Digital Transformation: A People-Centric Approach

March 12, 2024
Digital Transformation: A People-Centric Approach

The turn of the decade forced people all over the world to separate due to the pandemic. Industries everywhere had to make difficult decisions on how to continue running business remotely amidst the uncertainty.  

For some, that meant packing up laptops and a change of scenery. For others, there was a massive divide in how to bridge the gap in keeping business moving. 

What was the difference that cost some companies extravagant amounts of money versus those where nothing much changed. Some had already jumped fully into the digital era, while others have been dragging their feet, relying on the patterns of the past in the hopes of staying afloat. Little did they know they’d be forced into a remote existence. 

Digital processes have allowed companies to stay connected amidst vast changes in order to reach the prospects they need in order to grow. Although change is hard, we can only fight it so much until it forces itself due to necessity. 

How do we create transformations while keeping the right mindset? Here’s how to stay ahead of the game.

What is Digital Transformation? 

Digital transformation is the process of integrating digital technology into business processes in order to update overall performance, approach, and customer experience. 

When you think about a transformation, you should be considering people (employees and customers), technology, and processes. Any digital updates will affect all of those areas, and it’s important to lay the right foundation to be successful. 

Why Is Digital Transformation Necessary? 

Transformation is no stranger to business: we no longer use the printed phone book for sales outreach or plug-in to dial-up connection. Why? Because time is money – and wasting time on inefficient processes is throwing revenue down the drain.  

The flip side is that people don’t typically like change, so implementing new processes will likely cause some pushback from both internal employees and external customers.  

Start by thinking about the people FIRST: how will these changes affect your team and your customers? 

Listen with empathy and educate individuals about the benefits of thinking forward to a more efficient future of the company.  

Here’s the thing: the digital landscape is rapidly evolving. If your company doesn’t stay ahead, someone else will. Customer demands are ever-changing, and that’s never going to stop. Transforming your business processes digitally will enable better internal functions, better customer service, and will bring greater value to all of your products and services.  

This is a marathon, not a sprint. It will take time and effort. Don’t lose sight of the goal. 

How Do I Implement Digital Transformation?  

Start by wrapping your mind around the areas that are foundational for change. Change management is necessary for digital transformation. That means educating your internal teams about what’s coming and getting them excited about taking part in it. The more you can give ownership to internal teams, the easier it will be to create real transformation.  

Tips for digital transformation: 

  • Keep a people-first mindset! 
  • Encourage buy-in from internal teams in advance to build excitement. 
  • Think about how to transform all areas, such as operations, HR, marketing, sales, customer service, and more. 
  • Discover areas where digital advancement can increase efficiency and save the company money in the long run. 
  • Help customers understand changes through an empathetic approach that includes active listening and training so that you’re with them every step of the way.
  • Build a culture of transformation through effective goal setting and a people-centric approach, both internally and with customers.

With a new perspective on the changes, your teams and your customers will trust you in the new processes and understand that it will help you become more competitive in your industry. 

Digital Transformation in People-Centric Marketing 

To many companies, digital transformation is very disruptive. Ever feel like you just want to be a renegade? Here’s your chance to be a disruptor. 

The good thing is, that it doesn’t have to feel disruptive – with the right communication and change management processes in place, it’ll be a seamless move into making your company more agile, people-centric, and data-driven to enable you to make better decisions in the future. 

Marketers have historically been the innovators in the business world, and it’s no different now. There are so many resources and tools at your fingertips that it can become overwhelming to decipher the best course of action. It can be helpful to consult a trusted agency partner to help you determine the best tools and processes to help your team. 

The best transformations allow your teams and companies to be MORE connected, even if you’re in completely different time zones or countries. 

Here’s What It Looks Like in Reality: 

When our client Certis USA came to us a couple of years ago, they knew it was time to get ahead of the competition due to the growing market. Since the company is in the emerging space of biological pesticides, they needed help putting processes in place within the digital space. 

Here are some ways our team helped with their digital transformation: 

  • Print to Digital: Since agriculture is typically a traditional industry, they relied heavily on print materials for channel partners and growers. The team strategically began developing ways to digitize many of their print pieces, like including unique QR codes on mailers or unique URLs on radio or print advertising.  
  • Digital Trade Shows: In-person trade shows and events are vastly important, so our team upgraded the process of marketing at a trade show to include more specific sales processes, including email sequences before and after the event, digital assets like technical product sheets, and gathering effective data for sales follow-ups. When the pandemic hit, they already had the processes in place to go completely virtual with trade shows and events while competitors scrambled to get their updates in place.
  • Find Your Solutions Tool: The whole Certis USA website went through a design and development update, so the team built it on the HubSpot CMS, which allows for complicated data to be stored and easily found on the site for users. The tool allows users to find information on products by type, pest, and crop. Now, partners and customers can quickly find resources, labels, SDS, and more on available products.

Jeremy Adamson, Product Manager, Certis USA

If you’d like to read about a different digital transformation, check out our YMCA Case Study!

Bottom Line: 

Change is tough, but as the digital world continues to move forward, digital transformations will be necessary and ongoing. The earlier you can get on board (or better yet, ahead), the better off you’ll be when it comes to having the competitive edge you need while keeping a people-first approach.


Author Bio

Abigail is the Content Manager ("Content Queen"), which enables her to lead the copywriting team, craft compelling stories for clients across industries, and oversee contracts. Her professional background includes teaching and sales with 10+ years in research, copywriting, and editing. She has a knack for details and an in-depth knowledge of storytelling, content development, brand voice, and tone. She holds a BA in English from Campbell University and an MA in English from East Carolina University. As an adventurer, lifelong learner, and lover of cats & plants, she approaches every day with curiosity and gutsiness. Connect with her on LinkedIn!