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Everything you need to know about how digital transformation can disrupt your industry

Kathrin Lindner, the digital transformation expert, shares everything about digital transformation


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CoFoundersTown

3 years ago | 5 min read

What is digital transformation?

Why you need a digital transformation to emerge as a leader in your industry?

What are some of the most common mistakes made by organizations on their way to digitally transform themselves? How you can avoid them?

Kathrin Lindner, the digital transformation and marketing expert, shares everything you need to need before planning a digital transformation for your organization!

Kathrin Lindner
Kathrin Lindner

1. What does digital transformation mean in a broader context?

In general terms, digital transformation is the incorporation of digital tools, technology, and security into relevant areas of your business.

It often is fundamentally changing the way businesses operate and deliver value to customers.

Besides the integration of technology, digital transformation is also about cultural change. This means that organizations need to educate and train employees to adapt to the new digital landscape.

2. Why should any organization plan for a digital transformation irrespective of how their business is performing offline? What are the benefits?

Organizations need to evolve in order to adapt to the changing business landscape and stay competitive. Digitalization means business transformation. It can be defined as the enhancement of business processes and competencies to fully leverage the potential of digital technologies.

What’s important in this context is to make sure that digital business transformation is focussed on the specific needs of a business and its customers.

3. Which industries have been disrupted the most through this digital transformation in the last decade?

Unsurprisingly, the most disrupted industries are media being the most disrupted followed by telecoms, consumer financial services, and retail. Additionally, with the introduction of the internet of value, we are expected to see some significant developments in the financial sector in the coming months.

4. What are some of the major challenges faced by organizations undergoing a digital transformation?

Unfortunately, the road to successful digital transformation will not always be smooth. It often involves quite a bit of risk.

One major challenge many businesses face is changing the customer experience.

Today, more than ever, customers value the brand experience. This englobes the shopping journey (offline as well as online), social media, and other touchpoints along the way. In today’s dynamic digital landscape, businesses often do not have a lot of time to adapt to the changing needs of their customers. If they don’t get it right the first time, customers are likely to move to a competitor.

Therefore, the goal when going through digital transformation should always be to focus on the customer journey. Organizations should focus on building a smooth customer experience from the bottom up.

Another major challenge, businesses often experience, is to ensure an omnichannel adaption. These days, customers are not only focussing on one but multiple sales channels when planning to buy something from you.

They’ll check out your website, your socials, or even stop by your physical store, before buying online later. Without having a strong online presence across all online channels, businesses risk leading the majority of their customers away. This is why organizations to ensure they provide a unified brand experience and customer service across all sales channels.

5. With a limited budget, how should organizations decide which online platform would be best for their industry in order to grow digitally?

The first step when choosing an online platform should always be the individual goals of a business. Secondly, when trying to grow an online presence on social media, the audience and generation an organization intends to target are crucial in order to decide on a platform.

In general terms, I’d advise focusing on social media platforms with a high organic reach such as TikTok, Pinterest, or LinkedIn, for businesses with a limited budget, as those promise the highest ROI.

6. Can you share the thought process that should go behind coming up with a marketing strategy to grow online?

A good digital marketing strategy is characterized by a very deliberate decision-making process. This should cover your overall goals, your buyer persona, the most suitable digital sales channels, and funnels that will help you achieve them.

Setting the foundation right or wrong can either make or break the success of your digital marketing strategy. This is why it is important to not skip any of the above-mentioned steps.

7. Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn have been some of the best platforms to grow businesses. Please share some platform-specific strategies that could help businesses grow quickly on these platforms?

To set expectations right, I believe it is important to distinguish between “paid” and “still organic” social media platforms.

While organic reach on platforms like Facebook and Instagram is low, businesses can achieve great results through using their paid ads manager. Facebook’s ad platform allows for a specific customer targeting via custom and lookalike audiences. Therefore, it is very powerful.

As LinkedIn is still in its early stages of becoming a more social platform, organic reach currently is high. This means that businesses with a limited budget can achieve great results. The same applies to TikTok.  

8. What are some of the misconceptions people have about moving their businesses online?

Often, people connect the word "digital transformation" to artificial intelligence, blockchain, cloud computing, machine learning, etc. While digitalization certainly includes the implementation of new technologies, it is not only about tech! In fact, it is much more than that.

Beyond technology, components such as digital strategy, customer interaction, the organizational structure, company culture, operational excellence, online security, and employee transition play an important role as well when moving a business online.

9. What are some of the most common mistakes made by organizations while moving their business online for the first time?

Digital Transformation should be viewed as an ongoing, continuous journey of change. In today’s dynamic digital world, customer expectations, technologies, and strategies change on an ongoing basis.

Often, businesses treat digital transformation as a one-time exercise and forget about its dynamic nature.

Another common mistake made by organizations when digitally transforming their business is to move too quickly. While there is nothing wrong with having short-term transition goals, businesses need to keep in mind that internal processes and systems need to keep functioning.

That being said, digital transformation works best through the completion of manageable steps instead of massive swoops that can cause interruptions.

10. For any business owners/entrepreneurs/freelancers planning to digitalize their business, what would you like to advise them?

Digital Transformation requires change at all levels of an organization. Therefore, it is important to ensure relevant stakeholders and decision-makers are involved in the process.

Digitalization isn’t simply about adopting new tech in a day or two. Instead, it should be treated as a continuous process of change, learning, and adaptation.

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