As mentioned in the previous article (Digital Transformation, 1/6 – Value Creation), Digital Transformation is in the service of the executive strategy and contributes to create value. We have already addressed value creation through productivity gain (Digital Transformation, 2/6 – Productivity). Let’s focus now on value created by the Digital Presence, meaning on the Internet.
Improving your Digital Presence will increase direct incomes.
This is the most visible part of the Digital Transformation and huge improvements have already been made. Digital presence generates a lot of value: new customers, increasing the average basket or decreasing customer attrition. However, e-business is much different from a sector to another one.
E-business’ ultimate goal is to propose an omni-channel customer journey. For example, I take a look at the products or prices and get a quote from my digital tablet in the evening. Next morning, I call a vendor or chat with him to adjust my chart and my quote. Eventually, I walk to the store or agency to complete the sale. The customer journey is omni-channel, the customer can switch from a channel to another one without any interruption, and access to the same products, prices, discount. On the back-office side, databases are unified and available from web-services or API.
This omni-channel customer journey is obvious to web native start-ups. It’s pretty different to older companies which are to grant access to their IT system from the Web. This may simply not be possible and in order to keep pragmatic, they might content themselves with proposing a multi-channel customer journey which is somehow a way to get started with e-business. In a multi-channel customer journey, online sales process is designed out of the IT core in order to be faster achieved and to overcome technical constraints. In that case, whereas the sales process relies on the Internet, phone or face to face, the customer – quote – invoice databases might be different. Sometimes, specific products are dedicated to online sales. Therefore, the online sales process may not be able to customize the price depending on the client history. The customer account is updated in the IT core from a batch treatment, at night, in an asynchronous way. This is a way to save the day, and to provide a minimalist online sales process in order to reduce client attrition. But this could become a technical brain-teaser, or even a potential time bomb. Getting the customer journey fully omni-channel is an important added-value milestone of the Digital Transformation.
Digital marketing – the cornerstone of sales and digital projects
Whether the customer journey is based on the Internet, phone or face to face, it requires customers. Being available from the Internet can’t be enough, you need to be visible. Increasing digital visibility is the key role of Digital Marketing. In order to be the most efficient ever, Digital Marketing should be part of the initial Sales Strategy. Quite often, the whole value stream is data driven and these data are provided by the Digital Marketing.
Once again, each company has its own strategy and background. Customers and companies’ digital relationship improves gradually and continuously from a manual and single e-mail discussion to a fully integrated social media community, including a corporate blog or a user forum. Furthermore, whether your company sells products or services, in B2B or B2C, its e-reputation must be monitored. User friendly tools or process enable this monitoring and empower you to react efficiently when necessary.
Many projects to improve the digital visibility can be set out, depending on your background and the available resources.
Let’s emphasise this key principle: a step by step move. There is no reason to postpone your projects. The Digital Marketing roadmap can be improved gradually, on an iterative basis, benefiting from customers’ feedback.
You might be tempted to subcontract your Digital Marketing and save time. But Digital Marketing is a key asset of your value chain and your own team should remain committed to it.
Generally speaking, providing your own relevant content is a cheap and efficient way to improve your digital visibility. This is not a technical process but a management one. Employees’ ability to provide expertise articles, technical sheet, answers to customers is often underestimated. This ability is an important mine of web content to explore. Stimulating and highlighting your employees will prove much cheaper than buying web ads.
With a clever and simple approach, XPR-Transition helps you develop your digital presence and improve your digital visibility.
To that extent, let’s assume that your customer journey is omni-channelled and your value chain is Digital Marketing driven. You sell more and better, your customers are loyal, you know them well and you gain new prospects from your competitors.
But you don’t necessary propose new products or services. Next step is now to manage your innovation process which will be the topic of our upcoming article.
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