When describing Mountain Point's services to prospective customers we are often asked "What is Digital Transformation?"In a recent publication from Altimeter, they define Digital Transformation as
The Re-Alignment of, or new investment in, technology and business models to more effectively engage digital consumers at every touch point in the customer experience lifecycle.
This is a great definition; however, sometimes businesses might misinterpret the meaning of digital consumers and customer experience thinking that a digital transformation might only be applicable for Business to Consumer or B2C companies.
B2B Sales Is Being Massively Disrupted
Traditional Sales and Marketing models have been built around large sales forces, relationships, and enterprise-wide implementations. A disruptive new sales model, however, is emerging: digital-enabled enterprise sales more closely resembles B2C e-commerce models where large enterprise customers can research, test, and start paying for products without stepping away from their computer and with minimal sales touches.
Take Dropbox for example and their freemium strategy and focus on customer experience first:
We'll conquer the enterprise by focusing on our 200 million users first
Yeah sure... that's great for SaaS, but we're a Manufacturing business so how does this apply to us?
For manufacturers that primarily sell through distribution this is often a tough nut to crack. For these businesses, digital consumers can be a variety of different types of users.
End Users: When you are buying a product most consumers begin their search online starting with a search engine. If you are a manufacturer that sells through distribution your end users will want information on your business and products - your brand is the trusted source of information. (Technical Specifications, Engineering Drawings, Parts Information, Warranty Information, Distributor / Store Locator, Product Configurator, etc...)
78 percent of all shoppers use the Internet to research and purchase products and services
Distributors: When it comes to distributors, they can also be viewed as a user. They too want access to important information. (Configure / Price / Quote, Inventory Information, Product Specifications, Shipping / Tracking Information, Lead / Sales Information, etc...)
Employees: Inside / Outside Sales, Customer Service, Engineering, Supply Chain, Quality - regardless of the department, your employees are also end users of your business system and external customer facing systems. They need access to the right information at the right time and on the right device.
Executives believe their company has a digital strategy
Regardless of your business model (B2C or B2B) your business needs to have a customer first digital strategy in place that aims to identify the Customer Journey and how users interact with your business.
73% of business executives believe their company has a digital strategy. #forrforum
— Forrester Research (@forrester) May 5, 2014
When your business is thinking through a Digital Strategy and executing your Digital Transformation remember that digital consumers can be any stakeholders that are seeking information and knowledge from your brand.
What is your Digital Strategy? How are you approaching Digital Transformation within your organization?
For more information on Digital Transformations Check Out -> CIO's will Lead Digital Innovation.