What is digital transformation, how has digital transformation changed the marketing industry, and what skills should your marketing team develop to build customer loyalty in the future successfully? Digital transformation is one of the most important hot topics in marketing. It's not just about technology but also people, processes, data, analytics, and strategies. Digital marketing changes how customers interact with your brand, but it changes the entire marketing process.
In traditional marketing-even on the Internet, age companies create marketing content for a broad audience that may see it online but may see it elsewhere.
Today, such a shot in the dark no longer works as a marketing strategy. The most successful companies in the world today are taking full advantage of digital transformation in marketing and creating stories through automation and data analytics.
What is digital transformation, how has it changed the marketing industry, and what does it mean for you if you're in marketing? What do teams have to do today to be successful tomorrow, and what are the latest trends in digital content?
We'll also look at some shining examples of digital transformation, such as Netflix and Disney, and what your team can learn.
But first of all, what is digital transformation?
Digital transformation is the marketing industry's response to the technology revolution. As technology, markets, and consumer behavior change, the industry has shifted from traditional marketing activities to digital models.
Marketing goals have shifted from old-fashioned advertising and large-scale branding to targeting customer acquisition, retention, and loyalty.
Interestingly, these new marketing goals focus not on the technology itself but on the business models it enables, which are central to business success in traditional and digital channels.
In short, your goal is to reach current and future customers more effectively and efficiently through digital marketing. It would help if you had a holistic digital transformation strategy for your marketing department to achieve this.
What does digital transformation have to do with marketing?
What is digital transformation? We know it now. But what does it have to do with marketing? It's no longer just large companies developing a digital transformation strategy to gain a competitive advantage. Small businesses today also need digital marketing to survive.
Think about your own buying experience: When was the last time you bought something from a global or local brand without seeing the product online? Do you have trouble answering that question?
The days when you had to go to the supermarket and buy groceries a month in advance are over. Nowadays, most consumers first get to know small or large brands online, research the brands they are interested in, and then make a purchasing decision.
Imagine a small store operating as a family business that has succeeded through traditional advertising or even word of mouth. If you buy something there, part of your eventual buyer's journey is to leave a review after your purchase and tell others about it.
But how can you recommend a store outside of your immediate community if it doesn't have a social media profile that you use? It's also easier to leave a product or service review if the store offers a chat or survey.
If you own such a store, you can imagine how many opportunities for growth and product improvement you're missing out on if you only use traditional marketing activities. On the other hand, a successful digital marketing strategy helps you stay on top of all customer needs and trends.
Before new technology led to the digital upheaval we are experiencing today, marketing activities were heavily focused on advertising, which offered little opportunity for cost savings. Today's business strategies can only be successful if they continuously use digital marketing to improve customer experience.
Important marketing goals your small business can achieve through digital transformation.
Digital transformation can help you achieve the following purposes, among others:
1. reduce customer churn, build customer loyalty and retention
2. strengthen the impact of digital activities
3. create digital experiences that give your business a competitive advantage
4. expanding marketing opportunities through digital innovation
You can achieve these goals by focusing on people, processes, and technology. It's no longer enough to rely on traditional performance metrics, such as return on advertising spending.
Your company needs to engage with its target groups to build customer loyalty intensively before digital transformation. You need to understand precisely who your target group is and how you can retain them.
CRM software with integrated data analytics can help you do just that. It can help you find the best digital marketing strategies and the best employees for content development and social media management, for example, to improve your brand's digital interactions with existing and potential customers.
How is the ROI on digital marketing measured?
Many companies struggle to budget for digital marketing because they don't know how to measure the ROI of a new business model with a digital transformation strategy.
For example, if only 20% of the total marketing budget is allocated to social media advertising, but social media advertising brings in 50% of new customers, it's worth increasing investment in this area.
If investing in marketing activities other than advertising generates a small but steadily growing income, you can reduce your advertising spending by expanding those activities.
To create a digital customer experience, you need to understand how technology such as mobile apps and social media affect the customer experience - and precisely what your customers want.
Where are they looking for information, and in what ways are they most engaged with your brand?
Successful and innovative marketing activities combine all of the above to reach potential customers in new ways and provide them with additional benefits they didn't have before. With the right digital marketing tools, your business can take full advantage of these opportunities.
For example, suppose analytics show that your customers prefer answering questions from a chatbot rather than phone or email. In that case, it's worth increasing your budget for chat tools, even if you don't see a direct return on investment.
Measuring ROI just for direct sales, such as customer acquisition calls, is ineffective in the digital age. Any touchpoint that can improve the customer experience is worth the investment. In the image below, you'll find an overview of marketing channels that offer the best return on investment for companies like yours:
Large companies are known to have huge budgets for advertising and customer engagement -- Coca-Cola spends billions on advertising -- but that alone isn't enough. Companies also have a whole system to build customer loyalty over the long term.
A case in point is Jeff Bezos and his famous "obsession" with customer satisfaction:
"If you make customers unhappy in the physical world, they tell six friends about it. If you make customers unhappy online, they tell six thousand."
So keep in mind that while you can quickly attract a thousand new customers for your small business with Google or Facebook ads, you'll lose them just as soon if your digital marketing strategy isn't focused on customer satisfaction.
The key to success: people, processes, and technology.
People, processes, and technologies are the keys to digital transformation and long-term digital marketing success. You can't outsource digital transformation: part of it is changing how you think about your customers, workflows, and resources for digital marketing.
This change will allow you to provide your customers with a more direct digital experience.
Here's what you need for a successful digital transformation:
- The right people: people who can think in terms of digital and effectively implement digital transformation strategies.
- The process of transforming your business into a digital business and changing how you create content, measure performance, acquire customers, and serve customers.
- Digital marketing tools that incorporate the latest innovations such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), speech recognition, virtual reality (VR), and augmented reality (AR).
