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The 2020 Digital Transformation Journey


Welcome to the Dove Direct Print and Marketing Blog. Today's post, "The 2020 Digital Transformation Journey," takes a look at several digital trend projections put forth by Adobe and what businesses are doing to engage and implement those trends. Keep in mind that these trends reflect The 2020 Digital Trends report, generating the results of a global survey of ~13,000 marketing, advertising, e-commerce, creative and IT professionals working for both brands and agencies.  Adobe's current study targets excellence in customer experience and uses the leading CX (customer experience) companies as a benchmark for both comparison and inspiration.

Our Quote of the Day: "Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing about."
– Benjamin Franklin

The Digital Inequality Factor

Why the CX excellence query? This report points to a term referenced as "Digital Inequality," which is where we will begin. Organizations that lead with their customer experiences outperform the peers that forsake developing a high level of customer experiences. The companies that do focus on providing excellent customer experiences are three times more likely to exceed their strategic sales goals. 

We often hear the marketing community refer to the buying cycle or customer journey as it relates to strategically outlining how to improve the CX process. As it turns out, both businesses and customers are in lockstep with the desire to be afforded the best customer experience available. 

The report suggests that to attain a superior CX, the structural, cultural, and technological barriers must be either eliminated or restructured. Doing so paves the way for companies to effectively manage and share data, the backbone behind creating excellent experiences. Interestingly, CX-led businesses are "obsessed" with their talent, while mainstream organizations fear recessions.

Divided Customer Experience Marketing

Similarly sized organizations that operate in the same sector with near-identical audiences and product sets face different growth threats due to different strategies and investment choices. 

Company #1 continues to plow through a digital transformation towards the continual evolution of a customer-centric organization. This company's external fears are steeped in economic disruption and digitally native competitors. In short, this company fears the future.

Company #2 invests resources and capital into building itself into a leader of the customer experience. Conversely, the chief concerns are discovering and retaining the top digital talent and staying abreast of change and innovation. This business model fears being left behind and stuck in the past. 

Although the two global examples share a philosophical difference, the gap between the mainstream and CX business leaders are quantifiable and tangible across quantitative trends in this study. If you use your 2019 performance as a reference, which statement best describes your department's performance against its top business goal?

We exceeded our top business goal by a significant margin:
CX Leaders = 40%
Mainstream = 13%

We narrowly exceeded our top business goal:
CX Leaders = 17%
Mainstream = 18%

We met our top business goal:
CX Leaders = 33%
Mainstream = 47%

We narrowly missed out on our top business goal:

CX Leaders = 6%
Mainstream = 12%

We missed our top business goal:

CX Leaders = 4%
Mainstream = 10%

Placing the Customer In Context

2020 Marketing is based on understanding and serving each individual. Back in 2000, the industry challenge focused on how to tailor content for mobile devices and utilize social media as a sales channel. Simultaneously, the television versus digital debate consumed marketing discussions, and the term "earned media" entered into our vocabulary.

Eventually, the digital channels began to demonstrate the ability to provide people with access to their precise desires, including access wherever and whenever. Today, the promise of what digital can provide extends beyond augmented reality coming extremely close to reality. Sophisticated technological tools and processes are now better aligned with delivering a near-seamless customer experience.  

Marketing to an individual is quite a challenge. This process requires a unified customer profile. The process can be difficult without the ability to manage disparate data sources. 2020 will place both challenges and opportunities in this arena. Managing the customer journey will require journey management strategies as well as personalization. Each person must be served in real-time with the capability to scale across platforms. However, the magic of marketing cannot be achieved unless there is easy access to verifiable customer data profiles. 

The Cultural Transformation

It should come as no surprise that small organizations dream of more resources while enterprise-sized businesses envy the agility of their smaller counterparts. That said, and according to the report, CX leaders have figured out a method to upgrade their cultural codes to disassemble those differences and take advantage of opportunities presented by the digital transformation, i.e., cultural transformation. 

Marketers spend most of their time in the workflow model. Any inefficiencies present in the workflow can slow down the entire business. The report stated that half of the respondents at large organizations (those exceeding revenues of $150m in 2019) said that outdated workflows slowed their processes. Meanwhile, only 32% of CX leaders stated the same.  "CX comprises the entire journey, touching directly on product, service, marketing, technology, and sales, all of which have to be supported strategically by leadership and finance. In organizations where stakeholders don't share expertise, data, and resources, the customer experience can't evolve at the speed of the market." 

