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How to go about transforming your business in a competitive market

For all of its exposure (or over exposure), digital transformation is relatively young and still developing with much still to understand. For example, in my previous research, I found that most companies claim to be undergoing digital transformation (88%) but only 25% were doing so with purpose beyond investing in new technology as a means to modernize technology infrastructures. What became clear over the years is that many of the executives who are driving change did so from a technology-first perspective when in fact, this work represents so much more.

Digital transformation is one of those terms that means different things to different people. After studying the space and talking to those leading change, I sought to capture a definition based on what I heard time and time again. The working definition for digital transformation I ended up with was this…

Digital transformation as the realignment of, or new investment in technology, business models, and processes to create new value for customers and employees and more effectively compete in an ever- changing digital economy.

What started as enterprise initiatives led by progressive CIOs and IT organizations has spread throughout every facet of business. Now, executives in other critical functions are also leading investments to bring their own technology roadmaps to life. In some cases, there’s internal competition between groups. For example, CMOs are often cited as the rival to CIOs in spending when it comes to new technologies and resources. But over time, all facets of business must work together under a common vision and aspiration if it is to excel in an era of digital Darwinism. This, I’ve learned, is something that happens only after departments attempt change independently. Eventually, there’s momentum and support to drive collaboration across the enterprise.

How is it that companies start working as one entity?

Time and time again, it comes down to how people are changing as customers and employees, how their relationship with technology impacts behavior and ultimately how companies, in addition to drive profitability, continually invest in new and emerging tech to remove friction, create new value and scale. This is just the beginning of the digital transformation story. As part of my latest research study, I learned that change plays out in a series of common phases that span several key areas of most organizations.

Introducing a Maturity Model To Guide Your Digital Transformation

This model was developed to help CIOs, CMOs, CDOs, and key stakeholders follow the paths of other successful companies. But more so, it’s meant to give a checklist of sorts to guide, justify, validate, and effectively make the case for driving transformation.

One of the key insights I learned in the process was that mature companies establish purpose to create the kind of holistic alignment that inspires and drives enterprise-wide change. I consistently found that customer experience (CX) often served as a primary catalyst for driving change with CMOs and CIOs helping them come together to jointly lead common efforts.

Through the lens of customer experience, digital transformation, I learned, organizations evolved through six progressive stages…

Business as Usual: Organizations operate with a familiar legacy perspective of customers, processes, metrics, business models, and technology, believing that it remains the solution to digital relevance.

Present and Active: Pockets of experimentation are driving digital literacy and creativity, albeit disparately, throughout the organization while aiming to improve and amplify specific touchpoints and processes.

Formalized: Experimentation becomes intentional while executing at more promising and capable levels. Initiatives become bolder, and, as a result, change agents seek executive support for new resources and technology.

Strategic: Individual groups recognize the strength in collaboration as their research, work, and shared insights contribute to new strategic roadmaps that plan for digital transformation ownership, efforts, and investments.

Converged: A dedicated digital transformation team forms to guide strategy and operations based on business and customer- centric goals. The new infrastructure of the organization takes shape as roles, expertise, models, processes, and systems to support transformation are solidified.

Innovative and Adaptive: Digital transformation becomes a way of business as executives and strategists recognize that change is constant. A new ecosystem is established to identify and act upon technology and market trends in pilot and, eventually, at scale.

Technology has empowered consumers to become more mobile, social, and connected than ever. This has changed how they interact with each other and with products, services, and businesses. Digital transformation opens the door to new opportunities for innovation in how to design, integrate, and manage customer (and employee) experiences.

By following a digital transformation model, all aspects of business evolve, including management perspectives, roles and responsibilities, operations, work, and, ultimately, culture.

The Six Stages of Digital Transformation represents a journey to evolve with and push ahead of technology and market trends. This is true business transformation. It’s in the ongoing pursuit that makes change less about resolute stages and more about an evolving vision, purpose, and resolve to engage a connected generation of customers and employees. It is the collective efforts of individuals and groups and the collaboration of cross-functional roles that pave the way for a new era of business, work, and customer centricity.

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Top 6 Digital Transformation Myths In 2023

Digital transformation (DX) is taking over almost every industry in the current global market. Businesses of all shapes and sizes are leveraging digital to come out of the dark pit dug by the pandemic. As digital technologies spread across the globe, many misconceptions and myths rise with them. These myths can create hesitations in adopting digital and can also lead to wrong implementation and project failures.

You cannot solve a problem you don’t understand. In a digitally accelerating world, business leaders need to understand these myths to overcome them.

This article explains 6 digital transformation myths and misconceptions that business leaders need to avoid to ensure digital success. 

