In marketing, true digital transformation is an ongoing evolution of attitudes and capabilities, not achieving digital nirvana.
Thanks to the havoc of 2020, businesses don’t have a choice but to transform. According to Cisco Systems, “At least 40 per cent of all businesses will die in the next 10 years… if they don’t figure out how to change their entire company to accommodate new technologies.”
The pace of change has always been rapid in digital marketing – from algorithm updates, data privacy legislation and new tools and technology, to fierce competition and changing customer expectations, the landscape shifts often and without warning.
Most organisations have embraced some form of digitisation. But the act of true transformation is one of capability and culture. From being solidly set up for marketing on your terms, to thriving in a constant state of flux, you need to be ready for anything.
At Jellyfish, we believe true readiness must manifest on four key fronts:
1. Readying your data
Do you understand your current data flows and what they are telling you? Are you able to analyse them in real time, via smart dashboards and feeds, or do you wait for that quarterly report?
Digital transformation starts with a clear-eyed appreciation of the true marketing potential for data – whether your own, or open source – to improve your customer experiences or marketing decisions in the moment. It’s critical to be able to look at the now, in time to adapt for what’s ahead.
Data readiness is about having the knowledge at your fingertips to inform or inspire agile decision-making, rather than being constantly behind the curve.
2. Adapting your culture
Digital marketing efforts are inherently connected to the customer perspective. Each failure to link channels or tactics in a marketing ecosystem represents a new kind of opportunity cost.
Imagine each advert, social post, email, blog or product page as a separate salesperson. Even if each is fantastic at what they do, they still need to cooperate, talk to each other, and understand their roles. If they fail to do this – or are incentivised to fight over the same sales commission – they’ll drive customers away.
Yet this is exactly the world many marketing departments are set up to perpetuate – both internally (a “social” budget versus a “performance” budget) and in terms of connections to the wider business (versus more integrated strategies encompassing ecommerce or customer servicing). And they are missing many value-creation opportunities along the way.
Transformation is always, at its heart, cultural. Is your organisation ready to move from the safety of extensive, pre-launch plans to a messy world of constant in-market experimentation and measurement? A fearless willingness to test, learn and refine on the go? If so, you’re nearly ready.
3. Integrating your technology
Ask the right questions of your data, give the right incentives and training to your people, and you will soon start to test the limits of your marketing technology.
Digital transformation will ultimately require an integrated marketing technology platform. This sets a foundation for proper cross-channel performance measurement, regulates wasteful duplication of effort – and critically, scales in response to additional integrations as they become available.
4. Optimising your creativity
There are some things in marketing that have always held true. Great creativity still cuts through and can deliver better ROI than the smartest media buy.
However, in digital, your creative needs the same adaptability as your data, people and tech. The most agile, data-driven media plan is nothing if the content it serves up is a poor fit to mindset, mood or moment. Whether through shrewd planning or dynamic execution, the creative assets you deploy must be as digitally responsive as the rest of your ecosystem.
Google sees a 150 per cent improvement in performance when creativity and media have been properly integrated. Agile asset optimisation ensures your marketing story can not only keep pace with the digital ecosystem and culture you’ve put in place, it can bring out the best in it.
The massive societal and commercial shifts of 2020 have revealed organisational fissures with unprecedented clarity. We should expect the pace to continue if not accelerate. The right way forward will vary from case to case, but it’s the adaptive skill underpinning true digital transformation that holds the key for every business. Hesitation is not an option. Change can happen quickly. Businesses must stay nimble – and ready.
If you are ready for digital transformation, contact Jellyfish.