If You’re Not Working On This Now, You Can Be Sure Your Competitors Are Ahead Of You
We’re a strategic revenue growth agency. All that means is we try to help our clients rise above the ocean of marketing tactics and look more holistically at how they’re making each prospect’s buyer journey easier, more educational and more personal.
It also means helping our clients understand how that ties directly to driving them to exceed their revenue goals month in and month out.
This always includes looking at marketing, sales and customer service for ways to improve the experience for prospects and customers. It means knowing what to say to whom and when to say it. That’s the strategy. But there is much more.
Digital transformation means being selective and smart about what tactics to deploy.
It means knowing what metrics to measure to be sure that the strategy and tactics are delivering real business results.
And it means helping clients leverage technology to improve efficiency around delivery and make those business outcomes even better.
Unfortunately, most people are still looking at revenue from a very narrow perspective. We need a new website. We need more leads. We need more content. These are most of the requests we get. Not we’re looking at digitally transforming our prospects’ and customers’ experiences.
Proof Digital Transformation Might Be The Next Industrial Revolution
Today, I’d like to share some data points from respected outside sources to get your attention and help you start thinking differently about how you execute your marketing, sales and customer service for the remainder of this year and beyond.
- Two-thirds of global CEOs will start focusing on digital strategies to improve customer experience by the end of 2019. *Seagate
- 34% of companies have already undergone a digital transformation. *Smart Insights
- 56% of CEOs said digital improvements have led to revenue growth. *Gartner
- 75% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase from a company that knows their name and purchase history and recommends products based on their preferences. *Accenture
- More than half of consumers expect a response from customer service within an hour, even on weekends. *Edelman Digital
- 80% of consumers look up product information, reviews and prices on their smartphones while shopping in a physical store. *OuterBox
- 60% of companies think they’re providing a good mobile experience, but only 22% of consumers feel the same. *Qualtrics
- 76% of consumers think companies should understand their expectations and needs. *Salesforce
- Email is the most commonly used customer service channel, with 54% of consumers using email to contact a company in 2018. *Forrester
- An additional 34% of companies say they’ll fully adopt digital transformation in the next 12 months. *Seagate
- 33% of consumers who ended their relationship with a company last year did so because the experience wasn’t personalized enough. *Accenture
- 79% of millennials are more willing to buy from brands that have a mobile customer service portal. *Microsoft
- More than 60% of Americans prefer solving basic customer service issues through a self-service website or app. *MTD Sales Training
- AI spending is expected to total $35.8 billion in 2019, a 44% jump from 2018. *IDC
- 73% of consumers use more than one channel during their shopping journey. *Harvard Business Review
- 65% of consumers research products online before stepping inside a store. *Retail Dive
- 71% of consumers want a consistent experience across all channels, but only 29% say they actually get it. *Gladly
- 53% of people will abandon a mobile site if it takes longer than three seconds to load. *Google Marketing Platform
- 57% of people won’t recommend a business if its website isn’t designed well for mobile use. *Sweor
- 72% of customers expect companies to know their purchase history regardless of what method of communication they used, such as chat, phone or email. *NICE
- 9 out of 10 consumers want an omnichannel experience with seamless service between communication methods. *UC Today
- 84% of customer-centric companies focus on the mobile customer experience. *Vision Critical
- 63% of consumers are satisfied getting service from a chatbot, as long as they have the option to move the conversation to a human if needed. *Forrester
- 76% of companies are investing in emerging technology. *Accenture
Your Initial Response
Now that you’ve seen the tidal wave of data supporting what you should be doing, here are the most common reactions to this evolution of business.
First: “This doesn’t apply to me. These are big B2C companies, and my business doesn’t have to worry about this.”
Next: “I get it, but I have bigger, more pressing issues now, and I can get to this, if I want to, in a few years.”
Finally: “My customers don’t care about any of this.”
I understand. Change is hard. As human beings we want to do everything in our power to not change, to maintain the status quo and to keep doing what feels comfortable. It’s much easier to respond to the inevitable with the comments above, to dismiss the reality of how business is changing and to pretend it won’t impact you.
But it already has.
This does apply to you. It applies to everyone. Your customers are already being exposed to improved experiences when they purchase products from Amazon and watch movies on Netflix. The big brands that are embracing digital transformation are the same brands that sell products and services to your customers every single day.
If your customers have used Uber or Lyft, they’ve had a brand-new service experience. If they’ve traveled on American Airlines and had a flight cancelled, they’ve seen how quickly the airline helps customers rebook, right from their phones in seconds. Next-day delivery from Amazon has transformed how businesses order suppliers.
B2B executives are seeing digital transformation everywhere, and they’re going to expect it from the companies they do business with.
What You Should Do About It Today!
Business have a variety of priorities. Your first decision must be around deciding, as a company, if this is a top priority for your business. While I think it should be at the top of the list, if you and your leadership team don’t, it’s not worth pursuing.
If this is important and you’re ready to invest time, resources and money into making sure your company doesn’t become the next Blockbuster Video, then your first step is to gain a deep understanding of exactly how your prospects buy.
This buyer-journey-mapping exercise uncovers an incredible amount of insights as we go through this with our clients.
Some of those insights include how prospects come to be aware that they even have an issue and where they go for initial information, because it’s rarely from solution/service providers. One little-known fact is most people turn to trusted friends, colleagues and peers first. If that’s the case, you need to be working on creating an army of advocates for your company.
Eventually, potential customers will find themselves on your website, and that site must be more than an electronic brochure for your company. Throwing content into a resources section isn’t going to cut it anymore. Your site has to be perfectly aligned to each prospect’s buyer journey, and each page needs to be designed and written to help them along their journey.
From there, it gets more complicated. Over 200 tactics can be deployed around marketing and sales, and each needs to be perfectly aligned to the prospect’s buyer journey, with the messaging equally aligned.
The technology available to you has never been easier to access and it has never been better. Advanced automation solutions make keeping in contact with clients simpler. AI-based tools make personalizing that experience highly effective. The insights and analytics provided by these tools allow you to see in real time exactly what’s working and what’s not.
Today, you can fix issues in minutes and see improvements in hours.
Don’t Try To Boil The Ocean
For most businesses, this is a massive undertaking. Digitally transforming your prospects’ and customers’ experiences with your company could take years to full execute.
One of the keys is to start small. Create the ultimate vision, but then break that down into bite-size chunks. Remember, even the longest journey starts with just one step. Take that first step, and as long as you know where you’re going (strategy) and what it will look like and feel like to your customers when you get there, you can easily line up each and every small step.
You won’t have to wait for the entire journey to be over to realize the business impact and results either. Every step you take improves an element of performance.
You might start working on the end of the buyer journey and improve your close rate. That’s going to drive revenue.
You might start at the beginning of the buyer journey and improve the number of leads coming in. That’s going to drive revenue.
You might start at the middle of the buyer journey and improve the quality of leads or the conversion rate from lead to sales opportunity. That’s going to drive revenue.
But when you get all the pieces in place, that’s when you’ll be in a position to have a revenue generation machine that produces repeatable, sustainable, scalable and predictable revenue growth month over month. It’s going to take time, but when it’s all done, you’ll see the growth you always expected.
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