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Digital Transformation Building Blocks – Part 2


by Barton Goldenberg

This continues our two-part series on ISM’s framework for digital transformation examining the digital transformation building blocks for digital success.

The Five Digital Transformation Building Blocks

In our experience, companies that have been successful in their digital transformation efforts employ an integrated framework, where data produced and used in various customer strategy projects is integrated and shared seamlessly between activities. Companies that have struggled to tackle digital transformation typically fall short with respect to one or more of five key building blocks.

Data & Analytics
Digital Customer Communities
Customer Engagement
Emerging Technologies

Often, they lack a roadmap that incorporates each of these elements to guide their digital transformation initiatives. We previously looked at CRM and Data & Analytics. Here, we’ll explore the remaining three components — Digital Customer Communities, Customer Engagement, and Emerging Technologies.

Digital Customer Communities

Customers expect to be able to communicate with organizations digitally.  They expect 24/7 accessibility and support.  Specialized social media communities, especially private or ‘branded’ communities, address these requirements head-on by providing a controlled, monitored environment for customer engagement and interaction.  They provide members with an online, private platform with a corporate URL that’s accessible from work and available 24/7.  They reinforce product/industry leadership and are a company’s best lead nurturing tool.

Most importantly, private social media communities allow a company to listen to the ‘voice of the customer.’ All of these attributes increase customer engagement with the brand, leading to greater customer satisfaction, improved acquisition and retention, and long-term competitive advantage.

Customer Engagement

Effective customer engagement shortens sales cycles, increases customer spending, lowers customer churn, increases brand awareness, and secures higher customer loyalty and advocacy. Companies are increasingly using videos, content sharing, chatbots using conversational AI, and robotic process automation tools to keep customers engaged. Digital technologies enable the creation of new analytical techniques and best practices, including cross-channel customer journey mapping, omni-channel management, customer experience management, customer success programs, and more.

Emerging Technologies

Emerging digital technologies– provide new ways to capture customer knowledge and insight, enhance data integration and dissemination across channels, connect and collaborate with customers, create better products and services, shorten the sale cycle, reduce operational costs, and stay one step ahead of the competition.  While the list is long and growing, some of the most promising new technologies include mobile apps, identity resolution, virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR), artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, personalization, digital portals, wearables, addressable TV, Internet of Things, and blockchain.  A sound Digital Transformation strategy includes pilots of multiple emerging technologies as appropriate to the organization, its products and its target customers.

ISM has found that a successful Digital Transformation program starts with a high-level strategy tied to the company’s business direction. This is followed by the creation of a multi-step roadmap addressing people, process and technology that clearly identifies key milestones and ties back to the company’s strategy. Having a good partner to guide you through every step of this process can help ensure optimal results. Our time-tested approach and proven top-down/bottom-up methodology take into account each client’s unique strategic objectives, processes, culture and systems-integration needs. Contact us to learn more.


Learn more by reading “Does Your Company Have Plans to Build its ‘Digital Customer Community’?”.   The New Era of Online Communities,  transforming sales, customer support and customer engagement.