It's hardly any secret we live in an increasingly digital world. Just look at the COVID-19 pandemic and how, in response to school closures, work-from-home mandates, and social distancing guidelines, we all turned to digital technologies to continue daily activities with some sense of normalcy.

As a business owner, it's more imperative than ever to embrace digital transformation. Those companies who do so will fast-track their success and improve their customer's experience. Those who don't risk becoming obsolete. (RIP Blockbuster.)

That all sounds well and good, but what does digital transformation marketing actually mean for your company? Calling in the IT guys? Moving everything to 'the cloud'?

Digital transformation doesn't have to be as ambiguous as it sounds. Let's take a closer look at how digital transformation is changing marketing and what that means for your business.

What is digital transformation?

If you're confused as to what 'digital transformation' means, you're not alone. The definition can seem nebulous and confusing. That's largely because, as technology continues to evolve, so does the very definition of digital transformation.

We define digital transformation as:

Leveraging digital technology and digital processes to improve the customer journey and optimize business growth.

Digital marketing transformation can be as small-scale as integrating digital tools into everyday work tasks. Examples might include digitising employee records or switching from paper to electronic contracts.

Digital transformation can also shift entire industries. Look at Uber and Airbnb. These companies completely disrupted the transportation and hotel industries by applying digital technologies to traditional business concepts. The results speak for themselves.

Most companies look at digital transformation as a superficial change. But, as you can see, it's not as elementary as installing a new software program or hiring a social media intern.

If you're ready to embrace digital change and the exciting growth opportunities that go with it, then it's time to call in your marketing team.

The crucial role of marketing in digital transformation

You already know your customers are at the heart of your business. If your company wants to use digital transformation to show up where users are already engaging and provide a better customer experience, your marketing team is crucial to your success.

Let's not forget that digital disruption has already had a colossal impact on the marketing industry. We've seen the switch from direct mail and radio to email marketing and podcasts. Then there's content marketing, SEO, and a whole slew of other new digital tools impacting how we show up and engage with customers in today's digital landscape.

What's even more exciting is that the digital era is still growing. Artificial Intelligence and new technologies will only continue to impact how we interact with our customers, and marketing teams must be quick to evolve and embrace these iterations.

Through optimising and refining your digital channels, your business will gain deeper insights that inform your marketing approach and improve your customer journey for robust growth.

Let's explore a few specific ways you can optimise your digital transformation marketing.

Top tips for digital transformation in marketing

1. Evaluate your digital channels

The sheer number of digital tools and marketing technologies available can be overwhelming. Before you head out to give each one a whirl, take a moment to evaluate your current digital channels.

Are you already getting the most out of tools like your website, content marketing, chatbots marketing, and analytics tracking? How are your customers already engaging with your brand on these channels, and are there ways you could better leverage your digital technologies to enhance your customer's experience with your brand

Any smart growth marketing team will take a thorough look at your current digital marketing transformation efforts and identify opportunities for optimisation.

2. Integrate your digital channels

Your customers don't just interact with your brand on one digital channel. Marketing teams ready to embrace digital transformation know this and apply a multidisciplinary approach to all media. This provides a streamlined experience for your customer and gives your business a holistic view of your entire customer base.

3. Use data to identify weak spots in your marketing funnel

Traditional marketing strategies are inherently difficult to measure. How many customers took action because of that clever billboard ad or glossy magazine feature?

One decisive advantage to digital transformation in marketing is the sophisticated data-testing tools at our fingertips. No more wasting money on large-scale marketing tactics unless they have already proven successful. With digital transformation, your business can use data-driven tools to measure performance, identify weak spots, and inform marketing strategies for agile, streamlined growth.

4. Provide a personalized customer journey

We're all constantly bombarded with information and advertisements. The only way to cut through the clutter is to engage with your customers in a personalised, human way — already considering their interests, preferences, and past purchasing decisions.

Thanks to the data-driven tools at the heart of digital transformation marketing, it's never been easier to provide a more personalised experience for your ideal customer.

This is a massive opportunity for your brand. Only 22% of customers are satisfied with the level of personalisation they currently receive — even though this is something we all expect when engaging with companies online.

5. Commit to innovation

Digital transformation is not a one-and-done marketing solution. As digital tools and technologies continue to iterate, so too must your marketing strategy. Otherwise, you risk falling behind the competition as technology continues to hurtle forward.

Continue to stay on top of digital trends and, most importantly, how your customers interact with these tools. Integrate your marketing team with every aspect of your marketing funnel and your buyer's journey. Quickly adopt and adapt as digital marketing transformation continues to change your industry. Your customers — and your bottom line — will thank you for it.