May 3, 2021
How COVID has changed... digital transformation
Question: What do you think is the single biggest consideration for brands undergoing digital transformation post-pandemic?
Rethinking your approach. While virtually every large enterprise talked about and started to tackle digital transformation before the pandemic, Covid-19’s impact on businesses of all shapes and sizes laid bare the need for brands to rethink how they approach transformation — discarding expensively produced, but often vague and unactionable consulting documents or monolithic roadmaps for more agile and actionable frameworks.
Because the notion of digitization and digital transformation is now more-or-less ubiquitous, brands need to be thinking about digital acceleration. They need to ensure that they have the systems and tools to support their transformation efforts. And, that they have the processes and cultural mindsets to foster a more incremental and iterative approach to transforming customer and employee experiences.
For example, let’s take personalization. It’s been a buzzword in the digital marketing world for a few years with very few brands even scratching the surface of what is possible. Moreover, there is overwhelming evidence that users prefer personalized experiences. And yet, according to Gartner’s Hype Cycle for digital marketing, personalization and personalization engines are mired in what they call the “trough of disillusionment,” with an estimated five to ten years before personalization reaches the “plateau of productivity” and is widely adopted. On top of that, the ever-changing digital landscape — particularly around user tracking and personal data is intimidating. Brands are reluctant to wade into the fray because they’re worried, they don’t have all the answers.
But the acceleration mindset says that “the perfect is the enemy of the good.” So, rather than wait for conditions to be perfect and for the data, privacy, and content stars to align, the goal should be to start small. Perhaps it starts by piloting a personalization program with a subset of audience segments, beginning with some basic data collection and anonymous user profiling. Then, asking a simple question: ”If I know x about a user, how would that change my communication to them?”. The rest of the program can follow, with key learnings serving as the foundation for a more holistic, omni-channel journey.
When brands adopt an acceleration mindset and adopt agile change management approaches, they’ll be more prepared and equipped to take on the next disruptive challenge, whatever form it may take.