Table of Contents
- What is being digital?
- Map brand goals to the digital consumer
- What drives the digital transformation of brands?
- Digital acceleration – Strategize business goals using technology
- About Konnect Insights
The term digital transformation refers to resourcefully adopting digital systems to create a more efficient business model that thrives with technology. In the present digital age, a smartphone-centric consumer is a digital-first customer. As workplaces become more efficient with digital tools, brands seeking consumer-centricity require a foundational digital authority. When you are available to customers where they are, your brand achieves a sizeable share of the market.
The question for many brands is, “How do we stay competitive in a truly digital landscape?” The answer is via digital transformation – aimed at harnessing relevant market insights to embark on your branding journey.
Retail giants like Amazon and Walmart champion how businesses thrive by being digital. If your brand is to stay in the digital revolution, it can only be achieved by digitalizing branding activities. A digital-first approach sets your brand on a competitive edge with market leaders by being present on all channels where your ideal customers are.
By mapping your business objectives with technology-driven transformation, you are one step closer to creating fulfilling experiences for your workers and your prized customers.
Using a digital presence to scale your operations globally, is a consistent and measurable transformation effort that entails industry-specific best practices. Especially when taking your brand into a digital ecosystem, being the digital consumer’s best friend requires urgency to streamline business-critical operations.
To quote Bill Gates, “The internet is becoming the town square for the global village of tomorrow.” Constantly finding resourceful means to execute digital branding, modern brands must embody the phrase “being digital.”
What is being digital?
Being digital does not have any fixed definition. You can interpret the phase in numerous ways. Hence, it is vital to define the parameters that your brand wants to embody digitally. For starters, divide your business into two key areas:
- The customer model – customer-facing activities like products and services, customer personas, and relationships built with them.
- The operating model – refers to the operational activities and processes involved in every business function
To serve the customer, the market and operating models must align with your key business objectives, leveraging lean tech to become a digital leader. By adopting digital initiatives like software, systems, and mobility solutions, you can map your customers’ needs to the winning USP of your brand.
Being digital intends to disrupt conventional market models, accelerate growth opportunities using data, and refactor your operating models for business agility.
When going digital, there are four primary stages of digital maturity.
|Exploring||Using traditional tech to automate current business activities, merely scratching the surface of digital transformation with the minimal change expected.|
|Doing||Using digital tools to enhance capabilities, primarily revolving around existing operating and customer models.|
|Becoming||Using digital technology to synchronize multiple business activities leads to progressive changes in the current business, working, and customer models.|
|Being||Optimizing business, operating, and customer models by introducing digital capabilities that transform your brand’s activities.|
Being digital inspires effective change management, derived from functional changes incorporated to reap agility at the workplace, translating to front-line efficiencies influencing your market share.
Map brand goals to the digital consumer
In a world where almost everybody is online, your brand must facilitate human-centric experiences. Most of today’s consumers want convenience by using service availabilities at the click of a button.
Considering that most people research products on Google before buying, an effective digital strategy is vital to matching and, in many cases, exceeding their expectations. Using technology as a medium to nurture relationships with customers, brands can deliver excellence while ensuring agile business performance.
Considering that the modern corporate employee also relies on technology to produce practical work, the needs of your people are prioritized by your digital transformation efforts. When process efficiencies are improved at an organizational level, reaching your customers with personalized services becomes that much easier. As a brand, you stand to derive insights into consumer behavior and adapt your service offerings to suit market demand using this same data.
Currently, the global digital transformation market is projected to grow from $469.8 billion in 2020 to $1,009.8 billion by 2025.
A famous example of brands that scaled using digital to meet consumer demand is Amazon’s diversification into services like streaming, logistics, cloud computing, and AI, among other areas. By maintaining consistency through their design language and focusing on end-to-end digital acceleration, brands like Amazon are mammoths in the retail space since they always strive to meet customers on the platforms they prefer.
None of this would be possible without accurate data; evidently, data is the new oil for digital success. Accordingly, being available on diverse platforms requires that brands capitalize on interactive means to foster customer relationships. Furthermore, digital transformation, a vast field, requires a calculated and comprehensive plan to execute functions that align with your unique branding objectives.
According to IDC, Digitally transformed organizations are expected to contribute to over half of the global gross domestic product (GDP) by 2023, accounting for $53.3 trillion. By tailoring the experience to suit the unique needs of your customer segment and their preferred medium, digital initiatives are deployed to penetrate the market and introduce personalized services to customers.
