In 2022 digital transformation is the new normal. It has become a part of our day-to-day lifestyles, brands and more. This transformation has increased tremendously meeting the demands of the present day consequently. As the saying goes, change is inevitable. Before we dive into this, let’s understand what digital transformation really is. We can simply define it as the integration of technology into areas of business designed to change how systems, workflow, processes and even culture in an organization operate. In the digital marketing space it is no different, digital transformation carries so much power to shift the paradigm.
“So what are its capabilities?”, you may ask. Let’s dive into this.
An improved customer experience
One of the joys digital transformation brings is the enhancement of customer experience and many brands have hopped onto the bandwagon of setting their products in the best way to serve customers. Mercedes-Benz is one of the great examples, recently they introduced MBUX infotainment, a system that can be controlled via voice and touch input. As if that’s enough MBUX allows settings of up to seven profiles in one car, making the driving experience the absolute best! Could there be a better way to satisfy customers with advancing digital preferences than this? As customers experience digital advancement through their experiences with different brands, it is a call for digital marketers to catch up with the trends and stay up to date with changing demands and expectations.
Improved customer experience through Virtual Try-On
More brands have been able to incorporate virtual reality in their brand strategy. Warby Parker is a brand that retails prescription glasses and sunglasses online. Initially, their strategy provided a free at-home try-on experience for customers allowing them to try different types of products. Warby Parker harnessed the availability of virtual reality and transformed customer experience by introducing virtual try-ons within their mobile app. The “Find Your Fit” feature filters the customer’s face providing personalized recommendations for the frames that look best on them. This strategy has so many benefits as it allows the brand to see feedback from customers which helps boost social proof and sales. At this point we can say DX comes with a solution not only for brands and customers but even for the pandemic era where nobody wants to be sharing products putting their health at risk.
Improved customer experience through augmented reality
The Pokemon game has been around for 26 years! Over the past years of its existence Pokemon has evolved and in 2016 they integrated AR in their mobile games, it took the world by storm as they introduced it as Pokemon GO. This innovation allowed gamers to use smartphones and access the PokemonGO world populated by exotic, fierce monsters, serpents, dragons and other creatures. The fun part of this was gamers being able to access the world just by opening the phone app. This took the customer experience to another level; as they were able to experience gaming the digital way.
Higher Marketing ROI
Digital transformation enables marketers to track the behavior of customers online. With advanced marketing tools such as Sharp spring, marketers are able to learn the behavior of customers online and make strategic decisions based on the data. Marketing automation is a transformation that promotes efficiency as it creates a structure that predicts, follows and then targets the customers. In addition the usage of these AI and machine learning powered software helps marketers in forming the appropriate messaging and communication in marketing based on the behavior of customers. Obviously the behavior of customers must be monitored to ensure the digital marketing strategies are effective. Currently 50% of companies use marketing automation and researchers expect it to reach USD 8.42 billion by 2027. The only way digital transformation is headed is forward at this point. This means that when marketers embrace this transformation in their marketing efforts, the return on investment becomes worth it.
Enhance and boost brand image
As the world becomes more digital, brands find ways to adapt to changes and cater for the transformation by boosting their brand image while giving customers a unique experience. This is what Nike implemented in 2017 they wanted to be perceived as more than a sportswear company and if their merchandise was only sold in retail stores it would limit them and their marketing efforts. With this in mind, Nike implemented their digital strategy that gave customers in-store experiences. This resulted in Nike optimizing the data making more use of the analytics and improving the (UX) user experience. Nike became customer-centric delivering special experiences to buyers who went to their physical stores, this also corresponded with their marketing strategy. They dubbed their digital transformation plan by setting 3 goals; double the innovation, speed to market and direct connection points over the next five years. This resulted in them achieving beyond their target plan to achieve only a 33% lift in direct-to-consumer sales.
In 2021, Nike further embraced digital transformation by acquiring RTFKT Studio, a leading brand leveraging cutting-edge innovation in making shoes for the metaverse. RTFKT uses the latest in NFTs, blockchain authentication and AR to create virtual different products and unique experiences. As world’s leading designer and distributor of authentic athletic footwear and other apparel, Nike will be able to increase its brand awareness, connect with its audience in an authentic way and contribute to the creator economy of the NFTs. Discover more about NFTs and their role in brand-boosting in our previous blog article.
It is tempting to start thinking that automation may take up space and work of the digital marketers, but the truth is it will not, instead it will complement the workflow in business systems. Marketers are encouraged to keep and leverage the power of digital transformation by learning to build, manage and maximize digital platforms, such as websites, social media etc. Digital transformation is here to stay, as technology is advancing. In digital marketing, it’s important to therefore focus on improving customer experience, and providing better customer service using AI that will interact with customers 24/7. Moreover, DX is coming up with solutions as it supports manual marketing efforts resulting in higher ROI of marketing and decisions will be easier to make based on the data provided by analytics. The transformation in the digital marketing arena means that there will be more room for innovation and endless possibilities for solving problems within businesses, not to mention digital marketing platforms where strategies are implemented. Overall, the company culture and experiences within organizations will be empowered by this transformation making work life easy.