feedback and would get responses in return. The engagement of a post gives you an analytical study within a few hours in the form of likes, comments, and shares. Influencer marketing enables a consumer to talk and influence other consumers about a product or service. With live streams, you can have consumers discuss your brand in real-time. There is a review and rating system that allows you to have in-detail positives and negatives of your business. This direct user-integration makes the consumer feel important and included resulting in building the trust and credibility of your business.
A Digital Transformation in Information Technology
The term ‘digital’ is expected to have its mention somewhere around the term ’technology’ in a sentence. The phenomenon has become so widely used that it seems to be synonymous.
Aaron Levie, the CEO of Box said, “The last ten years of IT have been about changing the way people work. The next ten years of IT will be about transforming your business.”
The goal of digital transformation is to enrich customer experiences. The innovations in Information technology plays a massive role in bringing digital transformation to a mainstream level. The smartphone and mobile applications lead to the Internet explosion providing businesses a new and huge segment of the marketplace.
Changing the definition of communication, the 4G and 5G mobile operators made access to different parts of the world extremely simple. Today, technologies like data science, AI and machine learning, automation, and the cloud are driving the world towards an advanced digital setup.
A digital transformation is no longer an option. It is the question of survival. It could be perceived differently for every business but at the end of the day, it’s the way to progress and development. It is an ongoing process that businesses need to keep adapting with time. So as we move forward, prepare your business to be digitally ferocious.
Since 2007, Karma Snack, with corporate offices in the heart of Miami, FL, has helped businesses reach and exceed their growth goals with their world-wide consulting team.Our team has over 17 years of online experience. We are an agency that prides itself on results. Many of our ‘Snackers’ have worked for DELL, APPLE, GOOGLE, AMAZON, HUBSPOT, HULU, HP, IBM, and now bring that experience to work with you.