\Easy access to self-service portals, conversational chatbots, website visitor analytics, and automated ticketing systems are all examples of how digitalization is leveraged to meet digital-first consumer demands. For brands looking to deploy a robust technology infrastructure for online and offline operations, digital transformation presents limitless opportunities.
Ensuring that the visual branding used in your digital applications and mobile experiences mimics your brand’s vision can help customers find you in a few simple clicks. The key is to consider your ideal customer’s journey and present digital avenues at every touchpoint of their experience, created for them by you.
By doing so, brands can adapt to the latest trends in technology-driven experiences that drive engagement across channels.
What causes the digital transformation of brands?
As per a report by Deloitte, “The implementation of digital technologies can accelerate progress towards enterprise goals such as financial returns, workforce diversity, and environmental targets by 22%.”
Owing to the massive awareness and adoption of digital technologies and media, the digital transformation of brands is primarily driven by five key areas, as mentioned hereafter.
- Customer Experience
Customer experience is key to business success in any industry. Top brands have invested heavily in leveraging digital tools to revamp their sales and marketing processes. By reducing the costs involved in hiring more workers, digital strategies streamline internal business functions.
The renewed productivity and output generated by a digital environment inspire fulfilling work for employees, leading to front-line efficiencies in customer-facing operations. Since customer experience is indispensable, an excellent digital strategy reinforces your position as the customer’s preferred choice.
By facilitating seamless experiences at every interval of the customer journey, being digital becomes the differentiating factor that sets your brand apart.
- Culture and Leadership
A business is ineffective without a clearly defined culture and leadership. Traditional systems depend heavily on word of mouth for employer branding. Similarly, disconnected digital applications often lead to data silos, isolating information from key stakeholders. Using digital, human-technology experiences can be augmented to produce novelty through your brand’s offerings.
By centralizing access to relevant data and authorizing secure protocols, brands can manage content effectively and create a sustainable plan to deploy products and services. Separate departments can cross-functionally collaborate and share information using a digitally enabled workplace.
By creating a more inclusive work culture, leadership can engage and groom their workers with the latest know-how and productivity tools that improve business activities’ operational value and transparency. Thereby, applicable rules of engagement can be drawn up for each digital channel or application used by your brand, its employees, and its customers.
- Operational Agility
The core metrics of your organization’s performance can be monitored and governed using digital systems that leverage data. The data generated by software platforms and social media can be studied to implement new policies and service availabilities for customers and employees.
A digital environment consolidates various departmental functions onto a unified platform, overseeing all your business processes. Making it easier to map consumer sentiments and realize employee concerns, digital tools inspire operational agility for modern businesses.
With incisive data about the usage of your products and services made available, business-critical insights can be understood and repurposed to augment user experiences. Over time, your business’s improved operational control and agility result in enhanced credibility and morale within your organization and in the market.
Deriving operational agility via digital transformation for brands assures that every decision made by you is based on accurate data and executed for result-driven outcomes.
- Workforce Enablement
Today’s brands are expected to provide their employees with all the tools and training required to excel at their jobs. The ongoing tech revolution has introduced diverse mediums to train and deploy resources within the shortest timeframes.
As a result, agile processes and business systems are fundamental to providing the right environment for your workforce. Digital workflows and automation techniques are refining the way people perform job functions. Creating a feedback channel to monitor on-the-floor and back-end operations proves vital to being a digitally empowered brand. When workers derive value from their work, enabled by technology, the overall morale of your workforce and the operational yield find great success.
A delighted employee with access to all they need to do their job results in delightful experiences trickling down to every level of customer interaction. Digital transformation empowers your modern brand to engage its employees at work, retain key assets, and train resources for the strategic imperatives of business.
- Technology integrations
Modern IT systems are built with integration-friendly consoles that give organizations an edge in performing business-critical tasks. While enabling more effective asset management, market research, and business planning, technology integrations offer a variety of resources to end users.
Core merchandising, POS, finance, loyalty, web stores, warehouses, and inventory management – are some critical functions of a modern brand that find optimal functionality using digital channels. Eliminating the clunky, disparate, and unintegrated apps of the past, digitally agile brands harness the power of data at every step of their business to inspire efficient work.
Furthermore, the workplace flexibility observed with digital acceleration provides a premise for a tech-savvy workforce to continuously improve existing business functions. Low-code platforms empower citizen development at your organization by making it easy for anybody to use workplace applications. It means that employees with little or no coding experience can build functionally rich applications that improve the value of their work.
Empowering workers to work from home or any location, access company assets, and perform their duties is becoming the new way of working in many industries. As a digital-first strategy trickles through every level of your organization, retaining your valued employees and market share becomes a top priority.
