Defining Digital Business Transformation

March 1, 2009

Well for my first post on my new blog, I thought I better explain what this digital transformation thing is all about. For me, (and it seems like most of the rest of the world) digital channels, tools, techniques and marketing mechanisms, have been the single biggest shift in the way that business conducts itself, and we live our lives in the last 15 years.

I have been fortunate enough to have my career match this growth path, and also been fortunate to be exposed to multitude of different channels, techniques, clients, countries, people and experiences that have enabled me to drive improvements in business value and performance through use of digital techniques.

In short digital was, and still is the single most impactful way to change business performance for the better right now and for the foreseeable future.

At a simplistic level, this can take 2 forms, cost reduction and revenue generation:

Cost Reduction:

Current digital trends such as social media, search engine optimization, segmented email etc create a platform for reducing the costs and increasing the efficiency of bloated marketing budgets. The era of excess in this area is behind us.

eCommerce is now well established as a cheaper (note – I did not say ‘cheap’) form of targeting some customer segments.

Recruitment, operations, supplier management, finance are all now done using digital marketplaces, forums, sites and tactics, drastically reducing cost and improving efficiency.

Revenue Generation

At the risk of stating the obvious, digital allows businesses to broaden their markets to different geographies, tailor their offer to segments quickly and cheaply, trial and test new propositions, cross and upsell in a targeted manner, deliver laser-targeted marketing (so good its a service) to build tribes of brand advocates.

This all adds to the top-line performance of the business balance sheet, and (whisper it quietly) generally comes at a better margin that other channels too.

No Digital Evangelist.

I love the channel for a number of reasons, but I am no digital evangelist. I don’t love this channel at the behest of all others. I just knowthat Digital was, is, and remains the best tool available in the businessman’s kitbag to create profitable, agile and winning businesses for the post recessionary age.

Now this blog will post my musings on this subject, and hopefully the musings of some colleagues, friends, advocates and adversaries as well. In conjunction with  the To Go Network of digital experts, I hope to continue to assist companies tranform their businesses through digital, to become leaner, more efficient, more relevant and ultimately more profitable entities.