Joanne Sweeney-Burke
September 29, 2017

Thou Shalt Not Reform: The Digital Transformation Commandment Crippling Organisations

Transforming: The Impact of Digitalization on Major Businesses

Companies that discount digital transformation do so at their peril. In my experience, the digital dilemmas paralysing boardrooms are the very same dilemmas inspiring agile enterprises. 

Larger organisations are finding it more difficult to reform, with CEOs not understanding the value of digital transformation, and so feeling ill-equipped to trigger the reform button. On the other hand, smaller, more agile enterprises are braver and bolder, with an acute awareness that survival of the fittest means those that can adapt quickest.

However, this is not an excuse, it’s an observation. 

As I sit on a €40 Ryanair flight to Brussels, I consider how the disruptive model has become the norm in the Digital Age. I've been behind the doors of boardrooms for almost a decade, preaching the word of World I communications. Sometimes as I spoke, my words reverberated against the digital stained windows, a result of constant battles between decision-makers about digital reform and its "relevance to their sector".


Read More: Robotic Process Automation - Pragmatic Solution or Dangerous Illusion?


Digital Disruption: Step into their customer shoes, and be in their moments 

But what is disruption in digital communications? Quite simply, it's closing the circle on your customer dialogue.  The smartphone has changed the world, but more than that it has changed human behavior. We look at it 150 times a day, seeking answers to our biggest and smallest problems.

Companies need to ask themselves - are they there to answer and to engage?

Digital transformation from a communications perspective is simply about having a 360-degree conversation with your customers, prospects, colleagues, or whomever the target audience may be. The age of the Internet has given everyone a voice, but it has turned the tables of power. Seated now at the top of the table are prosumers, active consumers with a new-found voice ready to use at any opportunity.

The customer experience is the cog in the wheel of digital transformation. Social media has created engagement-ready customers seeking real-time relationships with companies of every kind. Sitting sideways on the same seat are the goliaths of the Internet - search, social and video - controlled by Google, Facebook and YouTube. 

So, if you want to take your seat at this digital dinner table, then you better sing for your supper. 

The Value Switch for Digital Transformation Initiatives

Fail to disrupt, prepare to be disrupted - 10 tips to prepare for Digital Transformation

Give your organisation a sporting chance with digital transformation. Here's my top 10 tips to prepare for the biggest revolution in the modern age.  

  1. You not me
    Remember who's at the top table? Your customer. they expect you to serve up exactly what they want, when and where they need it. 
  2. Mobile gives you digital mobility 
    The smartphone life in my pocket (or handbag) lifestyle has reformed personal behaviour including consumption of content and the speed of purchasing decisions. 
  3. Agility is a head start 
    If you've been training in the digital gym and flexing your transformation muscles then you're ready to make the changes. Agility is key ingredient to impactful reform. 
  4. Knowledge is currency in the Digital Age 
    Those with know-how are controlling the Internet. The fake news explosion happened because those engaged in it had a shrewd knowledge of how to rank, optimise and target. Knowledge is power in the Digital Age.
  5. Small changes amass big winsImplementing best practice across all digital channels pays off. A simple open-graph implementation on your website will ignite new traffic sources, while the use of social pixel tracking will help you build custom audiences.
  6. Social storytelling please 
    Our brains are wired to remember stories more than three times that just facts and figures alone. Use stories to trigger conversations that lead to engagement and conversions.
  7. Open the parachute and jump 
    Don’t wait for perfection, you have to jump in to see what needs to be improved and taking action will pay off.
  8. Be different, be you
    The brand or voice you have built up to now, is one that needs to be amplified with digital communications. But keep the personalization and that differentiation, because in an age where the Internet will 5x by 2020, uniqueness will pay off.
  9. Transform with purpose 
    Transform because of your ‘why’ not because you feel pressured. They purpose of your digital journey, ultimately, to benefit your customer will keep you focused and motivated.  
  10. Stick with it 
    Change is constant, digital change is rapid. This is not a sudden re-direction we are taking, we are on a new road.

 Further Reading

About the Author

Joanne Sweeney-Burke is the CEO of Digital Training Institute, a digital marketing consulting and training agency. She is a published author and is currently writing her second digital marketing book. Screenshot 2017-09-28 18.02.23-1.png

A former journalist and PR practitioner, Joanne hosts a weekly podcast called JSB Talks DigitalA life-long learner, Joanne holds a Masters’ Degree in Journalism and a Masters’ Degree in Digital Marketing.  She speaks on a range of digital topics across the globe and is a Google Partner.

Meet JSB

LinkedIn: Joanne Sweeney-Burke
Podcast: JSB Talks Digital
Twitter @tweetsbyJSB and @dti_ie
Vlog: Digital Training Institute on YouTube
Facebook: Digital Training Institute

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