Digital acceleration – Strategize business goals using technology
The five components of digital transformation mentioned in the earlier section are all complex when explored in depth. However, they are all related to the digital transformation of brands. Modern brands require a 360-degree view of the customer, their employees, necessities for business growth, and potential risks.
|Imperatives of Digital Acceleration|
|Technology integrations – Accessing all customer records from a single location|
|Customer experience – Identifying championing ideas to meet customer touchpoints and understand their sentiments|
|Leadership and culture – Facilitating a refined understanding of business necessities and objectives to govern all assets|
|Workforce empowerment – Empowering agents with the necessary technology and resources to enhance customer experiences and operational output|
|Operational agility – Creating more intelligent workflows and processes to reap digital agility and business growth|
|Risk mitigation – Analyze data to predict demands, mitigate risks, and gather valuable business insights|
The digital transformation of brands assures that all components of a successful brand are brought together under one umbrella. A centralized view of all business activities makes it easier for brands to govern their assets and cater to the necessities of the time. The intersecting paths of customer experience, culture and leadership, operational agility, workforce enablement, and technology integrations must be thoroughly analyzed. To adapt and deploy the right solutions, you must understand the needs of linear and cross-functional departments and every user using your new systems and processes.
Fostering human-centric experiences, digital transformation pivots around the necessity for agile processes, predictive maintenance, and an expansive, credible business presence.
70% of customer engagements will be driven by Intelligent systems by 2022, according to Gartner. There is an expectation that 65% of the global GDP will be digitalized by 2022, according to IDC. It is estimated to drive more than 6.8 trillion dollars of direct digital transformation investments from 2020 to 2023.
There is no magic wand to miraculously address all your brand’s challenges before going digital. Transformation is a product of calculated strategy and collaboration across teams and departments. Since all the components of digital transformation are interlinked, an end-to-end digital system can help tackle issues of legacy architectures and create a group of thought leaders who realize the value of being digital. For any brand to scale its digital efforts, an expert transformation team can assist you on the digital journey.
Branding prowess – A digital-first approach
Whether you’re a startup or an industry giant, a holistic digital transformation can be the differentiator you need. Stating the obvious, a digital-first strategy is essential to modernizing your brand’s approach and operational model. Merging a comprehensive market study with clearly defined rules of engagement aligned with your business objectives, being digital reinvents human-technology experiences. Leveraging data to govern end-to-end business activities, your brand can stand the test of time with a few modifications to existing systems or even a direct changeover to build the digital entity of the future. On the contrary, ignoring digitalization will cost you in many ways.
As legacy systems are transformed and being digital becomes a top priority, three main factors influence the success of digital initiatives for brands:
- Availability of capital
With widespread digitalization, the budget allocated for transformation across industries has risen exponentially over the past decade. Many tech giants are acquiring established brands to add value to their expansion goals in line with the latest technology trends.
Example: Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion indicates the role of games and interactive media in the present metaverse generation.
- A fresh start
New companies on the market have no limits to innovation. Focusing on what excites the customer is the top priority of being digital.
Example: Warby Parker’s exceptional product quality now comes with an online eye exam that addresses the customer’s concerns assuring their comfort before an optical prescription.
- Time is money
Brick-and-mortar stores are going digital, physicians are conducting remote surgeries, and autonomous vehicles are leading global markets. A managed digital environment yields better output and operational outcomes for brands by saving time and costs.
The likes of Amazon and Walmart continue to invest, train and deploy robust systems, and acquire other markets in the industry to prove that time is money, and the clock slows down for nobody. The calculated decisions made by big players indicate the impact and needs of digital transformation across industries.
Example: Dell’s acquisition of data storage company EMC for $67 billion in 2015 shows the shifting priorities for more cloud-based services and storage centers, which are fundamental to the digital economy.
|“Clearly, the thing that’s transforming is not the technology – It’s the technology that is transforming you.”|
Jeanne W. Ross,
MIT Sloan’s Center for Information Systems Research
Digital is everywhere, and to stand the test of time, brands must advocate and embody being digital. Being present where your customers are, understanding their journey, and facilitating seamless technology experiences are the backbone of modern branding.
About Konnect Insights
Konnect Insights, a unified solution for customer experience management, is a revolutionary platform bridging modern brands with intelligent technology for business intelligence. Our curated industry white paper is proprietary thought leadership aimed to inform, entertain, and educate the readership. As pioneers in social listening technology, we are determined to keep you ahead of the game every step of the way.