Digital transformation can be overwhelming for brands, especially due to the layers of complexity. You have to stitch together different systems and departments in order to service each customer, all while staying on top of technological innovations.
What are the right ways to go about digital transformation? How can you best plan out this complex process and enhance the user experience?
Most digital experience experts agree that a brand’s transformational journey requires clarity. Without it, Kenneth Parks points out, digital transformation “can be very overwhelming; you can feel totally out of control, [and] you can feel the mission-critical agenda you're working on will never bear fruit.” On the other hand, clarity gives you the freedom to map out your journey.
“Strategy really is about creating clarity on the choices you need to make [and] why those choices may lead you to the right outcomes,” Kenneth says. With clarity comes a sense of purpose and conviction that allows you to undertake tasks in the necessary order using the necessary tools. It also helps you hold true to your North Star and stick to your main goals without losing sight of your vision.
Every brand wants to translate its digital strategy into a rich customer experience that inspires action and results. But how do you do it?
According to Jerry Orabona, “You need the marketing strategy and the vision of what it is that [you’re] going to produce to empower users.” You also need to understand “how [it affects] them from a human perspective before [you] can decide what the technological implications are.” Analogous to Kenneth’s point, you need clarity and vision first before getting into the technical aspects of digital transformation.
Erin Lynch’s expertise in customer experience and digital transformation leads to similar findings. She summarizes the overall vision as a CX platform. “It’s an objective or North Star. It kind of floats above the system of the holistic customer experience,” Erin states. “This CX platform serves to inspire and align the internal stakeholders, [and] the same platform is going to direct the brief for the ideation of individual experiences.” Having a clear vision within your CX platform allows you to align all of the moving parts, which, in turn, lends an improved customer experience.
The world moves quickly, and what was relevant yesterday may not be relevant today. Remaining relevant is a challenge many brands face; however, data can help you stay there.
“Turning insights into action means having the data in place,” Ted Schadler explains. “That data is the place where you can bring experience and relevance together.” When you have an automated system in place to collect data, you can optimize the customer experience to boost relevance and connect the dots between CX and strategy.
A layered challenge to relevancy is that the context changes. Whether it’s a technology change like ChatGPT or a societal impact like the pandemic, our world changes daily — and brands have to keep up. Ted says that “we need to be thoughtful about what we’re doing [and] what we’re presenting to customers, making sure that we’re not missing a relevant shift that has happened.”
Along these same lines, Kenneth reminds us that change is relentless and will be the only constant in our lives. The failure to act early could be the downfall of your brand. Therefore, he recommends “you take the first step; create [and] identify who the priority audiences are, understand them, [and] create the plan or the strategy.”
Although the process is complicated, it’s crucial to pick one place within your ecosystem to start. However, you shouldn’t forget about the strategy as a whole. Your North Star and vision should still be guiding your digital transformation journey.
Because digital transformation journeys can be complex, many brands turn to expert partnerships to help them achieve their vision. But how do you narrow down your options and find the best partner for your brand?
You want someone with end-to-end expertise who understands both your brand’s needs and the needs of the industry. This co-innovation partner should bring together the internal and external parts of digital transformation using best practices and insights from multiple industries. Additionally, if your partner has relationships with various software, cloud, data, and platform providers, they can bring additional assets to the strategy and help you drive a successful solution.