The rapid rise of digitally-driven business has forced brand guardians across sales, digital and marketing into digital transformation projects that are designed to protect their revenue streams and brand equity.
Among the 2,000 UK business leaders surveyed in recent research from Vodafone, 69% admitted that they won’t survive unless they embrace digital transformation, while 79% said that digital transformation is a strategic priority.
Is it time that your business embraces digital transformation?
This illustrates how investment in digital transformation has become a pre-requisite for future growth. However, organisations tend to under-estimate the investment and the process required to maximise ROI.
Many often realise halfway through the project that they had not planned for the sheer scale of change taking place across all areas of the business.
As an example of this, a change of brand name may mean the company also changes its website URL and then creates a substantial SEO strategy to divert web traffic, ensuring the brand’s new visual identity and core values are communicated coherently throughout.
The importance of re-engagement
In highly competitive online marketplaces such as the travel and tourism industry, failing to re-attract and re-engage customers will have a huge negative impact on sales.
If a recognisable online brand and a broad digital presence can provide a competitive advantage and better financial results, unfortunately, the opposite can also be true.
So how can businesses maximise ROI in a digital transformation project and secure that competitive advantage?
1. Make the brand a strategic starting point
Analysis from VIM Group has found that businesses perform better when the brand is taken as a strategic starting point. In other words, bringing the brand and your business strategy closer together can boost a company’s bottom line.
That means it’s important to have a clearly defined brand proposition and brand organisation before any digital transformation project.
You’ll need to consider every aspect of the brand from an operational, tactical and strategic sense.
How can your products and services be improved, and how can brand channels communicate that improvement? How can you improve the brand supply chain to also improve the quality, productivity and business results of your organisation?
2. Plan for a tidal wave of change
Don’t underestimate the task: with a huge range of elements that require attention, a slapdash approach risks missing out key components and gives a bad impression to consumers.
Comprehensive planning creates a competitive advantage by ensuring the customer journey remains strong throughout. It will be important to audit all assets and focus on priorities, mapping those assets and their corresponding channels.
This enables you to create an efficient plan of action. The more detail, the better.
3. Consider your channels
The digital revolution has brought about huge changes in the way brands manage their channels. A transformation project is a good opportunity to refresh the organisation’s thinking in this area.
For example, your website is no longer the focus. Instead, the website is a hemisphere of elements that can be split up: social media, systems and databases, CRM, apps, third-party sites, digital asset management, adverts, SEO and content are all affected.
The role of social media
Social media has also changed the nature of brand ownership, whereby brands do not have total control of their own channels. Instead, the brand is ‘managed’ in part by users across their own social channels – the brand can lead that conversation. But it is ‘owned’ and generated by consumers. This requires a more collaborative and agile method of management.
Brand owners also have to consider the role of content, mobile-first optimisation and the very limited space available to express themselves.
Space is limited firstly by our device screens, secondly by changes to graphic design styles and thirdly by the restricted mental and emotional space that busy consumers can give to your brand amidst a crowded field of competitors.
4. Prioritise brand governance and organisation
An organisation’s brand is its most valuable intangible asset, therefore it should be much more than a marketing tool. It’s surprising that more companies do not organise their brand in the same way they organise their business administration.
Approaching brand management in the same way you approach business administration can boost analysis, strategy, operations and evaluation.
To create a comprehensive and dynamic brand experience, an organised digital asset database is vital.
This comprehensive brand asset library acts as the building blocks for the organisation’s identity, putting the organisation on a surer footing for the future where brands need to be more than just coherent.
But they also need to be fluid and responsive, with everybody across the organisation having input into its effectiveness. In short, a strong brand requires strong organisation.
Factors such as your vision, mission, products and shared beliefs across the organisation come together to create a strong brand. Without logic, there’s no magic!
5. Make it measurable
Finally, having clearly defined metrics and KPIs from the outset will ensure you can benchmark, track and improve as the process evolves.
A good data dashboard is ideal, allowing the organisation to pull together a variety of data streams from various sources. This enables real-time monitoring and informs any adjustments.
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