Every day I get asked pretty much the same questions, so I have decided to do is answer some those questions through my simple 3 step process then you can use them in your business as and when you need to. From time to time I will update this post, or write a new one, so keep checking back.
It’s really just a 3 step process to simplify all of this digital transformation, customer experience and digital marketing stuff because as I see it, and it appears so do most of you, it can be frustrating or just too hard to get our heads around.
So let’s dig into this 3 step process and take it one stage at a time.
If you’re a business still using old processes and methodologies or a new business that isn’t quite sure which way to jump this is for you because there is just so much information out there it’s not a bit of wonder were all confused and not sure which path to take.
So let’s break this down, you might need to grab a coffee as this will be a long post, and take it one step at a time because I have found after 20 years of digital marketing that it really is simple if you just follow this process.
Step 1: Digital Transformation (#DT)
So what is #DT?
“Digital transformation is the profound and accelerating transformation of business activities, processes, competencies and models to fully leverage the changes and opportunities of digital technologies and their impact across society in a strategic and prioritised way, with present and future shifts in mind.”
Not a bit of wonder we are all confused.
Put simply it’s “the transformation that any business has to go through to get from where they are today to where they need to be tomorrow using digital as the first point of contact for customers.” There you go how simple was that?
Carry out a search on Google for ‘digital transformation’ and see that there are more websites and gurus giving advice than you can shake a stick at and unfortunately none of them simplify the process of transformation. I hope to change that today.
Let’s take a real case scenario. The medium sized organisation that hasn’t began yet.
So you’re the CEO of XYZ company and you know it has to change because your customers are leaving in droves. Maybe you just haven’t moved with the times or maybe you have no money to make the change or maybe you just don’t know what the hell to do and neither does anyone else in the organisation. This is the most likely scenario by the way.
So you really only have three choices:
- You do nothing and stay as you are and hope that all this ‘digital’ stuff goes away and we go back to chiselling on stone, how’s that working out for you?
- Take a half arsed stab at fixing it yourselves, because we know what we are doing, even when you don’t. That’s called burying your head in the sand by the way
- You really take control and decide on a strategy and plan to get you where you need to be before there’s no business left to bugger up
It really is that simple.
So where to start? Well in my last post I mentioned the phrase “That’s how we’ve always done it” this can be the starting point because if someone in your C-Suite says this then you really are in trouble and the only place to start is by changing the culture of the business. This really does need your attention first. If you have to get someone in to help do it, because if you don’t I can guarantee that once the going gets tough you will revert back to the ‘old ways’ and it ends up a vicious circle of progress then stop.
What if you are a start-up with no culture and no customers, to speak of, yet?
You my friend are in the best possible place to begin a happy and long career in whatever you choose to do. Why is that? Because you have no culture to speak of, you can shape your own destiny. The only thing I will say, through years of experimenting and getting it wrong on some occasions, is employ the right staff from the very beginning. If you don’t know who they are yet get help from someone you trust.
It was once stated that customer is king. I think this say’s all you need to know on the subject:
“By putting the employee first, the customer effectively comes first by default, and in the end, the shareholder comes first by default as well.” – Richard Branson
You really do need staff that are on board with what you are trying to achieve or you will fail.
Digital Transformation isn’t that difficult, look at the culture of your organisation and if you need to change it to a digital first one do it and start today. Once everyone is on board then you can look at technology and how it fits in with yours and your customers needs. If you start with technology first you will come unstuck because you will never know what it really is your customer requires and how it can help them.
This brings us nicely on to step 2 – customer experience
Step 2: Customer Experience (#CX)
What is #CX?
“In commerce, customer experience (CX) is the product of an interaction between an organisation and a customer over the duration of their relationship. …Customers respond diversely to direct and indirect contact with a company. Direct contact usually occurs when the purchase or use is initiated by the customer.”
Again there is a lot said about #CX and most of it confuses the hell out of people, let’s change that. We here phrases like, customer centric, customer journey and customer first. What does it all mean?
Let’s pretend we have a time machine and we can travel back to the 1980’s, some of us don’t need a time machine, we can remember.
