How I use the digital transformation model to integrate your digital strategy with your overall business goals

November 14, 2018

When it comes to bringing to life your business plan and achieving your goals, it’s critical that everyone involved is on the same page and working towards the same outcome – and this is especially vital where the digital world is concerned.

I’ve been saying it for years: a well thought-out digital marketing strategy that’s been fully integrated with your business plan is the foundation for success. And when it comes to interconnecting the two, I use the digital transformation model as the basis of my philosophy.

But what is digital transformation?

Digital has revolutionised logistics, sales, marketing and operational processes. Digital transformation in a nutshell is identifying where digital can, or should be integrating with, improving, or even replacing your traditional non-digital ways or working.

It requires you to really challenge your operations and processes – are they equipped to cope with what you’re trying to achieve? what could be done to make them more streamlined? and could automation save you time?

It means working through all the people involved in your business to discover how knowledgeable of and onboard with your digital strategy they are. This includes your staff, clients, stakeholders and suppliers.

Identifying the gaps and opportunities for digital transformation

To take you through the process of fully integrating your digital strategy with your business strategy, I’ll sit down with you over a coffee and together we’ll give the six key elements of your business a percentage score for how involved with your digital strategy they are.

The 6 key steps of digitizing your business I follow are:

  1. Sales Pipeline – The first element to consider is your sales – can you save your sales team time, or strengthen their sales routines by putting more information online that supports a sale? Are your team fully aware of the resources available online? Are they trained in how to use them?Having a streamlined sales pipeline will make that first crucial step in growing your business considerably easier.
  2. Operations and Support – The next step is to consider the overall logistics of delivering your product or service. Do you have a digital ordering process that can handle the increased sales? Is it in line with the promises you’re making? Does your online transaction accurately represent your delivery timescale and price?Making promises you can’t meet, such as next day delivery to the UK, is detrimental to your brand image and frustrating for customers. On the flip side, you may be missing an opportunity to allow customers to fully engage with the delivery by tracking shipments, reordering simply, seeing custom prices, and much more.
  3. Technology – Is your technology letting you down or does it fully support what you’re trying to do? Is your website as agile and user-friendly as possible? And is your equipment efficient?These are all questions that need to be asked to avoid issues. For example, if due to a stock control error your website processes 60 orders despite you only having stock for 40, you’re going to be in trouble.
  4. Human resource management – As your staff are the first point of call for most organisations, ensuring they’re fully trained and aware of your overall business goals and digital strategy is vital to success. A perfect example of this not being carried out is when I called up a company’s reception desk to ask for their Twitter handle – and was told they weren’t allowed to give it out.
  5. Marketing – Do your online and traditional marketing have consistency and work together effectively? The two should complement each other and work hand-in-hand rather than appearing disjointed. Even with ever increasingly tighter controls over personal data, digital adds a powerful arm to your broader marketing effects and needs to be central to your marketing and business plan. Is your marketing team fully embracing the opportunities of both digital and traditional marketing?
  6. Financial Management – This means making sure that your financial plans are fully incorporating digital, for example that your financial predictions are taking online sales into account, and that as much is being done digitally as possible to save your finance staff time.The result will be a table looking something like this:
100%75%50%25% or less
Sales Pipeline
Operations and Support
Human Resource Management
Financial Management

This will allow us both to identify which areas of your business need the most time and work invested into them to bring all six elements up to 100% on board with your digital strategy. Afterwards, we can really get down to the nitty-gritty of recognising where your issues are arising from and rectifying them.