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Determining the Next Steps of Your Digital Transformation Journey

Title Image - Determining the Next Steps of Your Digital Transformation Journey

Now that you know what a typical marketer’s digital transformation initiative looks like, you are one step closer to further personalizing the customer experience. While digital transformation can be incredibly useful and rewarding when done right, there’s a variety of challenges and decisions that need to be made across your organization. For this reason, it can take time. It’s a continuous process, one that you iterate on over time.  

In our recent Level Up episode, Addressing Common Cliches of Digital Transformation, Tyler Williams, our Managing Director of Sales at Lev, mentioned, “Companies who are doing this right, it’s taking them six months to a year to even set the plan in place for digital transformation because what it takes is not just your brand manager or your marketing manager saying, ‘Ooh, I’m going to buy a new piece of technology.’ That is not digital transformation. The companies that are actually doing this effectively are ensuring true organizational alignment at the top. That means you’re typically aligning your office of your CTO/CIO alongside your CMO as those are the groups we are seeing drive true digital transformation since they see the potential of new technological advancements enabling the customer experience.” 

While this can sound daunting, breaking up each step of your digital transformation can help. It’s important to start small and focus on quick wins. Begin by removing roadblocks that are preventing you from accomplishing your objectives. In this article, we'll explore helpful next steps for teams looking to move forward in their digital transformation journey, but not sure where to start.


Strengthening Your Foundation: Centralizing Data

Successful digital transformation initiatives begin with identifying the data you need to improve internal processes, and most importantly, enhance the customer experience. Before you start collecting and consolidating your data, be sure you have a clear understanding of your business objectives and any key performance indicators (KPIs). Having these on hand will be useful when showing the value of digital transformation to key stakeholders.  

By tying your digital transformation initiative to overall business objectives, you can develop a solid understanding of the data you need to measure how successful your efforts are in helping your company achieve those objectives, as well as what data will be needed to help improve the customer experience. 

Start by identifying all the different data sources you have across your tech stack, including structured and unstructured databases, platforms, integrations, and spreadsheets. Then work with your technology teams to create a roadmap detailing how to centralize this data and establish a single source of truth. Many companies today are investing in Customer Data Platforms or CDPs to help them achieve this.


Utilizing Data to Enable Deeper Segmentation Across Your MarTech Stack 

Once you have your data centralized and activated in your MarTech stack, it’s time to put that data to use. An effective way to increase relevancy within your target market is implementing deeper segmentation. This will enable your team to send more personalized communications and build unique customer journeys.  

When beginning to build your segmentation strategy, it’s okay to get back to basics. Consider incorporating the following pieces of data:  

  • Demographics - Leveraging basic demographic information like gender and location can help increase customer engagement. 

  • Engagement - Are your customers actively engaged or unengaged? Knowing this can empower you and your team to target customers appropriately. 

  • Purchasing Behavior - Looking at what your customers are buying or not buying enables you to provide more relevant product recommendations.  

Once you have this information centralized, it’s easier to find commonalities within different groups. You’ll see natural segments begin to form.  In our most recent webinar, A Digital Transformation Fireside Chat with SPARC Group LLC, Karilyn Anderson, the Group Vice President of Digital Marketing & CRM, spoke about how Forever21 strengthened their segmentation strategy with the Lev team. After two weeks of segmentation testing with Lev, they discovered that only 15% of their subscribers contributed over 70% of their total revenue via email. As a result of implementing a new segmentation strategy, they maintained 100% of their revenue while sending 60% fewer emails.   

By establishing a segmentation strategy closely tied to your overall company objectives, you can discover new ways to engage with customers and send more relevant content that will encourage them to move further down your marketing and sales funnel.  


Automate Repetitive Manual Tasks to Prioritize More Impactful Objectives 

Section Image - Automating Repetitive Tasks

If one of your main roadblocks is keeping up with your day-to-day activities, there’s an opportunity to automate tedious, manual tasks. When you are able to automate these tasks, you can free yourself and your team to work on more impactful initiatives. You can begin overcoming pain points by performing one simple task: List them out. Whether it’s on a spreadsheet, Slack, or even a napkin, listing these out gives you a visual of the roadblocks you should focus on removing, starting with the ones that are most time-consuming and provide the least organizational and customer value.  

Marketing automation tools are built for the purpose of creating efficiencies so marketers can focus on higher-level tasks that require creativity and strategic thinking. Take a closer look at what you own today and understand the capabilities. What’s on your pain point list that your existing marketing automation tools can help with today?  

Most of these automation tools come with machine learning and AI features that you can use to streamline marketing processes such as lead management, email marketing, social media management, and analytics tracking. They can also enable you to collect behavioral data from your website so you can improve the customer experience. Start to leverage what already exists “out-of-the-box." It can be as simple as using built-in mobile-friendly email templates or adding automated product recommendations based on purchase history to your emails and web pages. 


Discover New Personalization Use Cases to Enhance the Customer Experience 

At the center of your digital transformation should be your customers. If your digital transformation initiative doesn’t improve the customer experience, then it may be time to ask your team and other key stakeholders whether undergoing such an initiative is worth it. Though, with your customer data centralized, segmentation more developed, and many manual tasks automated, digital transformation can open new opportunities to enhance personalization.  

Let's go back to data for a moment. Whenever you introduce new data to your centralized database or data platform, ask yourself, “Will this new data help enhance the customer experience?” If that new data opens a new use case for personalization, it’s worth exploring. The goal of this practice is to not only continue to grow and enhance your data, but to also ensure it and your processes work together to create a more relevant content experience.  

Next, think about the content you have available today that is most relevant to your customer segments. What content are you missing? What new content do you think would be most impactful to your audience? If you think you need more personalized content, but don’t have the time to manually provide product, service, or content recommendations, there are AI-powered personalization platforms, such as Salesforce’s Marketing Cloud Personalization platform (formerly known as Interaction Studio), that can enable you to deliver custom content directly on your website based on what lifecycle stage your customers may find themselves in.  

Once you consider all the avenues you could go down to personalize your customers’ experience, start to identify what personalization use cases would be most impactful and prioritize from there. You could create custom journeys that A/B test different email messaging, deliver highly customized content or product recommendations via personalization platforms, or invite certain segments to relevant webinars or workshops. The possibilities for personalization are endless. What’s critical is evaluating what will be more impactful for your audience because when your audience is getting what they need from you, they will keep coming back and seeking you when they are facing their toughest problems.  

Looking for more tips on how you can ensure your digital transformation initiative is primed for success? Listen to a recent Level Up episode on digital transformation to learn how you can avoid common cliches and preconceptions many marketers have when it comes to digital transformation. Also, consider subscribing! By clicking the subscribe button at the top right of the episode page, every other week, you’ll get notified about the latest episode where our sales and marketing experts distill best practices and strategies focused on helping marketers, like you, increase their experience, 1-UP their strategy, and grow personally and professionally.