When it comes to digital transformation, there are always new developments, more progressive ways of thinking, and key themes that brands and businesses must consider when building their strategy.  

At times the sheer volume of information can be overwhelming. Here at Mando, we know how fast the industry moves and we understand the importance of furthering our learning – that’s why we recently sent the team to the Digital Transformation Expo (DTX) in Manchester. 

The event sets high standards and always welcomes a range of experienced ‘digital thinkers’ to speak and network. This year the theme was very much based on powering a northern tech revolution – the hosts wanted to look at how the best companies thrive, not just survive, in this era of continual disruption and look at what it takes to find opportunity amid chaos.  

DXT welcomed tech leaders from every sector to answer these questions, share insights on how to embed innovation, turn data into actionable customer insights, build products that excite, and more... 

Here are our key takeaways from DTX and how you can leverage them against your strategy, digital roadmap and future planning. For ease of consumption, we’ve broken them down into 5 topic areas: 

Digital Strategy

  • Establish dedicated teams for prioritised technology implementation - Here at Mando, we often talk about aligning the right people to the right project at the right time. In recent months we’ve looked at moving away from projects towards agile product delivery. What does this mean? Well, in short, it means that you should have a continuous approach to developing your backlog and utilising different skills within the business (or through a retained team via an agency). 
  • Align digital technology initiatives with the overarching business strategy – This could take in things such as a platform selection process where you assess whether you have the right CMS/DXP and that it offers the functionality that you require.  
  • Conduct regular assessments to identify potential disruptions and invest strategically – Auditing is the best way to evaluate your current performance and any gaps that you may have. These can be UX audits, analytic audits or tech audits and help establish a baseline for your future digital roadmap. 
  • Foster a customer-centric approach by understanding their needs and aligning solutions accordingly – Think about all of the customer journeys and touchpoints you have and make sure that you are offering solutions to your audience regardless of their stage in the funnel. 

Customer Service

  •  Implement effective communication channels to derive value and optimise budgets – This could be items like setting up an FAQ section on your site, providing social media updates or reducing the cost to serve by using technology such as digital assistants. 
  • Establish feedback loops to understand customer needs and avoid imposing solutions – User experience is a hot topic in the industry – if you can gather data on what the customer wants and when you can develop accordingly. 
  • Gain confidence and inspire investors by executing successful implementation stories - Case studies are a prime marketing tool and allow you to shout about what you do well. Use them. 
  • Streamline processes and reduce complexity for delivering value to customers - Make digital simpler by making it easier to understand the journey that customers are on. You want to hit them with the content, products, services or options (such as making a payment) at the right time and in the right place. 

Data Strategy

  • Apply AI strategically in specific areas where it can enhance operations and outcomes - Data and analytics are vitally important. Make sure that you have tracking set up to understand the customer journey and the dashboards in place to report on your findings. AI can be used to collect and manage this data and an analytics audit will help you understand this further. 
  • Leverage data insights to break down organisational silos and optimise decision-making processes - Learn from your data – it is that simple. If you can harvest critical pieces of information and target development in areas of high-traffic or value then you will see better returns. 

People and Workforce 

  • Prioritise employee wellbeing as a central component of organisational success: Many firms still do not consider well-being as a fundamental aspect of their success. It is critical to allocate budgets and resources specifically toward physical and mental well-being. 
  • Create people managers: To be a people manager is a challenging skill that requires time and effort. Incorporating people management skills into KPIs will reinforce the importance of this role. 
  • Encourage open dialogue about mental health: Provide avenues for employees to speak out about their mental health conditions anonymously. This can lead to a better understanding of employees’ mental well-being, in a non-confrontational environment. 

AI Strategy 

Evaluate the potential value of AI before adopting them in your business – Ask yourself if AI will help you in the long term. Can you deliver value incrementally by focusing on bite-sized implementation of AI and will they lead to evolutionary improvements? You should also: 
  • Incorporate AI into the customer journey, enhancing multiple touchpoints and experiences. 
  • Test different technologies, including AI, and carefully select those that align with your goals. 
  • Obtain explicit customer consent for AI-powered interactions and aim for increased engagement. 

Final thoughts 

The above bullets cover a fraction of what is currently going on within the industry, the development that is taking place and the conversations around digital transformation. In truth, they show a snapshot and whilst they are a good starting point, we know from experience, that there are different strategies required for different businesses.  

The best starting point is to establish your ‘as-is’ and ask yourself the following questions: 
  • Where are we now – in terms of digital positioning? 
  • Where do we want to be in terms of our digital development? 
  • What are the immediate goals for the business?  
  • What are the immediate needs of our audience? 
  • Which factors are ‘blocking’ us from this progression? 
Once you start to unpack these areas, you’ll be in a much better position to implement change. 

If any of the points raised in this piece resonate with your current thinking - or if you would like to explore how an agency could assist you with your digital transformation – then why not get in touch?

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