Myth 1: DX is all about buying digital tech

Thinking that DX is all about purchasing expensive digital tech is a popular myth. Undoubtedly, digital transformation involves the purchase and implementation of digital technologies, but they should only be considered as tools that harness the potential of digital. Digital transformation is a much bigger picture than just buying expensive digital software. DX involves: 

Transformation of culture: This requires organizations to adopt a digital mindset that encourages innovation and approach digital as the way forward

Requires collaborative leadership: Successful DX requires adopting a digital mindset from top-to-bottom. Without the support of the leadership and the top-level management, digital initiatives and projects will fail.

Transformation of the human resource: Enhancing the people of the organization is as important as enhancing the technology. A company’s level of digital dexterity can be the determining point of failure and success. To learn more about digital dexterity, check out our comprehensive article.  

Transformation of vision and mission: Failure to incorporate digital in the organizational vision and mission can be damaging and can lead to DX failure.

To streamline your DX journey and avoid failure, check out our comprehensive article on the digital transformation framework.

Figure 1. A 5 step digital transformation framework

Watch how DBS bank focused on all aspects of digital transformation to achieve excellence.

Myth 2. DX has no tangible value

Another misconception that business leaders need to overcome is understanding that digital transformation has no measurable value. 

Digital technologies benefit almost every business component, including financial benefits, operational benefits, and sustainable benefits. Organizations are leveraging digital technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of things (IoT), Automation, blockchain, etc, to achieve higher efficiency, productivity, and sustainability.

The benefits of digital transformation are real and there is an abundance of evidence. Check out our article on digital transformation case studies and success stories.

Check out our comprehensive article on DX Key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure your business’s DX progress and benefits. 

PTC also provides a framework to identify value in your digital transformation initiative and process (see Figure 2).

Figure 2. A 5 step framework to identify value in digital transformation

Source: PTC

Myth 3: Going big is better

Thinking that going big with digital transformation will bring out big results is also a misconception. DX does not necessarily require big initiatives to succeed. Instead, a more effective process is approaching DX as a process of small achievable objectives.

Initiating large-case and high-risk digital projects will not necessarily return big value. They can also result in failure and substantial losses. Business leaders need to get a clear understanding of what creates value for them and then design their DX strategy based on achievable objectives which contribute to the long-term goals. 

According to BCG, having an objective-based and agile approach is important for the success of DX:

Myth 4: One size fits all

Thinking that there’s a single formula for digital transformation that is appropriate for all organizations is another misconception. Business leaders need to understand that a DX framework that worked for one organization might not work for another.  

Every organization needs to ask these 3 questions before creating its digital transformation strategy.

Source: Deloitte

Myth 5: DX is a quick fix

While there are off-the-shelf digital packages and solutions that can be purchased to elevate an organization’s digital capabilities, they are just a part of the never-ending DX journey. This process will have many hurdles and moments of success, and since technology is always changing and upgrading, companies will have to keep improving their digital strength. 

Myth 6: DX is optional

Digital transformation is not an option anymore if businesses need to survive in the post-pandemic world. According to a recent PwC study, 60% of business executives consider digital transformation as a top growth driver for 2023 and beyond (see Figure 3).

Figure 3. Top growth drivers and focus of investment by companies

Source: PWC

Watch how digital transformation has become a necessity for Northrop Grumman, an aerospace and defense company:

To maximize the value of your digital transformation investments, you can consult a digital transformation expert. Check out our sortable/filterable list of digital transformation consulting companies to find the option that best suits your business needs.

Further reading

To accelerate your digital transformation process, check out:

Shehmir Javaid

Shehmir Javaid is an industry analyst at AIMultiple. He has a background in logistics and supply chain management research and loves learning about innovative technology and sustainability. He completed his MSc in logistics and operations management from Cardiff University UK and Bachelor’s in international business administration From Cardiff Metropolitan University UK.





Race Practical Digital Strategy Online Training Course

RACE Practical Digital Strategy Learning Path Learn how to create and implement an integrated omnichannel marketing plan How will this Learning Path help me and my business?

This structured e-learning activity will help you or your team to implement digital marketing practices effectively within your organization by planning, managing and optimizing your digital media, digital experiences and digital data.

What is a Learning Path?

Smart Insight’s Learning Paths are our unique interactive online training courses which explain concepts, give examples and test understanding.

Unlike many online e-learning courses, each module is self-contained, so you can quickly access guidance to help improve your marketing activities.

Our Learning Paths are integrated with downloadable templates to help you audit your performance, set forecasts and create action plans. Each Learning Path includes different types of example templates in Excel, Powerpoint and Word from our resource library to help you create your action plans as you work through the Learning Path.

