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How to implement a digital transformation strategy post-COVID

Written by Gautam Daswani

The onset of the coronavirus pandemic in March forced a number of businesses to quickly adapt their digital strategies. What were likely long-term plans before COVID-19 are now short-term requirements for companies to keep up and maintain a lifeline – all required to be executed in the most efficient and shortest period of time.   

As an example – out of sheer necessity, healthcare companies pivoted to telehealth and retailers shifted to contactless pickups and deliveries.  Where companies often fail is when they dip their toes into digital experimentation without fully committing.  According to a recent McKinsey & Company study, operations that aggressively adopt bolder digital technologies early on in the transformation process are more likely to succeed.

By making sure your company implements these specific tools, you can manage your digital transformation with a modernized approach to successfully tackle present day complications.

Data Collection

Few digital transformations are likely to have success without prioritizing data collection. Analyzing data gives better insight into your customers preferences and habits allowing  businesses to form strategies around these analyses.  Despite the economic doubt brought on by the pandemic, your company will find long-term success if you can create datasets highlighting customer demands and market trends. This information can be used to test new products and increase engagement with your clients.    

In addition, data collection gives the ability to pinpoint inefficient practices and holes in your strategy assisting your business to maintain a forward-looking approach.  By noting trends that locate potential opportunities or possible problems on the horizon, you can take advantage to develop new strategies and venture into new markets.  Forbes has previously reported that poor data cost businesses millions of dollars per year.

Social media selling strategies

Taking part in a digital transformation requires innovative steps to make sure your strategy keeps up with the times. This includes having your sales team leverage your brand’s social media outlets to interact with consumers – this has become a virtual necessity. 

As per OptinMonster, more than 75 percent of salespeople taking advantage of social media selling strategies are outselling their counterparts who aren’t utilizing social selling.  

Social selling allows you to be where your customers are, instead of relying on cold calls or emails.  An estimated 90 percent of people have used social media to interact with one of their preferred brands, according to a survey from SproutSocial.

Email marketing campaign

One of the key parts to any digital transformation strategy is an email campaign that gets your brand and products into the public arena.  Using customized messages adds a personal touch and establishes a stronger connection between your company and customers. Back in March and April, you may remember companies sent a litany of automated emails to their customers regarding the pandemic. While some certainly provided helpful policy updates, others came off as tone-deaf and unnecessary.  Whether it be offers, policy changes or just an update, this stresses the need for intentional communication and a valid reason as to why the recipient is receiving information from your company 

Whatever your plan may be, know that email marketing is also a crucial way to keep up with your competition. A survey last year from Campaign Monitor reported that among small businesses, Facebook was the only more commonly used marketing channel over email. 

CRM system

Though last on this list, customer relationship management is arguably the most important piece of the puzzle when it comes to your wider digital transformation goals.  With customer needs at the center of your strategy, you can build a sustained base of clients with a strong value proposition. 

The benefits of a CRM system include keeping customer contacts up to date to perform the tasks above, track their history of interactions with your company and capability to oversee their accounts. This system allows you to drive growth through higher rates of customer interaction with your company and in turn, retention.

While looking to the future of our new normal during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, a digital transformation that prioritizes customers through these above strategies is sure to give your company the forward-thinking approach it needs to succeed.

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