Digital Transformation: What It Is and Why It Matters

Digital technologies play an ever-increasing role in our daily lives. Companies must follow suite to provide consumers with the digitally-connected experiences they expect. Digital transformation takes commitment but it is no longer an option for brands who want to stay competitive. Consumers will simply turn away from companies that aren’t keeping pace in favor of a brand that can provide a connected experience across digital channels.

More brands are renewing their commitment to digital strategies. According to Forrester, “A Digital Strategy allows you to understand the who, what, when and where of listening and responding to consumers, bridging brand experiences, iterating offerings, and collecting and activating consumer relationships in order to accomplish an actionable and measurable objective.”

Digital Transformation Objectives

Through investments in technology, the essence of digital strategy is about enhancing your customers experience and increasing your organization’s competitive advantage. According to a survey conducted by Altimeter, 54% of time digital transformation is led by a CMO (Chief Marketing Officer), 42% by CEO, 29% by CIO/CTO and 20% by others (including CDO).

Based on the research, survey respondents rated the following as Very Important:

  • 80% – Improving process that expedite changes to digital properties such as website updates, new social platforms and new mobile platforms.
  • 71% – Updating websites and ecommerce platforms for a mobile world.
  • 70% – Integrating all social, web, mobile, ecommerce, service efforts and investments to deliver an integrated and frictionless customer experience.

The best way to begin a digital transformation initiative is by establishing a Center of Excellence and involving multiple departments throughout the organization. A formal definition of Digital CoE states that “it is a team or an entity that provides leadership, evangelization, best practices, research, support and training for a focus area”.

The top three areas companies with a Center of Excellence are focusing on include:

  • 71% – Social Media
  • 63% – Mobile
  • 59% – Search

The top challenges to digital transformation included changing company’s culture, thinking beyond a campaign mentality in digital strategy efforts, and cooperation between departments.

Additional research by Econsultancy and Adobe also indicates that digital transformation is a priority this year. According to the study, 46% of respondents stated that digital permeates most of their organization’s marketing activities.

As companies prioritize their digital marketing efforts, the focus will be on creating seamless and consistent experiences across channels.

In addition to utilizing digital strategies to optimize the customer experience, 96% of executives believe that improving their data analysis capabilities is fundamental to delivering a great customer experience.

During this time of business change, fluctuating customer expectations, and digital disruption, brands must build a business model that is agile and designed to adapt to continual change.

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