Accelerating Digital Transformation – Solution to the Most Common Obstacle

An important question and discussion came up recently at a partner workshop that I want to share here in the hopes that it helps you too…

One of the most common challenges we see across organizations looking at digital transformation – trying to balance the constraints of daily business against the need to create a new digital experience.

The world doesn’t pause while you build a perfect new digital experience. The challenge is how to build the new while the you keep the old running.

Fortunately, there is a repeatable approach that has worked well for many organizations and it can work for your organization as well…

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Situation: A client has a given marketing and web team. They want to modernize their website with personalized experiences, persona focused buyer journeys, relevant contextual content, conversion optimization, and user experience analytics.

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Dilemma:
Client’s existing team is barely able to keep up with the daily maintenance of the website with the ‘keep-the-shop-running’ requests from across the company. With this daily influx of tasks they don’t have time available to invest in revamping and modernizing the website. They have tried to use existing resources but the website upgrade/redo is taking to long. What should they do?

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Recommended Approach:
Before walking through the approach, let’s touch on the why…

The repeatable outcomes we have seen:

  1. Radically compressed time to transformation
  2. Step wise delivery of iterative progress
  3. Organizational knowledge leveraged while delivered through new implementation resources
  4. Current business run-rate protected, while accelerating the path to greater (and aligned) business outcomes

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Solution:
Understanding the why, let’s touch on the how. To achieve the above outcomes, the recommended approach is as follows. Use the core team resources to support the current digital web property, and team with a Partner (e.g. one of Sitecore’s great partners), to collaboratively define and build out the new digital transformation. Leverage the implementation partner’s deep digital expertise to then accelerate tactical configuration and implementation. The key to this approach is that it enables the organization to make a digital shift faster, delivering business outcomes sooner, with expert guidance to learn along the way.

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It’s a divide and conquer approach.

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One important insight – build and deploy the transformation in an agile format with a step-wise deployment – it does not have to be a complete rip and replace, it can, more practically, be a progressive transition. Agile and SCRUM provide the way.

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What does this look like, in plain terms?

Here is an abbreviated summary to give you an overall picture…

1) Engage the leadership team to use the organization’s strategy to define marketing goals and digital outcome objectives.

2) Define the most important target segments and personas.

3) Define the corresponding buying cycle and customer journeys (keep it simple).

4) Inventory current content aligned to these journeys.

5) Identify key journey content gaps (and prioritize).

6) Build out priority journey pages and missing priority journey content.

7) Implement a baseline personalization.

8) Implement initial data profiling and analytics.

9) Use analytics to optimize initial personalization to drive quick wins, to then use as demonstrated impact to the business.

10) Engage leadership team with before/after outcomes to deepen buy in, investment, and scale the effort to subsequent steps in an agile roadmap.

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How and why does this work?

  • The institutional knowledge of the organization informs strategy, goals, desired business outcomes, personas, and journeys
  • The Partner can lead the process so that strategy guides execution
  • The Partner provides the resources to deliver faster
  • The Partner’s expertise enables the how-to rapid implementation (of the organization’s defined goals)
  • The partner-client collaboration creates a hands-on learning process to skill up the client’s core marketing/web team
  • The delivery of business outcome wins provides the rationale to fund critical new hires to address current digital skill gaps

The Sitecore Experience Platform provides a true end-to-end integration that can enable a progressive delivery along a defined digital experience and context marketing roadmap (delivering greater outcomes with each progressive step).

 

Takeaways: Clearly, there are more details to implementing these and additional steps, but my goal here is to give you a sense of the overall approach and that there is a way to intentionally tackle this very common digital experience transformation challenge, in both small and large organizations.

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The Sitecore Experience Platform can provide the technology and Sitecore’s Partners can provide the implementation people and process. Myself and my colleagues in the Sitecore Business Optimization Strategies group, can assist with best practices.

If you now find yourself in a challenging digital transformation situation, I am happy to help give you some inputs. I would also encourage you to check out sitecore.net and engage us in an official manner.

 

 

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