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27Jun
2019

Digital Transformation for Small Businesses – Part 1

The world around us is changing at an ever-increasing rate. Businesses who are not willing and able to keep up with those changes will die a slow and agonizing death. Look around you at the coffee shop, the bus stop, or the shopping mall. You will see the digital market in the hands of most of the people you observe. Don’t assume that every person on their phone is playing the latest brainless game. Many of those phone users are checking their bank balance, shopping for shoes or pricing airline tickets for their vacation. People are making major decisions and spending their money based on the digital market. Businesses who have not ramped up their digital game will find themselves left in the dust with no customers. So what are some of the challenges that come with making a digital market transformation for businesses of all sizes?

Traditional Marketing Experts Feel Uninformed
One challenge is when a company’s marketing team is led and staffed by people with a traditional marketing education. You will find a major gap in the digital marketing of that company. The world has moved on from newspaper ads, billboards, and traditional TV commercials. If your marketing team has little to no experience in digital marketing, it is time for you to fill that gap. We have listed out the ways to cope with Digital Transformation Challenges.

Data Privacy, Storage and Organization
The vast amounts of information being collected, analyzed and stored can be a major stumbling block. Not only do you need a platform to store all this data but it also needs to be secure and ensure the privacy of your customers. Once you have the data, you need a system to organize and use it in real time. Michael Dell, Chairman and CEO of Dell Technologies stated, “Companies will succeed and fail based on their ability to translate data into insights at record speed.”

Making a Virtual World Personal
The people shopping on your website site are not only looking at the products you offer. They are evaluating the experience they are having. If the customer doesn’t like the look, feel, speed, or organization of your site, they will click away to find a better one. Your digital presence has an immediate and powerful impact on the customer’s perception of your entire company and products. Don’t stop at the look and feel of your online presence. Your company needs to look at the consumer’s journey from beginning to end. What is prompting them to want what you sell? What problem do they have that your company is offering to solve for them? Once that specific problem is addressed, is there yet another step that you can lead them to discover? How can you develop a long-term relationship with that individual instead of a one-time impersonal purchase? Today’s consumers expect businesses to know them. Are you using all that data you are collecting to help them have a better experience and solve more of their problems?

Go Mobile or Go Home
Google already gives priority to websites with a mobile version of their site. From the switch back in 2016 to recently making mobile-first indexing by default for new domains. Google decided that since most consumers are searching from mobile devices, their search engine will go first to those sites designed for a mobile platform. Yet many companies still have not optimized their websites for the mobile world. These companies will be left behind if they don’t update their digital presence soon. Use this tool by Google to check how mobile friendly your site is.

No Time to Wait
The digital world is leveling the playing field between competitors. Businesses that have been around since before the digital revolution are finding that they are suddenly in direct competition with small start-up companies. If you are depending on your size and history to keep you with the big boys, it’s time to reevaluate your reality. Your clients will go where they can receive what they want with the least amount of effort and time. They will return when the experience is personal. Examine your beliefs. Do you believe that the longevity, size or branding of your company will keep you in front of the market without expanding into the digital world?
When we stop to think about the magnitude of changes that are happening in our world on a daily basis, it can be overwhelming. We are doing everything on our phones from ordering a pizza delivery to checking into our hotel room without a desk clerk. Are you ready for the next generation of digital consumers? Or will they be buying what you sell on someone else’s app? You face a choice between innovation or extinction.

Mike Patel
Mike Patel

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