Digitalization, Digital Transformation

Digital Transformation 2021: Reflections And Resolutions

Since the break of the new decade a year ago what we perceived as normal was fated to change drastically. Come April 2020 humanity was facing one of its most terrifying foes: the Corona Virus or as the world knows COVID-19. In a world where you could get infected just by being in relatively close proximity to one another, things were changing radically, enter digital transformation. The new normal seemed to curtail back any and every face-to-face interaction and had taken the brick-and-mortar venues out of action. With the old methods and platforms being rendered dysfunctional to a certain extent, full-time remote working and digital-only interactions have become the new normal.

Throughout 2020, we have seen a reduction or elimination in corporate spending worldwide. Marketing budgets are especially undergoing particular scrutiny. This has prompted professionals to look towards newer horizons yet again. We live in an era of doing more and doing fast with less effort. This means that marketers and other professionals can campaign for a radical re-setting of the decade-old traditional marketing strategies and make use of the technological advancements our generation has flourished with.

What has changed post-COVID-19?

This is a timely moment for those businesses and professionals who have what it takes to lead the way towards a transformation into digital-first approaches. However, before indulging into what practices are best suited for a digital-first approach one needs to understand what has actually changed post-COVID-19.

The COVID-19 crisis has brought about some serious implications for each and every industry. While some may have found this as an opportunity to level-up their business, while others had to postpone their moment of fame in their fields and for many others, this crisis brought bankruptcy for their businesses. A wide array of companies are now facing a laundry list of challenges, mostly pertaining to revenue and growth shortfalls, pressures from stakeholders and a drastic shift in customer needs and demands.

However, this crisis has also brought new opportunities for businesses but in order to turn things around what is absolutely necessary is enterprise agility and strategic pivoting of existing approaches. This means businesses can no longer afford to just “wait and see”. The main reason is that their clients need guidance to navigate the new terrain. One key takeaway is digital transformation and it is a continuous process. This is because of two main aspects; one being the constant evolution in new technologies and approaches. The other is because businesses, markets and organizations using these technologies will also need to change in order to keep up with it.

In order to stay in sync with this continuous process of digital transformation businesses and marketers will have to incorporate four additional values to their strategies. These are:

  • Relevance:Business and marketing strategies need to assimilate newer configurations in order to assess customer/end-user needs post-COVID-19. Furthermore, these approaches need to integrate customer expectations at the current time as well as for future recovery scenarios.
  • Sustainability:This refers to delivering a sustainable and concrete value in the short-term while anticipating a comprehensive, total-user experience from the start to the finish and beyond.
  • Defendability:Business strategies need to add Defendability to their core values. This means recognizing and accurately assessing the impact of COVID-19 and thereby come up with a plausible solution for recovery.
  • Differentiation:This simply means to set yourself apart and ahead of your competitors. In the digital transformation scenario, it is the ones who make the first move are the ones poised to achieve the greatest lengths of success.

Best Digital Transformation practices post COVID-19

Digital transformation and a digital-first business approach is not an easy feat to achieve. However, with some of the recommended best-practises businesses can take the leap of faith and bring about a total face-lift from the current crisis many of them are facing. So here are some of the best practices recommended by experts in the field.

  1. The Digital Customer Journey

In a post-COVID-19 world, the best place for marketers and businesses to make the largest digital impact with the highest ROI in the shortest time is none other than innovative customer experience or the ‘Digital Customer Journey’. This is what sets the best brands apart from the rest of the lot as they choose to remain relational. This means that they are more interested in building long-term customer relation and goodwill. This is what gives the highest ROI.

In order to bring about this ‘Digital Customer Journey’ into reality, three key factors must be integrated into the design:

Emotional Impact

This means that your business and/or marketing personnel needs to engage the customers in the most memorable fashion, somewhat surprising them with a personalized way so that they become inspired and motivated to take the next step of the journey.

Timeliness

Your marketing team needs to come up with original and high-valued contents at the right place at the right time.

Continuity

You need to point out an enriching aspect of your brand experience that sets it apart from the rest. This will create a sense of comfort, trust and optimism in your customers towards your brand.

  1. Scale & Rapidity

In the post-COVID-19 era businesses and marketers need to produce a lot more digital content and a lot faster, in a more personalized manner. An interesting example; Inside source, a global furniture dealer, launched a digital magazine where they started an online competition; Quarantine Studios. Here participants could create their very own personalized furniture using various unconventional materials found in any household. The winner will have their furniture professionally produced and shipped to their home. This is a very intriguing way to engage customers at such times.

With the year passing into 2021 and with the world still crying out for social distancing, businesses need to focus on physical distancing instead of social distancing and yet keep engaging their clients with digital-first initiatives.

(as originally published on thebrandberries)

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