And why you'd be mad not to take advantage.
It sure has been a unique year. After the unprecedented bush fires we witnessed in Australia last summer, a once-in-a-100-year global pandemic descended upon us, followed up by our first recession in roughly thirty years. It has been challenging for some and devastating for others.
One thing we've come to understand though is the old cliche:
Where there's crisis, there's opportunity.
Now please don't take that the wrong way. We are in no way advocating that you should benefit off other people’s misfortune. We are merely suggesting to recognise the unique opportunities that have come about because of the COVID pandemic.
One such opportunity we saw was the Australian Government boosting its resources for digital transformation. Many businesses received $800m in government assistance to push towards a digital transformation. Although the digital transition was already well underway before the pandemic, COVID accelerated the shift as many companies were forced to step up their digital game to future proof their business.
Before you get too excited, submissions for the above grant are now closed. Sorry! However, there is a range of other schemes available. Many of which you could use towards the digital transformation of your business. Here are a recommended few to check out:
- The Entrepreneurs program
- CSIRO Kick-start
- Export Market Development
- Research & Development Tax Incentive
- Accelerating Commercialisation
Of course, specific criteria need to be met; however, if you are successful, funding received from these grants can be used to assist with the digital transformation of your business. After all, this is what the Government wants!
First, let's take a look at precisely what entails digital transformation, where companies can start and what are the steps you can take to achieve this.
What is digital transformation?
It's time to go digital, and its time to do it efficiently and effectively. But what does that even mean? And where does one even start?
Although a very broad term, digital transformation can be defined as businesses transition to digital technology to transform internal processes and service offerings by replacing traditional or manual processes and/or older technology with newer digital technology.
As you know, we have seen through COVID a rapid acceleration of the necessity of businesses to upgrade their digital capability. Going digital is no longer an option, but a necessity. Let's take a look at the different areas where you can improve processes by investing in digital:
Documentation & Communications
Documentation & Communications
There is less of a need to print these days, which is good because we save paper and a lot of trees in the process. Where once upon a time storage involved rows of filing cabinets, now we can store all our documentation up in the cloud.
Migrating your business to the cloud is perhaps the most significant step a company can take towards digital transformation. If your business isn't already in the cloud, we suggest you get up there. Besides better storage and security of your business’s assets, the cloud enables your team to work, communicate and collaborate remotely.
As far as documentation goes, companies such as Aussie business Nitro, much like Adobe, EverSign and DocuSign in the US, allow you to edit and sign PDF's with their cloud-based software. As a result, your business will benefit from increased productivity, better data security and less printing, which means reducing paper waste.
If you need a specialist PDF editor, then you can outsource to one of the many quality communications businesses online, such as us! You can create interactive forms, eBooks and brochures with PDF without the need to print a thing.
Another area ripe for digital transformation is sales. For many, who sell physical products, eCommerce has been a Godsend as online shopping skyrocketed during Covid. For those that only have a physical store and no online presence, then now is the time to go eCommerce. A simple Shopify website may be all you require. Or Amazon Marketplace. Whichever you choose, be sure to invest in Search Engine Optimisation for Amazon marketplace, or SEO for Shopify, so people who seek your products will find your store.
For those companies with in-house sales teams, take a look at SaaS businesses such as Bigtincan. Besides having a cool name, Bigtincan is a sales enablement automation software that is proven to increase sales within an organisation. It uses AI to help your team learn faster, sell smarter and be more productive overall.
Content marketing has been used for over a century; however, it's popularity, and profitability has exploded in the digital age. The Content Marketing Institute (CMI) claims that as of 2017, approximately nine out of ten BSB businesses were using content marketing. We expect that figure to be even higher now.
Content marketing can be defined as giving away free content to gain authority on a subject, build trust, and use the law of reciprocity to encourage your customers to buy from you.
Many companies will use a lead magnet, AKA lead generation, to lure consumers into subscribing to a newsletter or blog. The consumer gets free useful information in the form of the lead magnet, and then more relevant and accessible information from the newsletter or blog. In turn, the business gets the users email address to build on their email list.
All of this is performed online, including the lead magnet which can come in the form of:
One of the current buzzwords floating about during the digital transformation age is the Martech. Martech is an amalgamation for marketing technology, much like it's buzzword predecessor, Fintech is for financial technology.
In short, Martech is a software platform that streamlines, automates, or enhances your marketing processes. Or all of the above. Keeping your brand front and centre can be time-consuming, especially when it comes to social media.
Hootsuite is an excellent example of Martech automation. Hootsuite allows you to create a content calendar and send out posts to multiple social media platforms at once, i.e., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
Another well-known example of a Martech company is Mailchimp. Mailchimp offers a platform where you can custom design or use their email templates to create and send out mass email marketing campaigns. You can also build up your email lists here for your content marketing needs.
A new Martech on the scene is AppsVillage who enable businesses to develop their own branded App without the need to write code. They have also partnered with Facebook so you can automate your target marketing through your Facebook business page with the use of AI and analytics Now that's as digitally transforming as it gets and where the future is headed, in our opinion.
Arguably, the King of Martech is Hubspot Hubspot offer marketing, sales and service software for any size business. In our opinion they are one of the main authorities on digital marketing in the world. Notice they are not only about the sales and marketing, but customer service also. Hubspot know it’s all about the customer experience and perhaps that’s what makes them so good at what they do.
Demand generation is the use of targeted marketing programs that drive awareness and demand in a company's products and services. It can be a gradual process that often spans the entire digital marketing funnels. It begins by identifying audiences to target marketing messages through lead generation tactics such as email campaigns, SEO and SEM.
Demand generation involves shepherding these prospects through every stage of the conversion process, eventually qualifying them as hot sales opportunities. In fact, unlike inbound marketing, demand generation involves marketing teams working closely with the sales department to accomplish these goals.
Think of demand generation as the opposite to sales cold call to someone who happened to visit a website. Demand generation is long-term, nurtured relationship between marketing, sales and the prospect. By the end of the journey, the prospect truly wants to buy from you because of the demand generated.
So, how can you achieve demand generation? It's all about the digital processes you implement, so can you track and monitor and the customer journey. Many of the software platforms mentioned in this piece enable you to do this. Moreover, your prospect needs the right messaging at the right touchpoints to move through the funnel. A good UX writer or copywriter will help with this.
As touched on before, lead marketing, or lead generation, is often the first touchpoint of the sales & marketing funnel and an integral part of your business’s digital transformation. As the name implies, lead marketing is the process of capturing someone's attention and getting them interested in your product or service, thus becoming a sales "lead".
HubSpot are masters at this. If you were to follow this link, you would find they offer a free guide:
Lead Generation Best Practices
As previously discussed, this is their lead magnet and a perfect one. You get the guide for free. In return, HubSpot receives details about you, your company, and how best to contact you. By giving away a Lead Generation Best Practices Guide, HubSpot has gained a lead for themselves.
If you are stuck for time or unsure how best to go about generating sales leads, several outsourced marketing companies specialise in this area and will deliver you significant ROI.
In regards to the lead magnet, this is possibly one of the greatest weapons at your disposal in the digital transformation of your business and one that you want to get right the first time. For example, a visitor clicks a social media ad offering them a free guide (your lead magnet), that takes them to your landing page where they fill out a form to receive your free manual, at which point they become a lead.
To sum up
There you have it, people. Digital transformation can seem like a monumental and overwhelming task; however, once set up, it can pay dividends for your business for years to come.
If you would like to learn more about a digital strategy for your business, feel free to connect with Fileroom anytime. We offer full-stack, end-to-end solutions for your companies digital transformation and growth.