Common modules are shared between Learning Paths to avoid duplication of learning material. You can also complete the full Learning Path to earn a CPDSO certification.

We appreciate finding time for skills development is a challenge. Our Learning Paths enable training to be bite-sized, engaging and – crucially – results orientated. When combined with our suite of templates, you’ll soon be taking your marketing activities to the next level.

Accredited learning activities with the Continuing Professional Development Standards Office (CPDSO)

Each Smart Insights Learning Path has been independently assessed and accredited by the CPD Standards Office, so you can be confident that the quality of the learning and assessment experience has been audited and recognized for its quality.

Development Objective

Members who successfully complete this Learning Path have the ability to implement an integrated digital strategy and implementation plan as part of a wider strategic initiative.

Once you have completed a Learning Path, send an email to [email protected] to request your CPD certificate.

Learning Objectives

Recognising the success factors of an effective digital marketing strategy.

Structure a plan using SOSTAC® and the RACE Framework.

Define audience personas and assess the customer journey.

Review your current digital marketing capabilities and benchmark competitors using RACE and implement the plan through search, social media and email marketing to achieve your goals

Define investments in digital customer experience with an online value proposition that improves customer onboarding, growth, service and success.

Create a RACE Framework dashboard for digital reporting incorporating Google Analytics goals.

How is the Learning Path structured?

The Learning Path is separated into these topics and modules:

Topic 1 – Practical Strategy – Plan

Digital strategy success factors

Structure a plan using SOSTAC®

Structure a plan using the RACE Framework

Create a digital SWOT using RACE

Define audience personas

Assess audience customer journeys

Competitor benchmarking with RACE

Set digital marketing goals and objectives

Defining Google Analytics goals

Topic 2 – Practical Strategy – Reach

Review media performance

Select search marketing investments

Influencer marketing

Paid media investment

Define acquisition budget and plan

Create a digital marketing reporting dashboard

How to use campaign tracking in Google Analytics

Topic 3 – Practical Strategy – Act

Improve website customer journeys

Define data capture and profiling

Define content marketing strategy

Define landing pages

Define campaign budget

Define data capture and profiling

Define campaign timeline

Topic 4 – Practical Strategy – Convert

Set up email nurture and retargeting

Set up ad retargeting

Web personalization

Multichannel selling

Conversion optimization

Topic 5 – Practical Strategy – Engage

Customer onboarding and growth

Improve digital customer experience

Customer service and success

Use email to support marketing campaigns

Use social media to support marketing campaigns

Post-campaign review

Roles who will find this Learning Path useful

Company owners and directors working for smaller businesses

Managers responsible for increasing the contribution of digital channels in their organization, including Digital Director and digital marketing managers

Digital marketing managers or marketing executives or specialists responsible for email marketing

Consultants or agency account managers

What Is The Role Of Orm In Digital Marketing?

The main objective of online reputation management, or ORM, is to promote a good portrayal of an item or organization.

Even though each company’s approach to content marketing strategy will be varied, ORM ought to incorporate some mixture of the following:

Staff and client tales, subscriber information (UGC), testimonials, conferences, and model materials are examples of mainstream media.

Publicity consists of corporate communications, consumer promotions, and corporate communications.

Service learning and collaborations, cross efforts, and spontaneous interactions on social media are examples of computer networks.

Shifting the Story

Restoring your internet identity is really difficult.

An unusual experience with your company may not only deter a single consumer from coming, but then if they chose to publish a nasty evaluation on Amazon, LinkedIn, or anywhere else for that, you might soon see a decline in sales.

According to a Khoros 2023 survey, 83% of customers are more loyal to firms who listen to and solutions to their problems.

Knowing Your Clients

If your company does not have its foot just on the pace of developing brand discussion, you may have to allocate considerable resources to new marketing campaigns that failed to solve the first impediment because you did not address underlying problems earlier.

Although the terms “confidence administration” and “corporate communications” are frequently used similarly, they really mean entirely distinct things.

They can both be commonly utilized as a component of your comprehensive product marketing, but it’s critical to grasp the distinctions before spending on either one or both of them.

Although ORM focuses only on the requirements of the company and sustaining a favorable internet presence, PR fosters a more beneficial relationship between this kind of company as well as other organizations, notably the press.

Public relations initiatives may and ought to be focused on enhancing a company’s public perception.

Yet, the purpose is usually to present messages concerning something additional specialized, such as a recently introduced service or product.

ORM and Website Development

Brands have practically no influence over customer reviews and nowhere is this more evident and less on online platforms.