Consumer Data Management

Managing consumer data is mission-critical, especially for marketers. Consumer attitudes and expectations are evolving along with the Internet, security, and privacy concerns. Additionally, merging technologies, coupled with the capability to collect and utilize data in fresh and divergent ways, adds fuel to customer experience requirements.  This new customer experience imperative, coupled with expectations, as well as evolving laws and infrastructure, requires focusing on improved trust and transparency.

Simultaneously, these challenges have a considerable influence on digital marketing and advertising. Here are a few thoughts about the industry's direction.
"The implementation of GDPR in 2018 was an inflection point with its emphasis on compliance and transparency. It continues to accelerate thanks to changes in consumer-facing technology. That said, we contend that not all collateral and the resulting marketing campaigns will yield top sales numbers, as the level of expertise, including messaging, data collection, and of course, graphic treatments play a role."

"Companies have indicated how they manage data, such as list creation and management, has had a positive impact on how they develop and deploy customer-facing campaigns."

"The research indicates that CX leaders commitment to making strides in an economy that emphasizes greater trust and transparency is high. Notably, they are twice as likely as their peers to already have new strategies in place to better understand the value exchange when consumers share their data."

"Organizations with a highly integrated technology stack have enjoyed disproportionate benefits from the requirements of data governance. The technology strategies have reflected the need for clean, well-defined data and enabled them to work effectively across multiple data sources to improve list management and campaign performance."

AI Frees Marketers

Nearly ten years ago, consumers were introduced to artificial intelligence (AI). Examples include the iPhone via Siri, autonomous vehicles, and computers besting chess champions. As a result, the marketing community barely took notice of AI. 

Today, AI and ML (Machine Learning) are embedded within existing systems, simplifying scheduling, identifying fraud, suggesting keywords, and even more. Nowadays, as AI and ML are integrated into various systems, this practice goes mostly unnoticed.

Not so with CX leaders, as the report states that implementing AI/ML is a high priority for them in 2020. Top performers and large enterprises are already on track to benefit from AI integration into Martech platforms. Conversely, "SMBs face a danger falling behind in marketing, and thus risk losing ground in vital areas, particularly when resources are scarce. It may appear to be too expensive to invest in new, smart technologies; however, it also may prove to be an even greater peril to abstain." 

The Net-Net

Digital Trends 10th Edition is based on an online survey fielded to select Adobe and E-consultants 4Q2019.  All marketers, regardless of company size, will learn that investing in smart martech will help organizations reach sales goals, through superior CX, creating a digital culture, and aligning the organization to communicate within a shared information environment. We hope you enjoyed this article, and thanks for reading "The 2020 Digital Transformation Journey!"

Let's have a conversation about integrated business solutions and how they can help grow your business, change behavior, and improve the customer experience. Join us at our next Open House. You can learn about our solutions, including direct mail strategies, printing, print software, transactional documents, variable digital printing, brand equity, and unified marketing collateral. 

We invite you to join us for an hour or two at our next Open House on January 30, 2020, from 10:30am to 3:30pm. You can tour our 58k+ Sq. Ft. facility and experience our vast array of state-of-the-art print, mail, and sorting infrastructure.  Let us show you how to improve your document processes to optimize your workflow, reduce your costs, and maximize your organization's printing, letter shop, and mailing capabilities. Dove Direct does have an official USPS certified bureau located within our offices that will save you time and money. And, if you bring us your files, we will create a demo file for you.

For more information, call Carla Eubanks at 404-629-0122 or email Carla at cThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  

Dove Direct, your Atlanta based print and mail solutions provider, offers organizations end-to-end data, printing, and mailing solutions: Data Management, Variable Digital Printing, LetterShop and Fulfillment, Fully Automated MLOCR Presort Bureau, Marketing and Production Management Support and Secure Data Life Cycle Management.  

If you don't want to wait for the Open House, you can reach Dove Direct today by calling 404-629-0122 or use the Contact Form for Dove Direct.

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