Digital Transformation During COVID-19: How Can Marketers Lead the Way?

Now, more than ever, organizations must rely on digital channels to stay in touch with customers and plant seeds for future growth.

With limited personal interaction and physical locations out of action, teams are adapting to new regular full-time remote work, digital interactions, and the unprecedented shock of entire sectors. Every cent of business expenses is challenged, reduced, or eliminated. The prevailing ethics is to do more with less – and do it now.

How can marketers respond and provide leadership during this crisis?

In difficult times, marketing budgets are scrutinized. Marketing leaders can differentiate themselves by ensuring that each marketing program has its weight, that each marketing professional contributes revenue, and that each marketing investment provides a financeable ROI.

Digital experiences

Where can marketers have the greatest digital impact, in the shortest time and with the greatest ROI? Easily. Innovative customer experiences.

A lot of creative thinking is directed towards CX innovation at its best. At worst, companies become shortsighted and transactional, trying to put every dollar in front of each customer without thinking too much about the future. However, the best brands remain relational; they build long-term relationships with customers, where the greatest value for life and the greatest return on investment are present.

A complete program of digital experiences, for each stage of the customer’s journey, is the most effective way to get there. But it can only happen on purpose, not accidentally.

“The digital journey of the customer”. It looks attractive, but how do you really do that? An effective customer journey depends on three main factors:

  1. Emotional impact: engage your customers in the most memorable, surprising, and personal way, so that they feel inspired to take the next step on their journey?
  2. Opportunity: offer your original and valuable content when customers need it most (see if the iron is hot), are you aware of the lack of attention and the need for instant gratification?
  3. Continuity: is there something lasting and enriching in your brand experience that sets you apart from your competitors and creates a feeling of comfort, optimism, and loyalty?

How do you translate these requirements into digital experiences?

  • To have an emotional impact, digital experiences must be fast and engaging, resulting in “magic moments” that provide the consumer with a positive shock of excitement.
  • The feature requires immediate access to relevant data on what customers want to know now and how best to absorb it.
  • And the digital experiences under your brand must have a common feel, consistent, high-quality production values, and a unique, reliable voice. There is little room for carelessness, trivia, or lack of sophistication if you want the digital journey to be successful. It is relational, not transactional.

How can you apply these lessons to your digital transformation efforts during a crisis?

Speed and scale

Marketers are now forced to get involved in the rapidly changing digital content industry. They are expected to produce much more digital content, faster, cheaper, and more personalized than ever. Most teams will have to do this with far fewer resources than before, making the rapid scalability of digital design, collaboration, and content production extremely important.

Also, Colliers International quickly deployed a COVID-19 digital resource hub to provide its EMEA customers with trends and insights on how to respond to the “normal business” conditions that were absent during the pandemic. Content varies from country to country, webinars, and opinions on industry recommendations for managing the rapidly changing real estate industry. It is a timely and valuable digital communication, compatible with the global Colliers brand. Relational, not transactional.

Autonomy for marketing

Another consideration: autonomy. In these exceptional circumstances, marketing teams must take care of the effects of the customer journey and are less dependent on technical or external teams.

Organizations can no longer afford to have development resources or outside consultants managing tasks that marketing teams can now manage. New marketing technologies can help to bridge this gap.

Platforms without code

A start to start with the new “no-code” platforms, which alleviate the need for expensive programmers to get involved in the design, production, or presentation of content.

Uncoded technologies were created specifically for this purpose – to enable marketers to do more, quickly and efficiently. What used to require a lot of tools and close collaboration between designers, marketers, developers, and operations, can now be easily accomplished by marketing teams.

The result: more digital content, faster, with almost unlimited variation – no coding required.

Analyze

Second, analysis. The new visual analysis platforms help marketers to personalize data and visualize the entire digital journey of the customer so that they can immediately respond to the individual responses of the consumer and identify common trends before they manifest themselves in the market.

“Webification” of the content

It can be anything from sales presentations and market research reports to product demonstrations, how-to videos, and customer portals. These new digital experiences surprise and surprise most customers and make them want more in their relationship with you.

IT integration

Finally IT integration. Marketers can help alleviate major IT slowdowns by ensuring that their new marketing systems integrate with their organization’s legacy IT systems, such as CRM, CMS, and e-commerce.

These integrations allow marketers to take advantage of customer data, digital assets and digital content already served on these systems. And it greatly accelerates the production of digital content from these systems.

Briefly

With no choice but to focus online, it is imperative that companies bend in the digital transformation and do not run away from it. Marketing teams have a unique opportunity to demonstrate agility in the face of the great economic crisis and to lead the digital transformation of their business with a focus on new customer experiences. The immediate and positive impact on customers and financial results are undeniable.

Do more with less, do the right thing, and do it now.