Digital transformation is not something new to any sales or marketing organization. In fact, prior to the virus that shall not be named, many companies were already pushing the envelope on creative digital communication.
In our seventh episode of “The Globalization of Social Media,” Colin Day, Managing Director EMEA of Oktopost hosts Lee Hackett, professional footballer with Wigan Athletic FC turned CEO of BluprintX, a B2B marketing and sales management consultancy helping CMOs, CROs and CEOs grow revenue by using data and technology. Talking about professional sports and adversity in business, Hackett gives an additional perspective to how B2B marketers can approach rapid digital transformation with the right mindset, skillset and toolset.
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With change happening speedily across companies, many people are having to learn new disciplines overnight. Hackett takes listeners through a three phase model to lead digital transformation with purpose.
A Few Take-Aways from Lee Hackett:
The Shockwave Phase:
When Covid-19 began making waves, leaders of the sales and marketing community were hit with a shockwave. Everything needed to pivot and mindset needed to change. C-suite leaders found themselves asking:
- What’s the best way to respond to this?
- How do we keep our people safe?
Whether through interactions, processes or approaches, like social media, leaders recognized that digital transformation was necessary to incorporate in order to keep up with the times.
Luckily, many B2B brands had already began enabling their sales and marketing teams to become more digital in their processes. Most companies right now are currently out of this phase.
The Adjustment Phase:
Majority of B2B companies are sitting somewhere in this phase. Common challenges facing organizations as they adjust are:
- Where do we go from here?
- How do we make the best out of this situation?
Naturally, any digital transformation journey should start by examining the toolset aiding in communication on a day to day.
For example, BluprintX is seeing that many teams already have automated workflows set up. Some are even online. This is fantastic! Keep going. And continue asking questions like:
- How can we continue to meaningfully engage our customers, digitally?
- What does a digital customer journey look like in today’s environment?
- Is there an opportunity for online events or Podcasts?
- Does the brand have established social media channels?
Using the above questions as a guide, Hackett also recommends that if teams are currently in the process of a digital transformation, pick it up!
Make sure social channels are established because right now this is where a majority of conversations are taking place. Brands need to be where their customers are and communication with customers on social media is critical.
The Recovery Phase:
Across almost every organization right now, conversations are taking place discussing how to make up lost ground from Q1.
As with every challenge, however, there is often an opportunity that can be found through adversity. This is a skillset Hackett attributes to his days as a professional football player.
To illustrate this, Hackett points out that everyone has budgets. While not many are frozen, many are being reallocated.
One example being seen is event spend. On average, 39% of lead conversations come from events.
While at this time, physical events are not happening, companies are creatively shifting to online events. This format may work better for some and not for others, but just thinking about what goes into promoting an online event, social media is pretty tied into them.
Understanding that online events require more online promotion, one way to reallocate event spend effectively is through technology.
Sales and marketing leaders should be asking:
- Can I invest the money from events in technology?
- Can I invest in social media management and employee advocacy technology to keep the brand alive?
Investing in the proper technology will continue to aid the organization in effective communication with customers in these times and beyond.
Let’s face it, the world was already heading in a digital direction and the pandemic only helped transform it at a much faster rate.