Digital Transformation - 17 Vital Facts | Hannington Tame
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17 Things You Probably Already Know About Digital Transformation – Now In List Form!

Part 1 – the promise of digital

1. The girl next door – the relationship between a consumer and a brand is now the same as you may, or may not, want to have with your next door neighbour. In other words the distance between a company and its customer is now very short.

2. Big Information – almost anything and everything can now be measured, recorded and analysed.

3. The end of paper – there should be huge internal efficiencies in many aspects but particularly around customer service.

4. The platform effect – the right platform enables you to delegate advocacy to your staff at the coalface and even to your own customers.

Part 2 – misconceptions about Digital Transformation

5. It is NOT a silver bullet – digital is not some extraordinary panacea-like machine that you buy, switch on and suddenly find that all your problems are solved. It is not even one new channel; it comprises many channels and augments and is part of the old channels.

6. Digital is NOT just about machines; it is at heart about people. Digital is a surprisingly human affair – transformation is achieved through people and on the other side of the coin it is seeking to influence people. People (customers) are always at the centre of marketing and this is still just so in a digital world.

7. There is NOT a static end goal – digital mirrors, and in fact often accelerates, life. It is not a fairy tale where there is an end event and everyone lives happily ever after; it is a constantly evolving process.

8. “Not everything that can be counted counts and not everything that counts can be counted” What is the ROI of the doorman at The Savoy?

Part 3 – common problems

9. “We don’t have any data.” Every company has data but it is just either hidden or not stored in a useful format. A better complaint would be – we don’t have the right information.

10. Many dirty databases.

11. Silos – digital transcends silos. Digital transformation thrives in a collaborative culture and is easily killed by a company that enjoys internal politics more than competing with external rivals.

12. Sclerotic change management – digital changes every month. New hardware, new software, new tactics and new strategies mean that the future is less predictable than ever. Fast change makes a company obsolete before a RFP gets approved let alone implemented.

13. Culture – often organizations have a culture of feedback and rewards that repel any attempt to change. Even B2B companies must have a little bit of D2C in their attitude now.

Part 3 – solutions

14. Simple and clear metrics.

15. Culture and education – and the entire organization needs to be educated and pointed in the same direction. Digital demands openness and accountability and should give back in return better sales and better margins. But be careful – this may not be to everyone’s benefit.16. Agility – less of the hierarchical, command and control led forecast based strategy; in digital you need to be agile. Test, measure, kill or improve on small digital projects over short timeframes.

17. People – you need agile, technically savvy, empathetic digital leaders who can work in a collaborative, imaginative and commercial style.

Technology is only as good as the people operating it and data is only as good as the sense you make of it. Immerse your organisation in digital, critically engage with data and tech and ensure you have the best people for the job. If you are looking for a CDO to lead your Digital Transformation, or are looking for a new opportunity yourself, talk to us.

James Minter

James Minter is a partner at Hannington Tame, the digital CEO and C-Suite headhunting specialist.


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