2019 was a transformative year. As with each passing year, we saw changes to digital media outlets as they sped to keep up with rapidly transforming consumer behaviour. (See: Instagram and Facebook Stories, machine learning, and 25% of US internet users installing ad blockers!).
We saw customer experience take a front seat in many businesses’ strategies and plans, and are only starting to see its on-flow effects to data segmentation, personalised content and more.
Digital transformation is a process, and we’ve been in the thick of it alongside our customers all year long. Now, we’ve reflected back on what we think worked well – and what could have gone better.
So what were 2019’s key lessons? The experts from krunch.co share their thoughts.
Technology alone is not the answer
There is a reason that people, processes and technology always go together – technology alone is not the answer, it’s an enabler. People and processes are key.
When it comes to digital transformation, ensure you have executive buy-in and drive change from the top. Build a team of people who understand the vision and you greatly lift your chances of success.
- Abi Cooke, Head of Client Services
Organisations must balance what they have with what they want
One of the major lessons I’ve seen crop up in businesses (across industries and sizes), is how to balance the need to fix critical, large-scale technology/data restructures to allow for more sophisticated marketing, without letting that stop them from testing and creating smart campaigns with what they have.
It’s a tricky balance but mastering the two lets organisations keep up to speed with their competitors (if not outpace them), as well as bring up key insights in the short term that can improve their long-term goals.
- Holly Adkins, Senior Marketing Automation Consultant
Digital transformation is a journey, not a destination
I think there are two key lessons learnt in 2019 around mindset and consistency:
Mindset: It’s a bit of a cliché but I think it’s worth reminding ourselves that full digital transformation should be viewed as a continuous journey and not a final destination. There will always be new technology coming on stream, but organisations musk ask themselves: “Does the implementation of it actually fit into our transformation plan, or will it simply divert resources and attention away from achieving our longer term goals?”
Consistency: It’s often hard for businesses to stick to a long term plan given the need to deliver against short term, quarterly results, but I like the saying that pilots use, “plan to fly, write the plan, fly the plan”. Staying consistent and focused on longer term goals is vital.
- Nick Licence, Director of Adtech
You can only go so far without a CX strategy
A lot of businesses want to put customers first, but not many are prepared to put in the time to really understand what the customer wants. A big takeaway for me this year is that you can have the best intentions to be customer-first, but without actually mapping out your customer’s journey, it will be very hard to address their issues and design an experience that they’ll love.
- Amanda Gross, Head of Digital Experience
Businesses mustn’t lose sight of the real goal
Businesses can’t lose sight of why they are turning to digital marketing in the first place – to, ultimately, make money.
Clicks, leads and other metrics are all important in their own way, but there is great importance on capturing conversion attribution data. Organisations have to be able to demonstrate the dollar value return on every campaign, using demonstrations of campaigns returns to seek funding for more marketing initiatives.
- Richard Nelson, Senior Marketing Automation Consultant
Data has to be protected
In Q2 of 2019, NZ businesses collectively suffered their highest direct financial losses ever reported ($6.5 million) as a result of cybercrime.
As organisations gather greater quantities of data from their customers, this puts more emphasis on learning how exposed personal data is to potential cyber breaches. Every organisation in the country that collects data from customers must learn precisely where and how such information is captured, so it can be adequately protected.
- Steve Fast, Chief Financial Officer