Effective Digital Marketing Strategy Guide
Consistently produce, track, evaluate and celebrate volumes of small and large accomplishments – and correlate them to results of the digital transformation.
“Track your small wins to motivate big accomplishments.” – Teresa Amabile
Motivation is critical to leading digital transformation or any other big change. Motivation comes from organizational momentum that comes from a combination of Digital action and continuous small or big wins at regular intervals.
Digital Transformation Momentum= Digital Action X (Short-Term Wins)
Here are some of my key lessons learnt on generating short-term wins and fueling the big change of digital transformation:
Communicate Wins/Results in Sesame Street terms
One of my very good friend and colleague always says, keep it so simple that even your grandmother can understand. We all love complex analytics/numbers especially when it comes to declaring results but it is very important that we use sesame street simple analytics/numbers/terminology that our stakeholders can easily understand.
“Don’t leave your results at the mercy of interpretation”
Spotlight Early Adopters and Advertise the(ir) wins!
This is probably one of my biggest ingredients to the success of Digital Transformation. In the early days of digital transformation once I have preliminary small wins, I encourage and bring our key business stakeholders on the stage/phone/meetings to share their journey, story and wins. This generated authentic excitement among other stakehodlers and motivation to be part of digital transformation. This way I found more partners who want to co-create those short-term win and success stories.
Replicate success at other places/projects/teams
Once I have a tested formula to make business impact in one area/group, immediately I try to find other areas of opportunity to apply that knowledge. This helps in creating more success stories in more areas/groups. As more short-term wins/success stories come in especially from different groups, bigger momentum around digital transformation is created. This leads to a long lasting change at a far faster pace!
I recently understood the importance of reframing the problem before looking into solutions. It helps in creating simple, effective and economical solution in far shorter time.
Here are Seven practices for effective reframing of problem in few minutes that I learnt from HBR article:
- Establish legitimacy: It’s difficult to use reframing if you are the only person in the room who understands the matter. Share this article with your team https://hbr.org/2017/01/are-you-solving-the-right-problems
- Bring outsiders into the discussion: Someone who works with your team but not part of it. They will think differently and challenge the group’s thinking.
- People’s definition in writing: This helps in ensuring everyone have the same view and understanding of the problem.
- Ask what’s missing: This ensures the description of problem is accurate and complete.
- Consider multiple categories: Invite people to identify specifically what category of problem they think the group is facing.
- Analyze positive exceptions: Look to instances when the problem did not Occur, asking, what was different about that situation?
- Question the objective: Reframe by paying explicit attention to the objectives of the parties involved first clarifying and then challenging them.
The purpose of this stage is to overcome barriers to Digital Transformation. It is crucial to remove barriers to change, change systems or structures that pose threats to digital transformation. These barriers could be structure, skills, systems and supervisors. Three main best practices for removing barriers to change are:
Educate & Engage
When major changes are initiated we need to think about new behavior, skills and attitudes that are required in the new world. A good training with right kind of experience enables digital transformation in a big way. Always remember that encouraged and empowered employees make an enterprise win!
Inform & Negotiate
Every transformation will have it’s fair share of problem stakeholders. A huge category of such problem stakeholders can be influenced directly and indirectly. These stakeholders are not just against the change but also have huge organizational influence. There is no way that your change will be successful without including them in the process. Understanding the real needs/fears of such stakeholders is very critical as you try to negotiate with them to be the supporters of your change.
Every time after a successful negotiations I feel like this
Some of the problem stakeholders are completely against the change but don’t have huge influence on the organization. The best strategy for such stakeholders is to give them very high level information and keep them out of your routine. You may like to negotiate with such stakeholders but that may not be the best use of your time!
“Change happens when it is done by the people and not to the people!”
In step 2 we talked about building a guiding coalition. Now is the time to take participation in Digital Transformation to new levels by enlisting volunteers. It is just like software moving from Alpha to a beta stage. The intent is to have more adopters who can participate, provide live feedback and become the change agents.
Raise a bigger force of people who are ready, willing and urgent to drive the Digital Transformation change. The other intent of this step is to make more co-authors of this Digital Transformation change. As more people will get engaged in the earlier stage hence they will become the true carriers of the vision and message. In order to expand use the power of communication.
The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place. -George Bernard Shaw
Communication seems to work best when it is direct and simple. Simple communication only comes through great clarity of thought plus courage to keep it simple. Even when this is a Digital Transformation All jargon and technical language must be avoided at any cost while you communicate vision.
Tip: If you are originally from technology background like me, this may be an area of improvement.
A picture is worth a thousand words
Well chosen words can make it memorable, even if it has to compete with hundreds of other communications for people’s attention. Always remember logic makes us think, emotion drives us to act. Emotion can also come from analogies, stories, or concrete examples that illustrate what success looks like while you communicate vision.
I am guilty of over communicating the technology infrastructure we plan to bring and invest into. Every time I did that I have seen faces in the room who leave without getting the vision of Digital Transformation.
Tip: Communicate vision in terms of business benefits and that too in a simple language that even a grandmother can understand. Analogy and examples are a great tool for that.
Metaphors have a way of holding the most truth in the least space. -Orson Scott Card
We should use all the vehicles available to communicate vision. The message should come from all different channels. Big meetings and small, memos and newsletters, formal and by the coffee machine interaction – all are effective for spreading the message. We should continue to do this repeatedly as ideas sink in deeply only after they have been heard many times. If you are a marketer, you very well understand how many impressions lead to conversion. It hardly happens with just one impression!
You and other key players should live the vision in real time. Everything that is being done by the key team should be aligned to the vision and strategy for the Digital Transformation. Even repeated attempts to communicate vision cannot help if you and your key team are not acting as per the vision and strategy. If there are any inconsistencies, those should be addressed immediately and communicated.
“Swallow your pride and always be ready to accept that you may not be right” – Your Truly
As Digital Transformation lead, I have sometimes avoided two-way communication as I was afraid of a stakeholder not adopting my vision. Over these years I have learned that two-way communication is always more powerful than one-way communication. Two-way communication may suggest sometimes that we are on the wrong course and that vision needs to be revisited. Swallowing our pride and reworking the vision or strategy is far more productive that heading off in the wrong direction or with a wrong strategy for Digital Transformation.
The more we elaborate our means of communication, the less we communicate.- J. B. Priestley