How To Prepare Your Organization for Digital Transformation.
If there’s one thing this year has taught us, it’s that change happens, whether we’re ready for it or not.
But change doesn’t have to be difficult. Sometimes it can make us rethink the way we work and propel us to new heights. Often how you look at the situation—what opportunities you can find—makes all the difference. The trick to thriving in adversity is knowing where to focus.
With more people practicing social distancing and working from home, it’s clear that digital transformation is going to be the key to flourishing in this new normal. But to succeed at digital transformation, you need to figure out which core elements of your business work, which need to be changed and how to transition your operations to new digital models. And that’s not always easy.
4 ways to prepare your organization for digital transformation.
1. Find Out Where You Stand.
First, take stock of your prospects and customers. Focus on the relationships you already have—they will likely be the main source of business in the short- to mid-term.
So, who are your current prospects and customers, and what do they think of you? How have their needs changed? Where do they live online now? How do they rank you against your competition? Conduct interviews , run a customer survey, or do a basic SWOT analysis to find out. Ask them what their wants, needs and desires are, how you can best serve them and what their plans are for the future.
Next, consider your current products, services and operations. Do you rely heavily on in-person business? Do you host or attend in-person events? Do you depend on walk-ins to drive business? Figure out which of these activities can be transitioned to online formats and how you can leverage new customer access channels.
Finally, take a look at your messaging. Based on your market research and analytics, does it resonate with your current market? Does the language or medium need to be adjusted for digital formats? Take a long, hard look at your business fundamentals, and be open to reframing your message or adapting your offerings to new environments.
By investing in this scanning effort now, you’ll know how to position and promote your products and services going forward.
2. Get Your Website In Order.
Your website is the online “front door” of your business. And when people “virtually” drop by, you need to make sure that you’re putting your best digital foot forward.
Having an engaging, user-friendly website that draws people in is an absolute must. Your online experience needs to be inviting, represent your business effectively and resonate with your audience. You also need to have content for them to engage with—that speaks to their needs, solves their problems and entertains them.
Read through the analysis from your previous market research and integrate key insights into shaping your website experience. Does your audience have burning questions that need to be answered before they move down your sales funnel? If so, you need to make sure your website copy addresses these questions up front.
Also, consider your website’s general user experience. Is it easy for people to find the information they’re looking for? Does it naturally lead people to take action—whether that’s a purchase or to contact your salespeople? Is it visually appealing? Does the website design reflect your brand? Is your website future focused?
If it’s been a few years (or nearly a decade!) since your last website redesign, you’re well overdue for a refresh. This is a great time to rethink how you want to interact with your audience.
3. Rethink Your Digital Communications.
With people cooped up inside, they are tuning into digital channels in record numbers. With all of those eyeballs just waiting to be engaged—email, social media and video are important levers you can pull to draw people to your business.
When used strategically, digital channels are an effective way to reintroduce yourself to your audience and make a great impression. Your emails should be tailored to your audience, and your social channels need to be filled with engaging posts that tell your story in an authentic, personal way.
It’s important to refer to your previous research to determine the messaging and media options that will best resonate with your audience. Which communications can you translate to online channels? For example, if you send promotions by mail, can you redesign them for email? Can you put up digital ads on Facebook, LinkedIn or other channels to replace your walk-in traffic? You’ll want to consider all of the ways you can leverage digital to connect deeper with your prospects and customers.
If you’ve got an email list gathering dust or if your social channels have been dormant for months, it’s time to start cranking things up.
4. Seek Expert Help When You Need It.
Making digital transformation a reality requires leveraging different skills and mastering new digital tools. From website design, to content, to email nurture campaigns, to a host of social networks, there are a lot of pieces to integrate into your existing operations. And your team may not have the skillset or the time to take on those additional tasks just now.
Be sensitive to their needs and consider outsourcing marketing tasks to give them more support. To make things go smoothly, it’s helpful to bring on a team that “knows the ropes” and has a proven track record of performance. Ask to see their dashboards.
By using a trusted expert to help, you’ll give your staff the space to concentrate on the things that only they can do. And you’ll get the capacity and resources to maximize your digital marketing.