What is Digital Transformation?
Digital transformation is the application of digital technology to radically improve performance or reach of enterprises and is a hot topic at MIT and Harvard Business Schools. Digital Transformation is a rather simple concept to grasp and revolves around four key points; Technology Capabilities, Leadership Challenges, Level of Digital Mastery and Adaptive Culture.
How Technology Capabilities Hinders Digital Transformation
The standout technology challenge that many businesses face has to the with the website. This is especially true of company's that have a number of brand websites.
Solid Web Analytic Capability is a Necessity Without Web Analytics, how would marketer’s measure digital performance? And yet, so many businesses aren’t taking advantage of the tracking and analysis capabilities that this vital piece of technology offers. Every website should have an intended goal, whether that be ecommerce transactions, leads, subscriptions, affiliate income or display revenue. At the most basic level, goals and events are used to measure conversions, but this doesn’t even scratch the surface. Here’s a few common technology challenges marketers face with Web Analytics:
Big businesses often have multiple campaigns running simultaneously at different times for different durations. Some are integrated, others run in silos and never cross other channels.
Attribution is a massive challenge for business and sometimes CID or UTM tracking simply doesn’t work as a conversion may start with Organic, skip through Social a few times and convert via Paid. Who gets the credit for the conversion? This is a difficult question for a lot of marketing managers, especially when dealing with channel managers or agencies that may lay claim to first-click conversions, when another claims their last-click conversion. Uniformity is key in this case and executing cross-channel campaigns and measurement to avoid double-ups and establish a firm, but fair, attribution strategy.
Measuring Path to Conversion
Simply counting conversions isn’t enough. You need to understand the path to conversion in order to optimise your website for optimal conversion. This starts at the acquisition source and flows through the pages and content that a user consumes prior to their eventual conversion. Unless you’re converting at 100% (and hats off to you if you do) you always need to analyse your conversion path to identify improvements. Many ecommerce and online transaction websites have issues with their conversion funnel and if you’re not tracking the drop-off rate, you’re missing out on huge opportunities to improve conversions. The best way to handle this is to have Multi-variate funnel visualisation configured along with events tied to your forms and conversion time tracking. It’s a huge process but those who have this configured and can analyse their data thoroughly can improve their conversion markedly.
Data Analytics & Machine Learning
The biggest technology challenge a business will face that is able to implement the above tracking is having the resources to adequately glean insight from the data and improve user experience and conversions. Machine Learning is a huge game changer and unsupervised learning methods like classification (sorting/clustering) and regression (modelling) can assist marketers to normalise and analyse big data. With some training models, a supervised learning model can perform data analysis at an incredible rate, providing marketers with valuable insights and free up resources for optimisation! Check out the Digital Transformation Blog The above piece are covered in our Web Analytics and Machine Learning section of the Digital Transformation blog. Check out these pieces to identify how you can improve your Web Analytics digital capabilities.
Content Management Systems
Picking Your Platform
Are we on WordPress, Drupal, Magento, Shopify, Adobe Experience Manager or it some purpose built system? Having multiple platforms makes it a very difficult for digital marketers to manage the content with multiple passwords, vastly different interfaces, capabilities that are useful on one website may not be available on another, thus making it difficult to roll out a consistent message or campaign across brand sites.
Features vs Management
The other more obvious issue is design capability vs taxonomies. Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) may have some excellent drag and drop design features but it could lack the taxonomy features of a purpose built ecommerce platform like Magento. Is it better to have all websites running on the same CMS for familiarity or should you create each website based on the platform that best fits its purpose? This is a huge digital transformation challenge a lot of business face, especially for marketers that have inherited legacy websites from their predecessors that haven’t been well thought out.
Steps to take for Digital Transformation of Content Management Systems
The best place to start is to develop (or refer to) a brand strategy for each website within your portfolio, compare each property against its intended purpose and if different platforms are required think about the following questions: What are the resourcing challenges you need to overcome in order to adequately service this solution? What are the risks associated with shifting platforms? Can your current hosting and server capabilities handle your intended changes? How long will this take? What are your contingencies?
Overcoming Leadership Challenges
It's evident in any organisation that those at the top have the ultimate power when it comes to budgets and strategic direction of marketing activities. Just as each website and campaign differ, so too does the approach to tackle Leadership Challenges and drive Digital Transformation.
Here are some more common methods:
Think Bottom Line
Senior Leaders are interesting in one thing and one thing only - Results. Results can come in many forms, from revenue to traffic to market share. When you're dealing with your leaders, identify what success looks like to them before making the bid to push Digital Transformation through the business.
Data Mining for Insights
Once you know what success looks like to the leadership team, engage in thorough research, mine your data and develop key insights that talks directly to their success metrics.
For example, if you're looking budget to increase customer data storage (see our Analytics example above) in order to offer personalised content experiences to your users for a certain product. Start off by collecting all the data you can on the product area; traffic, conversions, revenue, engagement metrics and anything else you think is necessary. Now sort your data and crunch it to reveal insights about your product area (you'll be surprised what you can find once you dig deep enough!)
Report in a "high-level" simplistic manner
Leadership are interested in bite-size information that's based on insights.
Don't overdo it and you have a better chance of them reviewing your recommendations for digital transformation and taking it seriously.
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What is Digital Transformation ?
Digital Transformation is the art of radically improving the reach and efficiencies of organisations through the use of digital technology. Digital transformation also deals with the change in organisational culture and changes to the consumer and society as we proceed through this fourth industrial revolution of digital technology.
What are Digital Technologies ?
Digital Technologies are systems, tools and hardware that enhance functionality, mobility and data processing capabilities. These includes websites, CRMs, digital channels, automation systems, the internet of things, cloud computing and mobile devices. Digital technologies are at the heart of Digital transformation and it is their application that ultimately help or hinder business transformation.
What is SEO ?
SEO, or search engine optimisation, relates to the strategy, tactics and techniques that facilitate the improvement of a website’s on-page and off-page factors and enhance search engine visibility for relevant and valuable search terms. On-page factors are mostly concerned with content and structure of a website, whereas off-page factors are mostly concerned with links and variation of anchor text.