Reasons why marketing should drive the digital evolution of your business
For some, digital transformation may resemble a traditional business project that has a clear beginning and end. However, the most smart organizations know that it does not have a defined starting point and that there is no real finish line. The digital transformation will continue to evolve and scale with the business, and a consensus will have to be built on numerous functional silos.
It's not something that happens naturally - companies need to make the conscious decision to proactively define and manage their own digital transformation goals, especially as digital transformation expenditures are increasing every year. According to IDC, global spending on digital transformation technologies and services is set to increase by 10.4 percent to $1.3 trillion by 2020.
The investment is paying off. Those who had already embarked on a digital transformation strategy were able to navigate the dramatic changes brought about by the current pandemic.
Digital transformation excellence begins with marketing
While it may feel natural to look to the IT department to shave a digital transformation effort, marketers have specific skills that make them well equipped to take on a leadership role. Marketers can help their businesses use transformative technology to strengthen brand and customer engagement, improve business performance and operations, and increase employee engagement.
According to Gartner Consulting, 87% of senior business leaders say digitization is a business priority, but only 40% of organizations have scaled digital initiatives. To close this gap, marketers can tap into one of their many areas of expertise and demonstrate their value to the project:
Marketers are communicators
Marketers can use their communication skills to help energize employees and inform them about the benefits of undergoing a digital transformation effort. More than six out of ten respondents consider culture to be the main obstacle to digital transformation, according to Capgemini's Digital Transformation Review 12th Edition, and marketers can help push the needle with effective communication strategies. When the pandemic disrupted the restaurant industry, Friendly's Restaurants quickly transformed their technology strategy to include contactless options. Friendly's CIO recognized the strength of his culture as a key factor in the company's success - they embraced the new processes and came to the occasion.
Marketers understand the customer journey
Marketers have the insight and perspective to shape the digital transformation efforts to maximize customer value. After all, they know the customer journey and how to make strong connections across all touch points. To create a relevant roadmap, organizations must have a long-term vision of what they want with a digital transformation strategy to reach people, performance, activities and customers.
Marketers know the organization
Because of the nature of the role, marketers have gained an enormous amount of knowledge about their organization - their strengths, their weaknesses and the way it operates on a daily basis. They are able to take a bird's-eye view of the business and build an ecosystem of reliable partners willing to make an effort and create value. This kind of foresight will play a major role in implementing a digital transformation strategy, as it requires a strong talent in development and technology.
Marketers welcome digital disruption
Progress in marketing technology has changed dramatically over the past 10 years and so has the role of the marketer. The days of simply generating impressions and clicks are usually over; now more effective dollars are spent on the buyer's intent and propensity to buy tools, data and analytics, search marketing, digital campaigns, and social sales. Many marketers have embraced this digital world and welcomed the many opportunities it offers to connect with customers in new and exciting ways. They are usually at the forefront of innovation and strive to inspire others in their search for marketing excellence and nurture the growth of the business.
Where marketing and IT meet
Although marketing can confidently take the lead, it must still be in the grip of the IT department. After all, there is no digital transformation without a technological evolution, and that requires a heavy IT effort. The two teams must work together to solve business problems, implement systems that support the bigger goal and find new ways to create value for customers.
For example, IT and marketing worked together to create a better fan experience for the San Francisco 49ers. Innovative technology was implemented to ensure soccer fans stay connected throughout the season and the new site (IGYB) incorporates various aspects of digital and social media marketing to provide the latest updates and resources.
Marketers are creative and agile, constantly looking for new ways to innovate. By placing them in prominent leadership positions within a digital transformation overhaul, there will be an immediate shift in communication effort, care and culture.
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