Your Digital Transformation Needs Talent, Not Technology

September 2, 2021
By Greg Kallinger

The need for businesses to incorporate new technology as they thrive and grow is nothing new. Every owner, marketing executive and their employees must learn how to embrace change. Change is crucial to the survival of a company, whether it makes you click your heels together with excitement or cringe at the very thought of it.

Unfortunately, there’s a longstanding myth that’s been hard to debunk: “Digital transformation is all about technology.” Business leaders have been led to believe that digital transformation involves an insurmountable digital overhaul. This is a scary thought when they’ve already put their brain power, energy, and capital into it.

Contrary to popular belief, simply implementing technology isn’t even enough. This holds true especially for digital marketing. At the end of the day, it comes down to talent being the key to the success (or failure) of a business’s digital transformation. Are you leveraging both technology AND talent in your digital marketing efforts? If not, read on to learn more about the importance of people in developing a sound digital marketing strategy.

What Is Digital Transformation?

Depending on who you ask, you’ll get different definitions for digital transformation. It’s a term that’s often misunderstood or misinterpreted as something as big as implementing artificial intelligence or as simple as developing new agile processes. They’re not totally off the mark. There are four principal areas of digital transformation: technology, data, process, and organizational change.

In 2011, a collaboration between the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a consulting firm led to the coining of the term. They defined digital transformation as “the use of technology to radically improve performance or reach of enterprises.” But they left out one key factor—the human side of business. We should define effective digital transformation as “a shift in problem-solving that utilizes digital services (technology) and people (talent).”

Why Businesses Are Failing at Digital Transformation

Change is hard and even if a digital transformation is obviously needed, most efforts fail in one way or another.  The main cause of failure is always people. Charles Darwin said it best: “It’s not the strongest species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives; it is the one that is most adaptable to change.” In the wake of economic lockdowns, established businesses have been forced to close their doors even after decades of operation. Only companies that were already digitized or able to quickly adapt have been able to keep their head above water. Now more than ever, a digital-first strategy is no longer an option, it’s necessary to survive.

Many companies might have survived had they  taken a digital-first approach to their business operations and marketing. Companies have lost sight of their main objective—to generate revenue—as traditional ways of sales and marketing have become less effective or efficient. Traditional marketing has been masked and quarantined, requiring businesses to connect with clients in new and innovative ways.

True Digital Transformation at Its Best

Digital transformation does not necessarily require the most expensive top of the line technology, instead it is a mix of proven technology and talent. You don’t need to spend 10’s of thousands of dollars on an enterprise-wide CRM application to grow your business, that is not what we’re saying, but you do have to be open to new approaches and tools. 

An example that will clearly illustrate the need to adopt technology is the traditional outbound sales process which relies solely on a rolodex, phone and hours each day making cold calls. If outbound sales is what grows your business then find new technology that can make your sales team more effective. Apollo.io, Yesware, Mailshake and MixMax are just a few of the countless (and extremely affordable) cold email outreach tools available today.

Keep in mind that the best digital transformations are a balance of technology and talent. It is extremely rare for a new tool or software to automate everything and remove people out of the process. If it was that easy, none of us would be working so hard to build our businesses.

Adaptation Puts Your Company at a Competitive Advantage

We continue to evangelize the concept of “adapt or die” but that ignores what comes after surviving: thriving. The truth about business now and in the future is that adapting to a digital-first economy is just the baseline. You don’t just want your business to survive. You want it to thrive for you and your team!

A true digital transformation that balances technology and talent is the solution. Unfortunately many business leaders are unprepared to lead their company through a digital transformation even if they realize it is necessary. 

A common mistake is a reactionary approach that will result in a business integrating a Frankenstein of technology solutions with data that’s no more valuable than their own intuition. They’re focused on solving problems individually instead of taking a holistic approach and developing a strategy to execute against.

When a business is looking to increase revenue, one of the first things they do is try to increase traffic to their website. Often, they’ll add new lead-generation technology with no clear direction on what to do once they generate traffic to their site. In the end, their attempt at digital transformation leads to wasted money. Sure, they’ve attracted people to their site, but they see no increase in clients or revenue.

B2B performance marketing requires an understanding of clients’ pain points to convert leads. It also involves a marketing strategy and execution plan that goes together like milk and honey. Without one, the other is worthless. Companies that transform and adapt their digital marketing to meet the challenges of today can eliminate 70% of sales inefficiencies and save 20% on customer acquisition costs.

Digitally Transform Your Marketing and Sales

To leverage the power of digital transformation, you need to understand the basics and then bring in experts who know what it takes to pull it off. When you work with OM Performance Marketers, you’ll have access to the best digital marketers in the industry. We’re the strategic thinkers and tactical executioners that your company needs. As a growth marketing agency, we stand apart by deeply understanding our partners, involving ourselves in the entire process, and continually gathering data to make better decisions.

Contact us today about creating a strategy for your digital transformation!

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Greg Kallinger

Director of Business Operations
OM Performance Marketers

As the leader of Business Operations for OM, Greg mostly works behind the scenes helping to create scalable systems and processes that enable the team to focus on solving their client’s challenges. His career experience stretches across functions (finance, planning and operations) and large corporations (Lockheed Martin and CHEP) where he has found his passion for using data to simplify and solve problems that achieve results. When he isn’t working, he’s outside running, biking or swimming.

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