Building the A-Team for Digital Transformation

While 2020 has tested us in many ways, a significant impact we have seen across companies is the positive change COVID-19 has on the growth of technologies. We saw companies accelerate the adoption and practical deployment of cloud use and mobile technologies. AI also made a breakout.

Whether it’s a business in the consumer category or B2B, COVID-19 pushed us all into the digital deep end. If you weren’t already swimming in it, you’re treading water now and learning to get comfortable with a mostly digital approach.

Research shows that only about five percent of digital transformations achieve success or exceed expectations. To beat the odds, consider these five rules for a digital transformation from Accenture:

  1. Build a strong digital core in the cloud.Strong cloud capabilities provide you with opportunities to increase innovation and expand capabilities. You want to have 75 percent of your business running in the cloud. Most start-ups are 100 percent cloud based.
  2. Assemblea “digital A-team,” adopting the right technologies to support your customer experiences.A digital atmosphere requires a complex team  committed to being part of the organization and the success of your digital initiatives.
  3. Learn from clients and innovators, using non-traditional ways of solving complex problems.Be curious and learn.Don’t assume you have all the answers in the room or that your current framework is the best option.
  4. Moveat “lean speed,” streamlining processes and removing barriers within the company to make decisions faster.To move fast, you need to have lean decision-making. Create a culture that works fast and remotely.
  5. Act with purpose, communicating values and goals to employees and customers. You must execute with conviction. For speed and agility, people need to be on board with the purpose.

Your business is likely already utilizing the cloud. As you look to improve your digital framework, assembling the A-Team is a vital step. Most companies will assign the obvious players: CIO, IT, security, and legal experts. The A-Team should also include leaders in marketing communications. If your digital transformation is focused on improving the customer experience, the marketing team is best positioned to understand their needs and identify growth opportunities. If the purpose is to create a more agile, remote organization, marketers and communicators will be able to address the cultural changes and communications needed to ensure the successful adoption of new technologies. Unfortunately, engagement and communications are often overlooked because there is no one on the team designated to manage these efforts.

For example, when COVID-19 hit, many companies had their email marketing and social media on autopilot. Those who were on top of it hit pause and were quick to address the new climate. Those who weren’t aware quickly found that messages inviting customers into their store or restaurant weren’t resonating.

For the marketing and communications leaders on the A-Team, this is your moment. Communications, when done right, is a management function providing strategic counsel and direction for the company. Business leaders need your counsel to ensure technology changes and transformations take effect internally and successfully engage customers externally. To gain successful adoption of new technologies, you must anticipate the needs and perceptions of your audience. Anticipate what challenges they might have and be ready to show how the technology can best serve them.

When the Digital A-Team includes marketing leaders focused on communications and behaviors, organizations are better positioned for successful transformations.

Jessica Nunez is president and founder of TruePoint Communications and Inc. 5000 entrepreneur. TruePoint Communications is a rapidly growing integrated communications agency that leverages marketing strategy, digital media and public relations to propel brands forward. 

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