Technology is here to stay, whether we like it or not. Businesses across the globe are integrating it into their day-to-day operations. You see technology utilized in video conferencing, Customer Relationship Management tools, and digital products. This process of digital transformation (DX) can be an impactful strategy for small businesses.
In this article, we’ll discuss how some of these strategies can be implemented into your small business to start seeing real results.
What Is Digital Transformation?
A trend you can expect to keep growing is the use of technology and the growth of digital transformation in business.
So, what is digital transformation? And why is it important?
Digital transformation is the deliberate transition to digital technologies in an effort to change, create or enhance the way you do business. It’s a necessary change if you want to stay competitive in today’s digital economy.
You may have already encountered some of these changes. Things like email newsletters, loyalty apps, and online shops are part of the digital transformation process.
Digital Transformation Examples
Instead of sending physical mailers and advertisements to customers, a business may replace them with emails. Why? Because it’s more cost-effective and easier to scale. Email marketing has a greater return on investment, with brands earning an average of $36 for each dollar spent on email marketing.
Imagine being able to reach customers that are in a different location. Better yet, what if you can target the people who would benefit most from your products? This is just one example of digital transformation at work.
Another growing trend is the use of online shopping. Businesses are opting for eCommerce sites or websites to sell their products, connect with new customers, and retain their old customers.
Ideally, digital transformation is designed to enhance the customer’s experience. Businesses with more financial backing are able to pay for tools like artificial intelligence or customized smartphone applications.
Although those tools may be out of reach for most small businesses, you can still learn how to leverage other strategies to grow your business.
RELATED: What Is the Customer Journey?
Helpful Digital Transformation Steps
Here are some steps you can take towards enhancing the digital footprint of your small business.
Build a Professional Website
A website gives you more credibility and showcases your business’s information and services. Customers can learn more about the value that you provide.
You can add an option for customers to book appointments online and then automate a response. That way, you’re able to capitalize on each opportunity. For example, a customer is able to make an appointment at their own convenience, whereas in the past, they would need to call in and speak with a person. Oftentimes that call was limited to specific hours of operation.
Technology enables your business to continue operating even while you’re unavailable.
Invest in a CRM Tool
A customer relationship management tool helps your business gather data insights on customers and automate certain business processes. It’s software that helps you manage client information, interactions, big projects, communication and so much more.
Think of it as a tool that helps you build better relationships with your customers and improve their customer lifetime value.
Examples of CRM tools include:
The monthly fees for CRM tools can cost between $12 per month and up to $500.
Invest in Digital Advertisements
Small businesses have significantly less money to budget for marketing. Therefore, you’ll want to maximize every dollar you spend on advertisements.
In the past, you would pay for radio ads, billboards, newspaper ads, etc., to get more customers. Now, technology enables you to create digital ads that not only reach more customers but also target the right ones. For example, the billboard you paid for would only be seen by the people in that area. How many of those people are actually interested in your product? How much ROI would you see from that billboard? How would you track it?
Now, let’s say you transitioned to digital ads. A simple place to start is Google Ads.
First, you determine the target keywords related to your business that people may use to search.
Next, you create an ad campaign using those target keywords. When customers search up those keywords, your ad will pop up on the search. You pay for each time a customer clicks on your ad. The cost per click will vary depending on the keyword(s) and competition.
Other benefits of digital advertisements include the following:
- You get real-time data on your ad campaign.
- You can see which keywords are successful.
- You can target your ad to specific demographics.
- You gain more insight into your customers.
Create an Email Marketing Campaign
Email marketing is part of the digital advertisements umbrella. However, it’s a topic that should be further discussed due to the ease and accessibility a business can enjoy through a digital transformation.
Unlike Google ads, email opens up channels of communication between you and your customers. For example, you can connect with existing customers and inform them about new products or services. Why is this helpful? Because it is often easier to sell to an existing customer than it is to acquire new ones.
Customers can also connect with your business and offer feedback.You get to hear firsthand from them about their experience with your business. This also gives you an opportunity to address any issues and resolve them. Customers who feel that their voices are heard tend to be more satisfied, and therefore are more likely to recommend your business. This builds better customer relationships and boosts your brand’s image.
Digital transformation is an investment that allows you to save effort, money, and time. You’re not only transforming the way that you do business, but you’re also transforming your customer’s experience. Take the first step and start your digital transformation today.
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