Indeed, commanding the listings on search engine outcomes pages (SERPs) with quality brand narratives is an important aspect of ORM.

But, efficiently controlling and answering inquiries on different parts of the internet is also important. It is critical to be proactive and take part in online dialogues regarding your business.

Several of them have opinion analysis techniques, allowing you to readily track if your discussions are skewed more upward or downward.

What Exactly is ORM in SEO?

To uphold an excellent impression for its consumers, a competent online reputation management business uses SEO as well as other strategies.

ORM and SEO allow you to organize information and webpages with an eye towards web placement. Somebody, will most probably have searched you up on social media prior to starting a trade with you. As a consequence, the connections and material at the beginning of the results page will reflect how possible stakeholders see you. It is additionally the reason why it’s critical to keep a positive internet presence.

Individuals look on the World Wide Web for data concerning themselves and are impacted by what they find. It is critical to ensure that only uplifting material performs well.

The Relevance of ORM in Internet Advertising

Internet reputation management is critical for keeping a good impression on the public and establishing your company in the industry. Given the prominence of third-party evaluations, having a solid internet presence is crucial for any organization.

Negative reviews can be combated via ORM. It can assist you in keeping a record of your industry’s or manufacturer’s online reputation. Furthermore, the notion of the management of reputation (ORM) may assist you in removing negative material from search engine results by introducing fresh and meaningful information.

Employ Anyone else to Assist you with ORM

Dialogue about company business is continually occurring, regardless of whether you realize it or not.

Once it involves acquiring new clients and maintaining existing buildings, a targeted ORM campaign may have a substantial effect.

Create a positive first appearance and reclaim ownership of your company’s online narrative.


Social media is becoming an increasingly important aspect of just how companies promote themselves in the digital sphere. Potential clients, present consumers, and experts are all looking at your public interactions to decide the degree to which people want to collaborate alongside you.

The simplest and greatest way to remain on top of such matters is through online reputation management, which ensures that everything is stated appropriately and represents the brand recognition you want to build and uphold.

What Are The Most Important Goals Of Digital Marketing?

To ensure that your digital campaigns are running smoothly, it’s essential to establish detailed objectives. First and foremost, decide which goal will deliver the most impact for your business and set a timeline for when you want to achieve it. Once you know what success looks like in numbers and have set a plan in place to reach those targets, then your entire team can focus on taking concrete steps toward achieving them.

Therefore, having realistic yet ambitious goals is key when developing any strategy associated with digital marketing efforts. Without measurable objectives in mind from the start, it can be hard to evaluate progress or strategize ways of reaching a certain milestone – both of which are fundamental elements of successful businesses today!

In setting your goals think about how different activities influence each other when it comes to creating an overall strategy for success; consider both short-term objectives (what do I want out of this campaign?) and longer-term efforts which may form part of a wider initiative like brand awareness or customer acquisition growth.

All of these measures will help you evaluate whether you’re achieving success in reaching potential customers, engaging with new prospects, or retaining existing customers in order to meet your overall objectives.

Opt for SMART Setting

SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound) setting is a powerful technique to create goals that are achievable. SMART goals force you to think through your objectives in each area of life instead of setting vague resolutions.

One should always remember when creating specific goals, it’s important to focus on outcomes rather than activities – goal setting isn’t about what you’ll do but rather they will achieve when you do those things.

Specificity makes the goal much more realistic and measurable which helps increases motivation by providing focus and direction toward achievement. Making sure the goals are relevant to personal desires is also key as this boosts enthusiasm for reaching them making it much easier to stay motivated during challenging times or setbacks on long-term projects.

Adding a timeline helps keep everyone accountable so there’s an endpoint for success or failure accordingly. If a deadline cannot be established, then measuring progress routinely against predetermined checkpoints can help ensure short-term successes along the journey and aid in getting closer to achieving the overall goal within reason based on allocated resources available at any given time period.

How to Measure Your Goals?

Measuring your digital marketing goals is an essential part of any successful strategy. To ensure that you are reaching your desired results, it is important to track and measure key performance indicators (KPIs).

There are a number of ways to go about doing this, including using analytics tools such as Google Analytics and tracking software to evaluate the effectiveness of certain tactics over time. Additionally, surveys and customer feedback forms can provide valuable insight into how customers perceive and respond to different aspects of a campaign.

Finally, setting milestones for yourself or team members and monitoring progress towards them will help keep everyone on track in terms of achieving the desired goals. In all cases, measuring will give you data-driven answers about what works well for your business so that you can make changes if necessary and stay focused on achieving success with digital marketing campaigns.

