How The Digital Transformation Is Changing Marketing
21:30 18 August 2019
With the rise of the internet and as digital continues to proliferate, both as a media format as well as technology, it has had unexpected and profound effects on modern life. Although everyone was expecting digital technology to make things much faster, the thing that not many people predicted correctly was the significant social impact that the combination of online connectivity and digital media would end up having.
So digital technology can be a very powerful marketing tool. However, what about the actual digital transformation? What is it doing to change how marketing works?
We will be digging deep in this article to look very closely at all of the implications of this modern phenomenon.
Although the phrase "digital transformation" might sound like a vague concept, the real results are fairly easy to understand. For years now, we have experienced them, and currently, there is an accelerated pace of change that we are experiencing.
When individuals in professional industries are talking about digital transformation what they are referring to how we understand digital technology and then integrated and applied to our regular work tasks, whether it encompasses entire business operations or on the individual employee level.
Digital transformation at the individual level may be as efficient as electronic health records in the wellness or medical industries. The transition over to digital records makes the data faster to process, more accessible, increases the chance that health professionals can make more informed and better decisions.
On an industry-wide scale, the digital transformation has demonstrated already how it can help businesses like Uber and Amazon. Those businesses have taken classic business concepts, such as transit and retail sales, and applied some innovative digital technologies which have allowed them to surge ahead with the competition left behind.
However, in general, usually, digital transformation is viewed as a whole for the way it affects the business. In the marketing area specifically, it can provide those with vision some profitable and exciting changes.
The Digital Funnel
The funnel is one of the very first places where the digital transformation has a significant influence on marketing, which is a traditional concept used by marketers for mapping out the actions that prospective customers make, as they go through a multi-phase journey that culminated in them committing to b buying something.
Before the advent of digital technology, marketing funnel was very straightforward and inviolable in some ways. Here are the five stages:
- Awareness – this phase is when consumers first realize you are offering a service or product they might be searching for.
- Interest – this is when a shopper does additional research to find out whether or not your product or service meets their individual needs.
- Consideration – at this point, they are seriously interested.
- Intent – this is when they start to build towards a decision in favor of a business based on feeling that they need the service or product.
- Decision – this is when a consumer gets converted into a customer after they make a purchase.
At practically every stage, within a pre-digital marketing world, all companies could do was create their marketing materials and hope for the best. The only time that an intervention was possible was when there was an informed salesperson available to engage directly with a prospective customer.
Thanks to the digital transformation, those steps now provide businesses a lot more control within the process and gives marketers two highly valuable tools: analytics and multi-stage interactivity.
Personalization Is Possible
The way that content can be personalized to individual customers is one of the more effective things that the digital transformation has transformed how digital marketing works.
The combination of interactivity and metrics now makes it possible to track the behaviour and actions at the individual level, and then taking that data to offer a personalized marketing response.
Tracking a customer's purchases, and then recommending similar products - or in certain cases, 'refills' for consumable products - in only the tip of the iceberg. Today, with the metrics coming from Facebook and other social media platforms, make it possible to track an individual's interests, make certain recommendations, and perhaps even send out personalized emails that are based on the consumer's behavior before they are converted.
Markets experts do not need to guess any longer where a consumer's interest might be since social media is tracking consumer interest.
In Terms Of Digitization Data Is King
The single, largest 'blind spot in marketing before the digital transformation was a lack of actionable, high-quality data that a marketing expert could use to make decisions. After a television commercial was made or a subway station poster was created, there wasn't any way of accurately gauging the effectiveness of the marketing content. How many individuals actually saw the subway poster? How many watched the television commercial, le along actually purchased the product soled based on it.
Analytics is a huge game-changer for marketing as digital transformation continues emphasizing how useful it will be for future marketing efforts. For instance, a video on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, as well as other social media platforms is able to inform a marketing team precisely how many people have viewed the video. Also, if some of these people click on your "Call To Action" button that takes the visitor over to a website, it is very easy measuring how your video is in converting viewers. There is more granular information that is available, like which social media platform individuals watched your video on, what time of day a video received the most click-throughs and views or where those people live.
Therefore, digital transformation now provides marketing experts with a lot more accurate metrics and user data, and allow them to optimize and tweak marketing plans. Knowing what works and doesn't work and how well is what allows you to be much more targeted responsive, and agile.
Marketing Is Being Changed By Interactivity
Digital transformation has had and is having an unprecedented and massive impact on interactivity. Digital media, unlike traditional music, television, and film, is interactive which provides people many more choices what they can consume, the way they consume it, and the people they share the media with.
For example, websites today give people many options on the information that they want to watch and the order they would like to consume it in. Social media enables individuals to interact with business accounts, ask questions and receive responses. Consumers can provide feedback on the content that they watch or read by leaving comments, or using favourite buttons, thumbs-up, or hearts.
This exchange can occur on social media, or even on ads directly, and changes everything. When it comes to live ads, such as live streams, consumers on social media can watch an influencer discussing a product. Today, rather than only viewing a social influencer, watchers can interact through giving suggestions, making comments, and even receiving responses back throughout the live stream. In 2019 there is a level of interaction and engagement that wasn't possible prior to the digital transformation which changes the nature and scope of how targets can be approached by marketers.
Automation Increases Proactivity
When attempting to influence a purchasing decision, timing is often critical. A consumer might be 'on the fence' about deciding whether to make a purchase or not, even getting all the way up to taking the preliminary steps to make their purchase, but then stopping in the shopping cart phase, before they commit to making their actual purchase.
Metrics combined with automation results in consumer behaviour being tracked, and it may be addressed without necessarily needing a human supervising the activity and be fortunate enough to catch and react to the behavior in time. Today digital transformation means that whenever certain actions or data are recognized, there is software that is able to act on these conditions to send personalized responses or emails quickly, without having to notify a human being to react to a time-sensitive issue.
This kind of automation is increasing now as chatbots are taking on the responsibilities of basic customer service support for basic tasks, as well as improving productivity and marketing response.
Digital transformation has the potential to affect a wide spectrum of marketing activities and business operations. The key here is to understand everything that is involved, learn from key digital leaders across various sectors, and make sure your business has the talent, processes, and technology in-house in order to thrive and grow.