How Far Progressed Are Australian Organisations With Digital Go-To-Market Transformation?

by Chris Horn

With many of us working on adapting to the new buyer, the task of figuring out a clear transformation roadmap – detailing what you need to do and in what order – is one of the most significant challenges early on.

Across the transformation projects we’ve delivered, we’ve observed three broad stages that organisations tend to progress through on the path to digital maturity:

  • Stage 1 – Operationally pivoting to the customer
  • Stage 2 – Integrating marketing and sales execution
  • Stage 3 – Delivering relevance, at scale

Recent Blackdot insights sessions have gathered feedback and survey data from a broad range of leading brands on where they are up to on this pathway. In this post we’ll present the data from these events to provide a clear view of where enterprise-level Australian organisations are placed in their digital go-to-market transformations.

Let’s walk through the transformation stages and explore where most organisations currently sit.

The pathway to driving customer-centric marketing and sales results

Stage 1 – Operationally pivoting to the customer

Key challenge: How do you define the roadmap, then deliver the transformation to fundamentally reorganise the business around the customer?

The first stage is about setting the foundation and impetus for digital transformation. Taking the business on the transformation journey will be critical to gain momentum for change, cross-functional sponsorship and business-wide understanding. A deeper understanding of your key customer segments will be required to start delivering the highly relevant experience today’s customers expect. But before you can start executing to that effect, you will need to lay the process, content, channel, data and technology foundations necessary to drive new customer interactions. In this stage, customer-centricity can no longer be just a good intention, it’s an operational imperative. You need to make a profound and transformational pivot to fundamentally reorganise the business around the customer.

“Customer-Centricity Can No Longer Be Just A Good Intention, It’s An Operational Imperative”

Stage 2 – Integrating marketing and sales execution

Key challenge: How do you enable staff to add value to customers with the right interaction, in the right channel, at the right time?

Stage two is where you start to actively experiment with new processes and technologies. Pilot programs will play a critical role in proving the value of your transformation program and help you gain further buy-in and funding from across the business. You start to break down channel and functional silos, then begin integrating marketing and sales by mapping combined processes and operating models. In this stage, a ‘test and learn’ approach is essential to build and then run a new core execution platform – one that will need to be continually fine-tuned.

“A ‘Test And Learn’ Approach Is Essential To Build & Then Run A New Core Execution Platform”

Stage 3 – Delivering relevance, at scale

Key challenge: How do you leverage new tools to deliver the required customer experience end-to-end and demonstrate the ROI?

Stage three is where it starts to get really exciting. You have to systematically dissolve any remaining data and customer-facing silos that are preventing a truly seamless customer experience. Every decision you make will be informed by data and evidence. Your core execution engine is established, allowing you to leverage the influx of data to build a culture of accountability and continuous improvement. You gain transparency into marketing and sales execution and a clear understanding of what is and isn’t working across the customer lifecycle. Your technology ecosystem will allow you to start delivering the dynamic content and scaled personalisation which today’s customer increasingly expects.

“Leverage The Influx of Data To Build A Culture of Accountability & Continuous Improvement”

Where are organisations placed on their transformation journey?

A survey conducted at our ‘Leveraging Digital for Growth’ insights sessions provides a snapshot of where most organisations are placed on their transformation journey.

The survey is based on responses from over 450 business, marketing and sales leaders who attended our sessions in Sydney and Melbourne earlier in 2016, with respondents representing a range of industries and leadership roles:

When asked in which of the three transformation stages their organisation was currently placed, 70% of respondents revealed they were in stage one, while 27% were in stage two and 3% in stage three.

How can you accelerate transformation progress?

On top of the difficulty of mapping out new ways of working, advocates for transformation within large, complex businesses also face the significant challenge of breaking through silos and driving change. While leveraging proven pathways such as the aforementioned three stages will help you avoid the common pitfalls and gain traction, the reality is that the journey will be different for everyone. You’ll need to test, learn and evolve a whole new execution platform that will be unique to your business.

One of the most common approaches to accelerate transformation progress is to move ahead with pilots. If successful, they can help you prove the value of transformation to the business, earn the right to invest in further initiatives, convert cynics and generate business engagement in critical areas.