M&E Journal: Building a Digital Highway

By Mary Yurkovic, Director, Smart Content Council, MESA –

The pace for digital transformation has escalated to the point that if your company hasn’t started, you’ll be left behind, stuck in a legacy bubble. And catching up will be nearly impossible without a huge investment.

Instead of trying to catch up with the future, you need a solid foundation in place to execute a digital-first plan effectively.

Digital Transformation Initiatives (DTI) are the integration of digital technology into all areas of a business, fundamentally changing how you operate and deliver value to customers. It also means a cultural change, one that requires organizations to continually challenge the status quo, experiment and get comfortable with failure. It can take years for an organization to transform. According to C-suite level executives, this isn’t an effort to take on without serious vision mapping.

Know your organization

Part of that transformation is acknowledging that you may have multiple generations represented in your workforce. Getting everyone working toward a digital-first business may be a challenge for some executives, who may not embrace the digital world the way millennials do. Make no mistake: As the enterprise technology market expands, digital experience is paramount.

Additionally, in order to successfully implement a digital strategy for your organization, you have to make sure your employees and the processes they use must be aligned with the technology. Only when your technology stack is fully in sync can the digital customer experience come to fruition.

Once you’ve internally adopted a digital-first mindset with your tools and processes, begin focusing completely on fan engagement with your brand. That’s the next stage of customer-centric digital business transformation, where everyone (including CIOs, CMOs and chief digital officers) is focused on the digital customer experience.

Know your customer

You might be shocked (and a little disappointed) to hear just how little some of today’s biggest and most successful brands truly know about their customers. M&E companies are dealing with different customer profiles across disparate information silos, when they should be seeking a system that connects various customer profiles across platforms.

Knowing that every member of your team has access to the same data about a customer — pulled from sales, marketing, direct mail, Twitter, etc. — you’ll find real value from orchestration tools, ones that enable marketers to accurately map out personalization for the digital consumer.

Making your customer experience personal, seamless and relevant is the new battleground in the digital world, and critical for survival. If a subscriber’s personal experience is subpar, they’ll walk away. Any content brand whose customers experience difficulty, confusion or frustration in the digital space risks failure.

So, what does it take to build a digital highway for a company’s digital experience from the inside out? The beginning of a truly digital business starts with focusing on digital operational excellence internally, using the combination of a smart tool set, efficient digital processes, and people who embrace (and challenge) the status quo.

Once you accept this reality, and are able to architect a digital highway plan, the more exciting your brand’s digital future will become.


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