Strategies You Must Opt for Digital Marketing Prioritize personalization

Personalization increases the chances that a reader will actually engage with it. People often see impersonal content as an indication that you don’t care enough, and they’ll move on to something else before they take the time to read it.

Incorporate personalization into headlines, emails, and website copy to make sure readers feel like they’re being talked directly to instead of just another part of an audience of millions.

Additionally, use tools like IP targeting or retargeting where possible – this will show customers you understand their needs in a more direct way since these techniques change up offers based on location or other factors.

Look for first-party data

Be it through Privacy Policies or yet another data scandal, the average web user is painfully aware of how many different types of data these websites collect. As such, organizations must be more conscientious than ever in protecting and managing their collected customer data. They have to strike a tricky balance between complying with relevant regulations while also making use of customer information to increase engagement and loyalty.

When you have accurate, real-time data available, it not only allows you to better understand your customers and make smart decisions but also lets you act on those decisions quickly. Furthermore, first-party data provides a more complete picture of the customer journey that can inform content creation along with targeting tactics.

Whether it’s optimizing current marketing efforts or launching new initiatives, well-developed campaigns are built upon an understanding of who your customers are and what they want from their digital experience. Be sure to assess how effectively each campaign is performing and adjust based on relevant learnings.

Put simply: if something isn’t working for you; evolve your approach by analyzing the success metrics as closely as possible against the goals set before launch. This will help ensure that budgets are used efficiently for maximum return—and better serve your mutual success in the long run.


Utilizing data to better understand your customer experience is key. Companies must collect and analyze their different customer touch points, or points of contact with customers—such as a website visit, email interaction, or phone call—in order to create truly meaningful content. This will help them determine what strategies are most effective at driving consumer behavior.

In addition, marketers need these insights if they want to remain competitive; without accurate data from which to draw meaningful conclusions about the success of past campaigns and predictions for future ones, companies will fall behind in no time.

Difference Between Digital Signature And Digital Certificate

An attachment to an electronic document that can be viewed as a signature is referred to as a digital signature. It is used to prevent the unauthorized alterations in a document. Thus, a digital signature is created for encrypting the document. On the other hand, the medium which is provided to validate the identity of a user for an electronic transaction is referred to as a digital certificate. Digital certificates are used to provide protection against unauthorized data exchange from user to websites.

The most basic difference between a digital signature and a digital certificate is that a digital signature is used to verify the authenticity of a specific document, whereas a digital certificate is used to create an identity for a website. Read this article to find out more about digital signatures and digital certificates and how they are different from each other.

What is a Digital Signature?

A Digital signature is basically a digital code which is created and validated by the public key encryption. It is a mathematical scheme for verifying the authenticity of digital messages or documents.

The digital signature is based on the RSA algorithm and public key cryptography that depends upon two mutually authenticating cryptographic keys.

The sender creates the digital signature using his/her own private key to encrypt signature−related data.

To decrypt the data, the signer’s public key is used which is the only key to decrypt it.

The digital signature is attached to an electronically transmitted document verifying its contents and the sender’s identity to authenticate him. It is mainly used for software distribution, financial transactions, and contract management software.

What is a Digital Certificate?

A Digital certificate is an electronic certificate that is issued to verify the authenticity of a user. Thus, it is used for verifying the user sending a message is who he or she claims to be, and also to provide the receiver with the means to encode a reply. Whoever wants to send encrypted messages applies for a digital certificate from a Certificate Authority (CA). A digital certificate allows entities to share their public key in an authenticated way.

Digital certificates are used in initializing and establishing secure SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) connections between web browsers and web servers.

Difference between Digital Signature and Digital Certificate

The following table highlights how a digital signature is different from a digital certificate −

S. No. Digital Signature Digital Certificate

1. It helps in verifying the authenticity of a specific document. It helps in creating an identity for a website.

2. It also helps in verifying the source of a specific document. It also improves the trustworthy nature of the website.

3. Digital signature creation process includes encryption and decryption using asymmetric keys. A digital certificate can be issued by a trusted agency known as the CA. The CA follows specific steps such as key generation, registration, verification and creation.

4. It helps provide authentication, non−repudiation and integrity. It helps provide authentication and security.

5. Digital signature of a certificate authority is verified on a digital certificate. Digital certificate is a digital signed document, and can be used to sign other documents digitally.


Both digital signatures and digital certificates are used to ensure the authenticity of a digital document. But, they are completely different from each other as specified in the above table. The most significant different between a digital signature and a digital certificate is that a digital signature is used to protect a document from tempering, whereas a digital certificate is used to increase the trustworthiness of a website.

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