Harvard Business Journal’s Power of 1% in Digital Transformation

Many organizations are moving to adopt digital technologies, but the speed of adoption is ever increasing and most organizations need to move at a faster pace to avoid competitive disadvantage.
A new approach is needed where companies commit to an ongoing investment of one percent of revenue for digital transformation . It’s an intentional, proactive, radically applied investment that views the investment from the top down as opportunistic, rather than as a sum of locally isolated budget initiatives.
Below are three key steps to drive the results from the power of a one percent investment in digital transformation:
Planting the Seeds
  • Laying a digital foundation requires the acquisition of commerce technologies and their integration to core applications to establish the right foundation, and be in a position to move information across a company’s expanded ecosystem with speed. ERP, CRM and business intelligence (BI) applications will play core roles in the ecosystem along with other adjacent technologies.
  • The focus must be on the reinvention of core processes that are digitally enabled across these core systems. This becomes the foundation upon which all other technologies will be launched.
Compelling Product Content
  • Research shows 60-90 percent of buyers start their product search online, and search engines further dictate that this content must be differentiating for optimal SEO.
  • Content now goes well beyond product-only information and must incorporate social content such as ratings and reviews, questions and answers, access to product experts, etc. For organizations with large SKU counts, it is imperative that the program to acquire content be phased and multi-faceted so as to not inhibit the speed of digital deployments.
Strategic Marketing
  • Investing in marketing is the third mandatory key component. In Phase I, the balance of the investment not spent on technology and content primarily should be allocated to marketing and digital resource development. In subsequent phases, technology and content investments may be reduced but investments in marketing will likely rise.
  • Along with typical digital marketing investments, don’t overlook marketing and operational programs required to drive adoption. Continuous improvements must be intentionally sought out to achieve results that align with the goals driving the metric based returns established by an organization. Planning ahead to rapidly overcome objections to internal and external adoption as they arise will help companies gain momentum and drive success.
Digital transformation is a huge undertaking for any business, but the Power of One Percent is designed to make that process a little less daunting by taking a fundamentally different approach to how a company invests for the future. It’s shifting away from what is the least expensive or easiest digital decisions to make to what are the best digital investments for customer-centric operations, and a shift from annual plans to agile plans, with a focus on speed. The Power of One Percent is the fuel to drive toward an agile, operational, and goal-oriented model that accepts a higher level of risk to generate a higher level of return.
Branding in the Age of Social Media
In the era of Facebook and YouTube, brand building has become a vexing challenge. This is not how things were supposed to turn out. A decade ago most companies were heralding the arrival of a new golden age of branding. They hired creative agencies and armies of technologists to insert brands throughout the digital universe. Viral, buzz, memes, stickiness, and form factor became the lingua franca of branding. But despite all the hoopla, such efforts have had very little payoff.
As a central feature of their digital strategy, companies made huge bets on what is often called branded content. The thinking went like this: Social media would allow your company to leapfrog traditional media and forge relationships directly with customers. If you told them great stories and connected with them in real time, your brand would become a hub for a community of consumers. Businesses have invested billions pursuing this vision. Yet few brands have generated meaningful consumer interest online. In fact, social media seems to have made brands less significant. What has gone wrong?
To solve this puzzle, we need to remember that brands succeed when they break through in culture. And branding is a set of techniques designed to generate cultural relevance. Digital technologies have not only created potent new social networks but also dramatically altered how culture works. Digital crowds now serve as very effective and prolific innovators of culture—a phenomenon I call crowdculture.
Crowdculture changes the rules of branding—which techniques work and which do not. If we understand crowdculture, then, we can figure out why branded-content strategies have fallen flat—and what alternative branding methods are empowered by social media.
source: websitemagazine.com/m/blog/post/48933?name=the-power-of-1-in-digital-transformation&App=posts&y=2015&m=11&d=20&PostName=the-power-of-1-in-digital-transformation
About Michael Stuart

Mike's experience in the technology industry is quite extensive, serving both as a designer of complex enterprise applications and as a corporate executive. In his previous life, Mike was founder and CEO of AssetWorks Inc. the industry leader in facility management solutions. Currently living on the Texas coast helping with digital strategies using Amplified Content Marketing.