How To Begin The Digital Transformation Process In Marketing And Communications

Caribbean Digital Transformation Project approved: CARICOM BUSINESS -  CARICOM

By Daniela Martucci

The year 2020 proved that we need to “adapt” to the unknown, the “new normal” and the constant transformation of what would become a new state of living — one that meant being “displaced” and personally disconnected. If the global Covid-19 pandemic taught us a lesson, it was that we could incorporate new ways of living by self-isolating yet maintaining social integration via a digital presence.

We worked remotely, home-schooled, quarantined from friends and loved ones, and celebrated birthdays via apps like Houseparty and FaceTime. We used face masks, limited ourselves to outdoor gatherings and used ethyl alcohol and antiseptics, along with other methods of protecting ourselves and our communities. Ironically, although the pandemic separated everyone, life progressed and companies, brands and many big corporations innovated on the way they operated as the world became more connected than ever by finding new ways of delivering experiences with little to no human contact.

But not every brand has been able to adapt — especially in the way they communicate with their audiences. And it’s not about making an old plan fit the new mold; it’s about truly transforming the way a brand communicates.

Some businesses perished, while small businesses emerged to cater to the needs of certain demographics under lockdown. Some traditional big retailers are still struggling with supply chain constraints while adapting and creating their digital spaces. Medical doctors opted for telemedicine, teachers took their lesson plans to Zoom — and the list goes on.

It is without question that every area of business was touched by this global need to adapt to an ever-changing environment in order to survive. Thus, it became important to develop a living, breathing plan to continuously adapt to new trends, new cultures, new technologies and new ways of doing business and interacting with customers.

Those brands and companies that resist this change and continue to operate in the same way while waiting for what once was to come back may struggle or eventually fail.

What now?

As vaccines continue to roll out and parts of the world reopen, companies and brands should strategize to create new corporate culture models.

From a marketing communications standpoint, answer this: Have you measured your digital presence? How are you planning to stand out in a digital universe that knows no boundaries and with nearly immeasurable reach? Employees have changed, customers have changed and international relations and social integrations may have forever shifted. Will you adopt a hybrid model? Does this mean going digital and shifting from the traditional strategies that you had in place? Most importantly, how will you start to implement these changes, and how long will it take?

It begins with leadership and a clear understanding of your company´s new culture.

As a company, you need a clear communications strategy, and all employees and stakeholders should be clear about and on board with the company´s evolution. Establish new goals and objectives that are aligned with the way your target audience has evolved.

Next, make sure there is a rationale behind the decision — the organization needs to understand the “why” behind the execution of this plan. For example, if your company decides to go fully digital, you need to keep your “why” in mind as the company’s portfolio of clients becomes more active on social media and in digital marketing. How are you planning to compete? What will you be offering them in these spaces? Every team member of the company should fully understand the new expectations, their role and why the company made this change in order to innovate and adapt to an irrefutable transformation.

Creativity and new ideas arise when we’re faced with challenges. It’s healthy for companies to get that “facelift” and offer new tools to clients.

You shouldn’t just revamp old solutions and call them new. Show your value and stand out.

Being creative is about innovating and embracing change before others win in your space. Bring in the tools you need to transform into something new.

Today more than ever, the importance of communications is evident. Communication is about experiences and bilateral conversations. It´s about adaptation and catering to new needs as they arise. But it´s also about speed, for the cyberworld is crowded.

Early adopters often do better.

Work with your communications team; understand that now, they need to become creators. They should design and build new, improved and fitting strategies that are unique and that cater to your brand´s specific needs.

Mark my words: Resisting transformation could result in failure.

Have you begun, or are you still catching up?

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