How Digital Transformation Can Boost Customer Loyalty
According to a recent report from the Altimeter Group, 88% of organizations are undergoing some type of digital transformation.
But what does that really mean? Altimeter defines digital transformation as “the realignment of, or new investment in, technology and business models to more effectively engage digital customers at every touchpoint in the customer experience lifecycle.” Why are companies actively pushing this digital transformation? Because doing so improves the customer experience, which increases loyalty and helps turn customers into brand ambassadors.
It’s a worthwhile goal but much easier said than done. The level of the person selected to lead the initiative is one key indicator of how important a digital transformation initiative is to a company. In general, the more important the initiative, the more senior the leader. According to a recent survey by e-Spirit, 62% of companies pursuing digital transformation are tying it to the C-level. Chances are good they see it as having a major impact on their success.
Digging deeper, who from the executive suite is driving digital transformation? The e-Spirit survey shows the CMO is leading the charge in a majority organizations. While CIOs and CTOs are still a factor in a subset of companies, the real driver is marketing.
Targeted communication improves customer experience worldwide
In today’s economy, many business-to-business companies have customers spread throughout the world. While that helps expand your customer base, pushing into global markets does increase the importance of having a global communication plan, processes and tools in place. How does your company share news and information with its customers if they speak different languages or are located on the other side of the world? With so many channels available to help you connect with your global customer base, how can you ensure that the right messages are going to the right people in the right locations at the right time?
But don’t fear this global growth, embrace it. Business-to-business companies need to put in place the infrastructure they need to communicate across all channels. Why is this important? By helping organizations use content more effectively and consistently they can improve the customer experience across all touchpoints and throughout the entire customer journey.
No matter how long they’ve been in business, business-to-business companies must face the reality of a digital world in which customers expect a company’s websites to provide them with all the information they need on any platform they choose. To maintain competitiveness in global markets in the digital age means effectively managing communication channels to support your company’s globalization goals and marketing strategies.
Here are four questions that business-to-business companies should think about when determining if they are truly focused on building customer loyalty.
- Is your Web presence consistent? In other words, do your websites around the world present a cohesive brand image along with appropriate localizations consistent with your quality expectations?
- Does your website connect with different cultures? It may not seem obvious to some given the adoption of English as the lingua franca of business but in many geographies it’s a major upgrade if your content management system (CMS) is able to support multiple languages. Just as important to understand is that some terms and symbols mean different things in different cultures and an advanced CMS should address that issue.
- How easy (or difficult) is it for content creators and editors? Creating and editing content for your digital marketing programs and websites can be difficult because marketing and IT have to work together and they usually don’t have the same priorities. Make sure that content creators and editors have the ability to work directly in the websites without having to involve IT to get the changes posted.
- Is your technology investment future-proof? Stay away from vendor lock-in. Using best-of-breed technology allows you to be more flexible and simplifies integration with other web applications. Doing so allows you to communicate with your customers faster and more easily which helps your company create an advantage over competitors.
To be successful in the growing global economy, business-to-business companies must move into the digital realm. Today’s world demands a strong digital presence on any device. Managing it all calls for the kind of central hub at the helm that a good content management system offers, working efficiently in the background, making data accessible for use and reuse, monitoring versions and languages, and providing an easy way for content creators to use it.
Oliver Jaeger is vice president global marketing and communications for e-Spirit Inc. in North America.