Cutting Through the Digital BS

In an industry that’s littered with buzzwords, perhaps the marketers favourite of current is “Digital Transformation”. Despite the exorbitant use of this term, it appears to be as though there’s no clear definition on what “Digital Transformation” actually means for marketing.

 

Damien Bennett

Some associate it with people, others with technology yet the true meaning lies closer to the surface than we think. In fact the people that promote digital transformation the most are salespeople. And whilst one can understand why the terminology offers a somewhat unique sales opportunity (feeding off the urgency it creates), the use of the word ‘transformation’ indicates the need for complete business realignment. Which nine out of ten businesses don’t actually need.  

Businesses are consistently being pushed in the wrong direction, and while the role that digital plays within the industry is critical, it should be used to amplify existing traits, not to disrupt areas that already perform well. We should be replacing the term ‘transformation’ with ‘augmentation’ – improving what already exists, and focusing on areas that will achieve material growth. In other words it is better to do a few things really well than a lot of things badly.

When we consider digital augmentation, there are three clear areas, or strategies that will actually make a difference, and ultimately drive performance.

  1. Better measurement = better decisions
  2. Use automation to be fast and relevant
  3. Digital-led creative strategy

Better Measurement Equals Better Decisions

Marketers need to be asking themselves how much their reporting is really telling them. While the capabilities of measuring have burgeounded substantially over the last decade, few businesses possess more than a basic understanding of their actual performance. In such a competitive industry putting pressure on your reporting will enable you to gain a more granular understanding of your consumer; who they are, what they are buying and how they bought it. In short, better reporting and measurement capabilities equals better decisions which in turn results in significantly better results. 

Use Automation to be Fast & Relevant

There’s no denying that the digital marketing industry is rife with competition, which only increases the cost of media and drives the maturity of advertisers to new heights YoY. However one way businesses can stay competitive is leveraging the use of automation to be both fast and relevant. Whether it’s stock availability, competitor stock levels, price competitiveness or external factors, using smart automation within your business can change the way you target, your investment, your messaging and dynamically change your product and price. It will allow you to ensure the accuracy of your product feed, while enabling you to develop a granular understanding of the impact of changes.

Digital-led Creative Strategy

Brands need to start thinking about their creative through a digital lens; using the opportunities that digital presents to upgrade their creative assets. More often than not, creative is thought of in a traditional, static sense – which leads to missed possibilities and a lack of shareability. Businesses should be using the power and relevance of digital to inform their creative decisions; increasing engagement and performance through the use of interactivity. When you add interactive units to your ads you can increase your engagement levels by 10x. And the higher the engagement, the lower the required media investment to achieve the same result. In short, higher engagement leads to far better results with the same level of media investment.

While the opportunities that exist will naturally vary from company to company, few can argue against the benefits of cutting through some of the digital marketing BS when it comes to the transformation narrative. We should be focusing on the digital strategies that are actually going to make a difference for our businesses.

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