What does your team need to do today to be successful tomorrow?
Make sure your marketing team has all the necessary skills, knowledge, and tools to succeed in digital transformation. Your team must be digitally minded and digitally savvy in marketing technology.
- Digital Thinking: Digital strategies are your team's immediate response to new business goals.
- Digital Native Actions: Your team creates digital content for all types of digital media. Range varies depending on the platform used.
- Digital Marketing: Your team will analyze how different digital channels can work together to create the perfect customer experience.
In addition, your team members should be familiar with the new and changing culture of memes, shorts, commercials, and anything else that enables digital marketing. So the mantra for your marketing team is: think digital, act digital, measure digital.
How to keep up with digital trends.
To stay on top of digital trends, you need to learn new skills and develop new strategies constantly. In digital marketing, you need to think like a consumer and keep up with all the innovations in the marketplace that can make a difference in customers' lives.
The following example will illustrate what this means:
A friend of mine recently needed a new pair of glasses. He came across a brand that helped him choose frames online by style, size, and other parameters through a quick Google search.
He was able to specify his preferences but wasn't sure of the size. As a solution, the brand's chatbot directed him to a facial-recognition site, where he could virtually "try on" glasses and choose the right size.
He was then asked to download his prescription and choose the type of glasses he wanted, such as bifocals or varifocals, with or without UV protection and anti-glare. He was able to do all these steps on his smartphone within minutes. A few days later, he had his new glasses delivered to his home.
What does this have to do with digital marketing transformation? My friend's eyewear brand offers customers a seamless online shopping experience that makes visiting a physical store unnecessary.
The following trends shape the digital transformation of businesses:
- Generation consumers are digital consumers.
- Content marketing is leading the digital transformation.
- Video is a crucial element of digital transformation for marketing teams, which means marketers need to master storytelling through video.
- Digital marketing professionals must be skilled in new areas such as SEO, content marketing, social media advertising, digital PR, data analytics, and creative design.
Digital marketing of the future will include:
- New technologies such as AI and ML.
- Personalized messages on websites allow customers to continue their purchases from where they left off.
- Artificial intelligence-based chatbots that introduce customers to the brand and product lineup.
- you Personalized email marketing for instant feedback on products and services.
- Messages through social media platforms informing customers about payment and product delivery.
Digital transformation happens right before our eyes, and marketers who fail to notice or ignore these changes risk their future viability.
What will digital transformation look like in 10 years?
We can expect digital marketing technologies like AI, VR, and AR to change even more than just what digital marketers, design creators, and content managers do. Let's take a look at what digital transformation might look like in the 2030s:
- Virtual, augmented, and mixed reality will become the norm in digital marketing.
- The use of digital design elements such as infographics, well-designed images, and engaging videos will continue to dominate.
- Information available through digital analytics platforms such as Google Analytics will continue to be the primary tool of digital marketers.
- Marketing professionals will need to be proficient in data analytics, visual storytelling, and digital PR and their existing skills in SEO, content marketing, social media advertising, and graphic design.
- Companies' success will depend on how well they have implemented digital transformation in their marketing teams.
All of these perspectives may seem daunting at first glance. But we're in an age of change, and it's far from too late to start the digital transformation process. Here's what the first steps might look like for your business:
- Start learning digital marketing skills and strategies. Read about digital trends, tools, techniques, and social media updates.
- Experiment with different software tools to improve your brand's reach and customer experience.
- Learn how to tell stories about your brand using digital design elements such as infographics, digital photography, and short videos.
- Experiment with data analysis tools to measure the progress of your marketing campaigns.
- Use different platforms to create stories for your brand, including new platforms like Quora, Medium, and Instagram.
- Invest in both existing and new digital tools based on artificial intelligence, VR, and AR.
Successful marketing teams and their journey to digital transformation.
Fortune 500 companies, like aspiring entrepreneurs, have to find new ways to attract potential customers. As an example, let's look at four particularly successful companies.
Amazon knows that digital transformation is a necessity when it comes to competition. Digital transformation allowed the company to take business away from two early competitors at once: Barnes & Noble (B&N) and Borders. To do this, Amazon used the following:
- Digital tools, such as chatbots, in-app surveys, and email surveys, through which customers can quickly leave feedback on delivery and product quality.
- Digital analytics to track the success of transformation strategies, improve them and implement them faster than competitors.
Netflix is active on social media and responds to almost every mention on Twitter.
More importantly, the streaming service uses machine learning to determine what content each customer prefers. This data sends personalized emails with direct links to the movies or shows the person is most likely to like.
The results are often surprisingly accurate and provide real value to users.
Apple has been using digital strategies in marketing for a very long time. Its digital marketing campaigns transformed the company from a small computer firm to a global corporation.
Even then, Apple's marketers used strategies still used in digital marketing today, from Steve Jobs's famous "Think Different" ads, which never featured an actual Apple product, to today's ubiquitous "Shot on iPhone" ads.
Disney uses tools like the Google Cloud Platform for its digital marketing campaigns. It also promotes its digital content through dynamic ads and paid social media search channels and uses influencer agents for video marketing. It involves influencers on social media creating videos about Disney products or services, offering the company a new way to engage potential customers online.
What is digital transformation? The way to increase customer satisfaction.
If you want to succeed in digital marketing, you can't avoid digital transformation. Digital technologies like SEO and PPC advertising can help you find new audiences and increase sales.
The digital marketing goals haven't changed much since its inception, but today you have tools like CRM systems and data analytics software to help you keep customers happy after the sale.
For a long time, the keyword in digital marketing was revenue, but things have changed since millennials became the driving force behind the global economy. Today, the focus of digital marketing is customer satisfaction. You no longer have to worry about sales figures when that's achieved.