In case you missed it, a couple of weeks ago on Cheetah Digital’s podcast Uncaged Wisdom, Teresa Sperti of Arctik Fox and Rajan Kumar of The Lumery, joined Julian Bracey-Davis to discuss digital transformation. It was a fantastic conversation and I am so passionate about this topic, I wanted to keep the conversation going.
One of my favorite quotes was Teresa saying “transformation needs a catalyst,” and we could not have had a more extreme or sudden catalyst than a global pandemic. We have all been talking about COVID-19 for what feels like 11 years now, but if you have not evaluated digital transformation for your organization, there is no better time. Maybe you are struggling with the common perception that digital transformation is big and expensive or that you don’t know where to start and figure the company won’t pay for it now. I have a perspective that may help.
In my years of helping companies transform and evolve their businesses, one of the differentiators between successful organizations and everyone else is that consistent success comes from incremental change. This is how you effectively innovate at scale and speed, thereby transforming your org. It’s common to get trapped in the “Big Bang” approach to transformation -- that everything happens in once great burst of inspiration -- but it’s also one of the primary drivers of failure. The good news is that you can take on enterprise digital transformation in small and incremental ways, gaining momentum, thereby shifting the tide of your business. I have worked with some of the biggest brands in this space and helped them to see that through experimentation and other simple changes, they can realize digital transformation gradually, then suddenly.
So, where do you start? I’m going to walk you through four incremental ways you can approach digital marketing transformation, for large scale success.
Start small with your digital transformation
Start small. In fact, if you are highly risk-averse, start tiny. Identify a small goal and a very clear definition of success.
Let’s say you want to change the way you approach data acquisition. For digital marketers out there, take a quick inventory of the types of engagement you currently have with your customers. Are you depending on the same spray-and-pray techniques that served you in the past, with no value exchange? Perhaps you are a retailer sending discount emails three times a week, hoping for a few conversions. What difference would it make to your business if you offered a scratch-off contest for the same discount, but in exchange, you learned your customer’s birthday, so you could send them a special treat later and they had a memorable moment with your brand. How valuable is that extra piece of data, coupled with something new and interesting for your email subscribers?
Fun fact: Birthday emails generate transaction rates almost 5x higher than those of regular promotional mailings, according to our Data Insights team. For the Experiences Studio team at Cheetah Digital, we wake up everyday thinking about simple and complex ways we can reach your customers more effectively.
Start with what you have
This isn’t an official stat, but I’m pretty confident that 100% of my clients have requested help utilizing their platforms more effectively. While this may be hyperbole, it’s fairly consistent and I see it most often with customers experiencing high turnover in their teams.
You are likely already sitting on a gold mine of tools to help you transform digitally, but aren’t leveraging them effectively. Through simple conversations with the teams you already work with, to larger scale strategic engagements focused on building detailed roadmaps and action plans, you can identify insights to which you didn’t realize you already had access.
Did you know with the Cheetah Digital Customer Engagement Suite, you can unleash the previously mythical “golden record,” allowing you to tie all of your marketing channels together? That’s right, not only do we have our Engagement Data Platform (EDP) to support all of your data at scale, but we can tie loyalty, social, messaging, and experiences together with one beautiful orchestration bow.
Try something new
This sounds so simple, but is often more challenging than it may seem, because some clients feel limited due to regulatory constraints or the dreaded “this has always worked for us in the past." However, with the onset of a global pandemic, it’s time to ask yourself — does sitting in comfort continue to serve you and your customers?
This is a great time to try something new, because customers crave novelty. With lots of extra time on their hands, they are more likely to increasingly ignore the stale and banal marketing campaigns historically associated with their favorite brands. One of my new favorite pastimes is to unsubscribe from old brands who still choose to overwhelm my inbox with the same tired messages.
What if your brand suddenly had a Candy Crush-style game and your products were in their favorite game, as they filled up their Instacart? Perhaps you are a travel brand, trying to gain traction for the future, and offered your customers a fun way to plan their next trip with dream vacation travel quizzes.
Don’t ignore the value exchange
This may sound like common sense, but it’s consistently overlooked. It’s not uncommon to approach digital transformation for the sake of digital transformation, without really understanding why you’re doing it. This is how we reach the conundrum where digital transformation becomes so big and unwieldy, organizations simply give up and walk away.
You have to focus your efforts when undertaking digital transformation, ensuring everyone is in alignment with the outcomes you are trying to achieve. Through the lens of digital marketing, when a customer opens your email, are they getting something in exchange or is it more spam? If you want your customer’s birthday, is it because they can expect a special surprise on their next trip around the sun or are you hoarding customer data with no actionable plan? When a customer joins your loyalty club, will they get something meaningful for that commitment or just a barrage of boring emails? It’s critical that as we strive to create partner relationships with our customers, we bring something to the partnership.
There is no doubt digital transformation is difficult, but when you start small, leverage what you already have, try something new, and honor the value exchange, you can take incremental steps, allowing you to achieve remarkable success. As a marketing partner, Cheetah Digital can help you get there with our cutting-edge platform and global services team of experts.
Want to learn more about what we can do and how we can help you transform your digital marketing? See why Cheetah Digital digital was named a Challenger in the latest Gartner Magic Quadrant Multichannel Marketing Hubs below.
Cathy is a seasoned SaaS executive passionate about the intersection of people and technology to help customers achieve unparalleled success. Her many hats at Cheetah Digital include building the Program Management team, leading the Strategic Services and Experiences Studio teams. When she isn't solving big hairy problems, she likes to spend her time with her doggo, taking in as much nature as possible, singing, writing, and learning to make her own chocolate.