How Digital Transformation can bolster sales and marketing in the Covid-19 world and in the future

18 May 2020

There is no doubt that the spread of Covid-19 has sped up the digital transformation process for many businesses. Within the blink of an eye an increasing number of interactions have been happening over a screen, rather than in person.  

Companies, who had embraced technology at the core of their business before the pandemic have been much better equipped to survive in the face of disruption, and in many cases they have thrived.  

However, most businesses, large and small, have had to swiftly evolve, adapting quickly from hosting online events or organising webinars to working from home or providing online deliveries. Everyone has been forced, in one way or another, to find innovative ways to minimise the commercial impact and to keep business moving forward.   

An IDC survey conducted in China in January with C-level executives across 10 different industries found that organisations who had adopted an IT and digital transformation in the fight against the outbreak reported improvements in their ability to work collaboratively over long distances. They also felt they had experienced gains in online marketing and business development and the organisation as a whole had recognised the value of digital transformation and information technology. 

What is Digital Transformation 

We think of Digital transformation as any changes made within a business which harnesses technology to improve customer outcomes and experience.  

There are four main areas of digital transformation, the business process, model, domain and culture.  And, according to Forrester, those that harness it effectively throughout their business find it’s 10 times cheaper and faster to engage customers, create offerings, harness partners, and operate their business.  

Better customer experiences…… 

Businesses with effective digital strategies are able to tap into emerging technologies quickly in order to launch new offerings and continue with business as usual (as much as that is possible). These businesses are insights driven, harnessing and applying data and analytics at every opportunity to differentiate their products and deliver valued customer outcomes.  

Digital transformation improves customer outcomes in all industries, helping businesses to:   

  • Deliver easy, effective and emotional customer experiences 
  • Improve customer value  
  • Anticipate what customers need and engage them immediately along every step of their journey 
  • Organise and operate with a focus on the customer 

However, according to the New York Times own digital strategy, “too often digital progress has been accomplished through workarounds to a problem” leaving barriers to transformation in place.  

So, companies need to be mindful that, although offering an ideal opportunity to address their digital strategy, simply overcoming issues arising from the current situation might not be the best approach. Working with a specialist, like POPcomms, can be beneficial when looking to take the right approach and adopt technology with lasting results.  

Link to Marketoon’s cartoon.  

Events, exhibitions and sales enablement in a digital world 

Many Sales and Marketing functions have found that the pandemic has accelerated digitisation across the marketing team, breaking down resistance to the use of marketing automation and other digital platforms and blurring boundaries between event marketers and other marketers in the team (B2B Marketing). 

There is no doubt that physical events have always been a critical part of B2B marketing. But the current crisis resulted in this channel being shut off overnight. Face-to-face meetings, events and exhibitions have been cancelled or postponed, affecting B2B brands profoundly and leaving a widening gap in customer engagement strategies. 

B2B Marketing conducted a poll of B2B Marketers and found that most believed that there would be a permanent shift away from the way events had been run in the past. Siting that they envisioned physical events being two-stream in the future. This could mean that, even when they become possible it is likely that high risk people will still need to exclude themselves for years to come.  

So, all events in the future will need some kind of strategy to accommodate both types of delegate. 

This is where interactive sales enablement tools (link to latest blog)) and virtual exhibition (link to video) spaces, which are available online to a remote and global audience, will be key.  

Created using Progressive Web App (PWA) technology which combines the very best attributes of responsive websites and native apps businesses – think Pinterest, Forbes, Financial Times, Spotify, Instagram – PWAs deliver a high level of performance regardless of device or network condition with native app qualities; they enable reliable, fast and engaging interactions. Businesses will see enormous benefits of embracing this cutting-edge technology as it becomes the natural next step in the evolution of app and web technology. 

Our virtual experiences offer a 3D space online where customers can explore 3D product models, videos, interactive presentations, pdfs and a wealth of other assets. Now, there really is no need for people to come to you when you can broaden your reach by making your most valuable and important of assets readily available, at any time – virtually and  and globally. 

are designed to enhance and support face-to-face sales conversations, to make the whole process easier and are really cominge into their own in thise current climate. Many of our clients for whom we have developed interactive sales tools have been able to carry on almost as normal and have these vital conversations with the interactive tools that we have created for them.   

Using video conferencing and sharing the interactive on-screen customers can have a similar experience and conversation as if they were still in front of a salesperson.  

But, and this is a BIG BUT, it isn’t all about the technology. In an increasingly digitally led society it’s even more crucial to start know your customer and start with their needs first and not the technology. 

Knowing what is most important to your customer and the problem that you are solving for them is absolutely key to meeting your business objectives. You have to put yourself in your audience’s shoes and ask those all-important questions, ‘What do they want?’, ‘What do they need?’, ‘What’s their current reality?’, ‘What are their pressures?’ ‘What excites them?’ ‘What wows them?’ 

Knowing the answers to these questions and thinking of how, in their everyday life, they interact with a variety of products and services throughout their day, will really help you to define your audience’s journey, deciding on the most relevant content and visuals to create a personalised experience online. The more personalised an experience the better –  authentic, human content makes for a much greater, immersive experience and ultimately retention onto your platform. 

We’ll bring almost twenty years of Interactive Communication experience into the frame and we’ll work with you through the entire process. We use ‘Design Thinking’ as our methodology  – starting and revolving around your customer and your strategic objectives. This approach forms the strategy behind the content, creativity and technology, bringing your world to life digitally and making sure your business objectives are met.  

We work with our clients through the entire process on their strategic objectives, messaging, design & branding, development and deployment- a complete 360 service. that would have been at the live event, allowing customers to explore everything they have to offer from their desktop.  

Sales enablement tools, designed to enhance and support face-to-face conversations, really come into their own in the current climate. Many of our clients for whom we have developed interactive sales tools have been able to carry on almost as normal and have these vital conversations.   

Using video conferencing and sharing the interactive on-screen customers can have a similar experience and conversation as if they were still in front of a salesperson.  

Next steps…. 

Whether you have adopted a digital transformation strategy already or are just embarking on one, a willingness to adapt and innovate is the critical success factor. Speak to us about how we can help you to improve your sales and marketing strategy.   

Leander Woodbridge
Marketing Director
 
If you’ve got an idea and want to chat it through then just get in touch. Or give us a call 🤙 on 0117 329 1712.
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