Digital Transformation

Online Marketing & Digital Transformation topics
discussed in great detail, with great passion.
Written by Marketers, For Marketers

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.

Technology Capabilities

One key component of digital transformation is identifying the technological changes a business faces in order to attain optimal performance in their digital channel activity. Business may need to invest heavily in tech-related upgrades or website modifications to be agile enough to enable possibilities to capture and process a large amount of data in order to provide insights into optimal conversion conditions.

Leadership Challenges

Leadership challenges form a fundamental part of a business' ability to Digitally Transform. Senior Management must understand the importance of digital and become advocates for its use. This will in-turn benefit Technology Capabilities as a smart manager would understand the limitations of existing systems and pave the way for upgrades. Overcoming Leadership education barriers can enhance accessibility to funding for digital projects. This is likely the most important part of a business transformation.

Level of Digital Mastery

Where a business falls on the Digital Mastery scale indicates the level of competence in digital, technology and leadership dimensions. Beginners are just at the start of the digital journey and have basic capability. Fashionistas know what's going on, but are unwilling to take action to seize full digital capability. Despite the valuable digital leadership capabilities enabled by Conservatives, technology barriers and investment prevent them from developing strong digital capabilities. Digital Masters have overcome the difficulties and attained strong market share over their competitors. Their insight enables them to maximise on necessary investment and their leaders are advocates for improving digital capability to power the organisation's growth.

Adaptive Culture

Digital Transformation is a large-scale change for a business, especially those that have been around for fifty or more years. When starting out on the path of Digital Transformation, a culture that is willing to accept and drive change is essential. Employees are the cogs that make the business churn and if they're not involved or left out of the process, this can present a greater challenge than the technology change itself.

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.

Web Analytics

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:

Attribution


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.



Measuring Engagement



Engagement is one of the most valuable metrics a marketer can use to understand usability on their website. This goes far beyond Pages per Session and Time on Site. By adding some simplistic JavaScript for event tracking, you can measure how far a user scrolls on your page, when they hit the bottom, the time it took and where they stopped the most to read. Marketers can glean valuable insight from websites with this level of analytics capability to improve user interface (UI) and layout in order to improve the user experience (UX).



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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FAQ

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.