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How to leverage data as part of your disruptive, innovative digital transformation strategy 

Sean Bridge

February 05, 2024

Digital transformation has emerged as a critical strategic imperative for companies around the globe. It's not just a fleeting trend; digital transformation is crucial for staying competitive in an increasingly digitalized world. 

The 2023 State of Digital Transformation report by Prophet highlights the change: 42% of businesses with existing digital strategies are gearing up to intensify their transformation efforts and investments. The hope is that they can hone their industry edge and brand reputation by leveraging digital transformation’s promise of improving marketing efficiency and the customer experience. 

Yet, getting the most out of a digital transformation strategy isn’t a clear-cut proposition. Many organizations struggle to understand how to adopt digital transformation across their siloed departments. The confusion stems from coordinating a marketing-led strategy and the need for data and technology to help realize that vision.

Digital transformation in marketing dives much deeper into uncovering the best ways to leverage all types of data — particularly first-party and zero-party data — to drive truly personalized omnichannel communications and customer engagements. Basically, this subset of digital transformation aims to realize the age-old mantra: Deliver the right message to the right person at the right time. When that mantra comes to fruition, customer sales, retention, and loyalty rates are poised to skyrocket. 

Reinventing the Brand-Buyer Connection Through Digital Transformation in Marketing 

Let’s focus momentarily on omnichannel communications and their importance in the modern marketing era. Today, customers tend to engage in changeable, fluid journeys. These journeys can crisscross multiple platforms and devices, making them difficult to predict and react to. Creating a digital transformation strategy built around collecting and leveraging omnichannel engagement data can make it easier to construct customer journey models that can flex in real time. 

For instance, having consumers’ demographic, psychographic, and behavioral data can offer a robust profile of individual and collective audiences. With the right data, businesses can segment consumers by a number of dimensions to build a robust profile. A smart digital AI solution can be trained to parse through a web of consumer profiles and actions and begin to anticipate what content a customer needs at a particular time to keep moving through the sales pipeline. With the help of the data, make the content individualized so it feels intuitive and intelligent, further prompting engagement with the goal of a purchase or other call-to-action. 

However, this isn’t the limit to what’s possible with the right data-focused processes and products in play. Next-gen data collection and prediction systems can offer phenomenal insights into attribution models. Attribution has long been a challenging beast for marketers. Even marketing teams who carefully track conversions across channels and devices frequently settle on a “last touchpoint” attribution model. Unfortunately, the last touchpoints aren’t always the reason for a sale. 

Through a carefully planned digital transformation strategy, companies can finally devise stronger, more accurate attribution frameworks based on the data at hand. That way, they can confidently make decisions regarding attribution-adjacent content, tools, timing, and other workflows. 

Tips for Maximizing Your Marketing Digital Transformation Techniques 

Remember these best practices if you’re ready to jumpstart your marketing department’s digital transformation strategy. They’ll help you optimize your marketing data in ways never available before the latest tech, AI, and machine learning innovations. 

  1. Fuel your customer data platform (CDP).

Your first step toward making the most of your transformation effort begins with implementing or enhancing your customer data platform (CDP). A CDP is a data environment that ties disparate data to individuals within your database. Through tracking, the CDP can slowly learn more about the individuals behind their numerous devices based on their behaviors, attitudes, and demographics.

For example, once an individual makes a purchase and opts into a CDP platform, the engine can begin learning from the data. In time, the data can become the foundation for a clearer picture of individual customers and larger segmented populations. 

  1. Lean on data management platforms.

Just as you need a CDP, you also need some form of a data management or marketing automation platform. This will help you enact and execute more reliable business rules. You should centrally locate your data management platform to contain vast pools of structured and unstructured data. 

  1. Lean into AI more effectively.

It’s hard to understate the value of AI in digital transformation strategy development. AI can optimize your customer communications toward desired outcomes much quicker than ever before. With that said, make sure you pay attention to what works and what doesn’t. Driving revenues is important, but not at the expense of customer satisfaction. Consequently, be sure your AI isn’t just getting people to buy once but is delivering personalized experiences intended to bring about loyalty. 

The bottom line? Use AI to get to know your customers and give them what they want when they want it. Make it a part of your digital-first DNA, but temper the desire to only look at sales metrics to evaluate how well your AI is performing. 

  1. Up your zero-party data collection.

With the phasing out of third-party cookies in 2024, zero-party data will grow more critical to every company’s digital transformation strategy. Yet, zero-party data isn’t easy to get. It relies on a solid connection between a consumer and brand. You’ll need to prove to customers that they can trust you with their information. 

If you’ve taken any of the previous steps, you’re on your way to showing customers that you have their best interests at heart and will use their zero-party data ethically. Along with first-party data, your zero-party data can rev up your future marketing campaigns and allow you to wow your audiences. 

Most businesses and marketers know why digital transformation is important. It’s just the “getting there” part that can be tricky. RAPP makes the process easier by providing a guiding light through three disciplines: strategy, marketing sciences, and technology. If you're interested in exploring our unique approaches and how they can benefit your business, we invite you to connect with our team for more information.

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