Way back then there was only really a few channels to pitch our story through, TV, Radio and Newspapers, including magazines. This was a ‘push’ system where the company ‘pushed’ their message and we had to listen, there was no skipping through adverts then my friend, we were a captured audience. They told us what we needed and we acted, or maybe we didn’t.
This all changed with the advent of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and platforms, I prefer to call them channels, like them. These channels suddenly gave us a voice. There were blogs around the early 2000’s but they were very niche and nothing like they are today so it’s really not worth counting them as engagement was so low.
Once these and a million other platforms arrived in the following years the general public suddenly had something they had never had before…a voice, the means to communicate with each other but more importantly with brands also. This was the game changer in customer experience. Now it has to be said that some companies got it straight way and embraced the new way of communicating from the start, but it’s also a familiar and sad fact that the majority didn’t. They saw it as a fad, something that wouldn’t last. Well, after 10 years and counting I think we can safely say that it’s not a fad.
Customer experience, by definition, is the experience that your customer has when they first engage with you and your business. You determine if it’s a good experience or a bad experience, or in most cases your staff do if you have them. This why it’s so important to employ the right staff to ensure that your ‘customer experience’ is as good as it can be, or at the very least better than your competitions, because you are only as good as your staff.
It’s now possible to ‘map’ your customers journey from the first point of contact right through to the sale and then the feedback they share with their audience, friends and family, good or bad. It’s no exaggeration that today millions of people can be contacted instantly through a Tweet or Facebook update, the power people have at their fingertips is immense and brands need to be aware of that fact.
There has never been a better time to create a fantastic #CX or a worse one.
We have all read the stories of how brands have come unstuck with poor #CX it’s all over the internet when it happens or when a celebrity drops the ball, look no further than President Trump and the hours of pleasure or pain he has provided.
Customer experience is your number one priority, after #DT, because without customers you don’t have a business. Happy customers make for a happy and profitable business.
Now we come to step 3 in our process of simplification – digital marketing.
Step 3: Digital Marketing (#DM)
What is #DM?
“Digital marketing (also known as data-driven marketing) is an umbrella term for the marketing of products or services using digital technologies, mainly on the Internet, but also including mobile phones, display advertising, and any other digital medium.”
There has been a lot written about digital marketing, some good some bad, but one thing it has been is consistent.
Some saw it as a fantastic and exciting way to reach new and existing customers some saw it as a distraction from ‘real’ marketing such as TV, radio and publishing.
It really has turned marketing and sales on its head. Your customers now decide how they want to get in touch with you. My clients use every imaginable channel available. I have clients who contact me through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and email and I wouldn’t change that, why would I, the last thing I want to do is piss anyone off.
So be prepared to be agile, another phrase you will hear a lot, and adapt through your digital transformation and customer experience process to whatever method of contact your customer chooses and embrace it, don’t shy away from it because it’s new or confusing. You’re customers will love you for it and will be more likely to stay with you.
Digital marketing doesn’t take a great deal of working out, it really is just a matter of ‘finding’ your audience and communicating with them on a level and at a time that suits them, well it’s a bit more than that actually, first you have to find your audience, make sure your content is as good as it can be and that it resonates with them and after all that they will decide if they will do business with you or not, simple. There is a process for this too and don’t worry we will be covering it in future posts.
That my friend is a very quick look through my 3 step process to simplifying the black art of digital marketing and all that goes with it.
I strongly urge you to think about what we have discussed because your business really does depend on how you take this forward from today.
Make today the day that you decide to put this simple 3 step process into action as it will serve you well.
Deciding to make the change is empowering and I can guarantee that you, your staff and your customers will have a much better experience and outcome once you do. Don’t be one of those businesses that puts it off until next week or think that it “doesn’t apply to us”, it applies to everyone and promise me that when you hear the phrase “We’ve always done it this way” that you will take action immediately to change it.
Be the agent of change in your business and you’ll never look back.
I would love to hear how you get on with the 3 step process or if you are already started down the road of transformation how it’s going, please leave a comment or get in touch by whatever means suits you.
Have a fantastic day.