Digital innovation multiplies channels and options in Marketing and Sales. For many companies it is hard to keep track of all digital initiatives. Often it seems almost impossible to harmonize and coordinate the different digital contents. But multichannel customers expect to be recognized independently of the channel they choose. And they expect the exact same treatment in each of the channels they are in. That sets high standards for companies more and more active in the digital field. In the article „Digital innovation – many companies lack the basics“ iq! described the different steps to digitization. In this article we give guidance how to establish important groundwork in Marketing & Sales.
Digital channels and initiatives along the purchase cycle
Source: iq! Managementberatung
Digital innovation multiplies points of contact
Digital innovation nowadays is not just a website. Or an eShop. It is a multitude of Marketing and Sales initatives in different channels. And on different devices. Customers see a recommended ad on Facebook. Then they take a quick look via their mobile phone on the company site. In the evening they compare prices via Google Shopping. And then they buy a product on a multi-brand eShop. Since the customer likes its new acquisition he signs up for a segmented newsletter of the brand. And becomes a Follower on Twitter.
In a digitized world, it is very hard for companies to follow the fast moves customers take back and forth through the Marketing and Sales universe. At each point of contact, they want to experience the brand in the same way. And they want to be recognized by the brand. That is a big challenge for digital organizations.
Digital innovation requires innovative structure and monitoring
Companies on their way to digitization have to undertake great efforts in order to manage the changed business world:
- Know your digital initiatives: in many companies a multitude of departments and units start digital trials and projects. It is crucial that top management knows all of them, pools the learnings and translates them into optimized digital approaches
- Match digital measures with purchase cycle: Marketing and Sales are two business areas full of contact points with the customer. For smooth interaction, digital measures should be positioned wisely along the purchase cycle and integrated in suitable campaign mechanics
- Adapt the company structure: alongside with the often uncontrolled growth of digital initiatives, employees all over the company dedicate all or part of their time to digital projects. But in many cases, this is not efficient. The digital business has to be integrated consciously in the existing structure. Barriers between Marketing and Sales tend to vanish in a digital world and units have to cooperate more closely. When digital products and services are added to the portfolio, R&D, data analysis, customer care and other departments have to work neatlessly together.
- Measure and monitor: performance of digital channels can be measured accurately. However, measuring is not enough. It is hard work to design campaigns comparable to each other and to draw the right conclusions out of analysis results.
- Attend to a digital measure or quit: many companies want to participate in the fancy new digital world. They create Facebook and Twitter channels, launch a digital product or send out different newsletters. But it is not enough to just maintain these digital activities. Companies should fill them with live and assign precise objectives to each channel. This can be hard work. To just have a Facebook channel and to really entertain and inform people through it are two very different pair of shoes.
The digital Marketing & Sales world is fascinating and rewarding. However, it is important to keep track of all digital initiatives the company untertakes. They should be wisely interlinked and have sensible interfaces with the analogue Marketing & Sales channels. The maintenance and operation of digital measures may be time-consuming and challenging. Continous analysis and improvement guarantee long-term success. Smoothly running digital Marketing & Sales is the fundament for further digitization of the company, e.g. the development and offer of IoT products and services.