Adobe Digital Dialogue

Digital transformation — why is it so important?

Not every busi­ness sees dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion as a burn­ing prob­lem. How­ev­er, the momen­tum for dig­i­tal dis­rup­tion is build­ing and lag­gard indus­tries such as man­u­fac­tur­ing, con­sumer goods, tra­di­tion­al brick ‘n mor­tar and phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal are at risk. These indus­tries are yet to embrace new dig­i­tal tech­nolo­gies, even though the long-term ben­e­fits are sig­nif­i­cant.

Busi­ness­es at the fore­front of the dig­i­tal era in India — such as ecom­merce star­tups, trav­el and hos­pi­tal­i­ty and bank­ing — have made good strides in redesign­ing the tech­nol­o­gy frame­work of their busi­ness­es to adopt dig­i­tal.

They see on a day-to-day basis the ben­e­fits of dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing. How­ev­er, the chal­lenge of engag­ing dig­i­tal­ly with cus­tomers is a steep learn­ing curve. Whilst learn­ings and dig­i­tal strate­gies are matur­ing, the tech­nol­o­gy back­end for many of these busi­ness­es is hold­ing them back from mak­ing real gains.

The dig­i­tal set-up tools and tech­nolo­gies don’t nec­es­sar­i­ly talk to each oth­er. Data silos abound which has led to the deploy­ment of mul­ti­ple ana­lyt­ics tools through­out organ­i­sa­tions. The goal of a uni­fied plat­form to engage cus­tomers through­out their life­cy­cle and via mul­ti­ple plat­forms is, for many, still a dream.

Whilst organ­i­sa­tions in these indus­tries are reap­ing the ben­e­fits of adopt­ing the dig­i­tal mind­set, oth­er sec­tors are not so pro­gressed.

Since smart­phones are now at a more afford­able lev­el in India, app usage has spi­raled, dri­ven by mil­len­ni­als and mobile-savvy con­sumers. Dig­i­tal­ly advanced com­pa­nies are shap­ing con­sumer behav­iour. As a con­se­quence, con­sumers now expect a sim­i­lar lev­el of ser­vice from all busi­ness­es they inter­act with – whether they are advanced in their dig­i­tal strat­e­gy or not.

The retail indus­try, for one, has been slow to cap­i­talise on this trend. I believe the dig­i­tal influ­ence is not at the ‘do or die’ stage yet for this sec­tor so the per­ceived val­ue ben­e­fit is quite low.

Anoth­er sec­tor that has been slow to grasp the chang­ing dig­i­tal envi­ron­ment is phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal and health care. Indi­vid­u­als are tak­ing greater con­trol of their own health treat­ments. Phar­ma com­pa­nies must recog­nise this new deci­sion-mak­ing pow­er and devel­op bet­ter ways to engage with con­sumers. The clin­i­cal envi­ron­ment is also chang­ing fun­da­men­tal­ly. Physi­cians’ time will change dra­mat­i­cal­ly. Shift­ing to spend­ing a small­er pro­por­tion of their time order­ing diag­nos­tics and inter­pret­ing results to more on the social ele­ments of health­care – help­ing patients and fam­i­lies think through treat­ment options.

Mobile com­mu­ni­ca­tions, the cloud, advanced ana­lyt­ics, and the Inter­net of Things are among the inno­va­tions that are start­ing to trans­form these indus­tries. Yet many find it hard to deter­mine what ini­tia­tives to scale up and how as they are still unclear what dig­i­tal suc­cess will look like five years from now.

The mind­set is slow, steady and small invest­ments. How­ev­er, what they are miss­ing out on are dig­i­tal learn­ings. The longer organ­i­sa­tions delay in mak­ing a strong com­mit­ment to dig­i­tal, the more learn­ings they are miss­ing out on.

I believe the com­pet­i­tive­ness of com­pa­nies that have not start­ed their dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion will be affect­ed in the long run, if not the imme­di­ate future. The time to get a foothold into the dig­i­tal era is now!

Whether you’re new to dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing or an expe­ri­enced vet­er­an, you’ll gain valu­able insights, tools and tech­niques at Sym­po­sium 2017. Lis­ten to strate­gies and best prac­tices for cus­tomer expe­ri­ences, data-dri­ven mar­ket­ing and cross-chan­nel mar­ket­ing. Join us on 4th May at Grand Hyatt Mum­bai!

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