What is digital transformation?

Digital Transformation (DT) is the process of adding digital technology to all areas of business. This includes improving your staff’s digital skills, processes, tools, and ability to test and onboard new tech quickly.

Why does Digital Transformation matter?

Digital transformation matters because the companies that don’t implement digital technology to ensure their companies grow, will perish. Publishers and certain media brands are dying; their situation likened to the state of dinosaurs back in the day. Both were massive in stature and once dominated the landscape. Both faced extinction and a permanent change to the way things used to be. The dinosaurs perished, but their close relative, the alligator, adapted and survived. Some like this 700-pound beauty that was recently found in Georgia even thrived.

700 pound alligator

Publishers and media brands have to figure out what they can do to thrive, not just survive.

Publishing is not dead.

Publishers still have extreme leverage because they’re the gatekeepers to the consumers that brands are trying to reach. This power holds even more weight if you’re a publisher that dominates a valuable niche. TripAdvisor is a publisher/media brand that built a business around the valuable travel-niche.

TripAdvisor understood that social media and search engines were changing the way consumers shopped and they built a business around it. Now, historical hotel brands like Hilton and Marriott are forced to pay TripAdvisor for access to their audience.

Three ways publishers and media brands can digitally transform their business:

JumpCrew specializes in acquiring publishers and media brands so we can digitally transform their businesses. We bought two companies and grew their revenue 5x each by leveraging technology used for integrating sales and marketing.

Here are three things that you can do to digitally transform your publishing or media company:

1. Organization Learning: Grow Your Skills

In a report by the Economist Intelligence Unit, 94% of the executives they surveyed said their companies had a substantial digital skills gap. The lack of digital skills is why Innosight reported that nearly 50% of the S&P 500 will become irrelevant over the next ten years. Most organizations don’t have training programs in place that allow them to learn, master, and apply new technology.

I’ll prove it to you… have you heard of an Alexa Skill? Is there anyone in your organization that can build one? If you answered “no” to one or both of these questions, you’re already falling behind. Voice marketing will be a game-changer for those who test and learn how to leverage it. Here’s another example, there was a point where people questioned search engine optimization(SEO) (some companies still do). The issue is that while you’re wasting time questioning implementing SEO, companies like Casper and TripAdvisor are popping up. Both of these companies built SEO into their business model and used it to create multi-billion dollar industries and brands. If you’re questioning something that’s proven to work, you likely don’t understand it. For this reason, invest in a strong Enterprise Learning Platform. Without it, you risk dinosaur status.

Build an organization where digital marketing and sales are essential crafts. The difference between thinking of digital marketing as a craft vs. a job is vital to your success. A job is a chore. It’s the thing you do to pay the bills. A craft is a calling; something you would do for free, but luckily people are willing to pay for. Find and invest in people who consider sales and digital marketing to be their craft. For them, keeping up with new tech isn’t a burden, they’ll always be ahead of the curve and leveraging new technology. 

2. Integrate Sales and Marketing

Your sales and marketing teams should work as a unit. If your company was a body, consider your sales and marketing teams to be your left and right leg. The only way to move forward is if your legs work together. Most companies don’t function this way. Their sales teams have one set of goals and their marketing teams have another. Separate goals are a recipe for disaster. Imagine trying to run if your legs wanted to go in opposite directions. Ouch!

Here’s an example, if your marketing teams’ goal is to bring in leads, and your sales teams’ goals are to close them, you’re in bad shape. Marketing will always say they did their job when a lead comes in regardless of the quality of the lead. In turn, sales will always blame marketing when they can’t close a deal regardless of the quality of the lead. Your sales and marketing teams have to focus on the same goals. Together, they should focus on getting low cost-per-acquisition, high conversion rates, high upsells, and low churn. If both teams worked to hit these goals, you’ll move forward.

3. Explore New Channels

Remember our friend the alligator? Alligators are so good at adapting to change and new environments that they can sleep in a frozen river with just their snouts out to breathe. If you run a publishing or media brand, you must embrace your inner alligator. Accept that things are changing and learn how to be the master of your environment. Find new channels like voice devices and podcasts, and use them to grow and monetize your audience. 

Wrapping it all up:

Digital transformation is indeed a new buzz word, but unlike other trending marketing-lingo, DT is here to stay. There are many aspects of digital transformation not covered above, however, investing in enterprise learning, integrating sales and marketing, and exploring new channels are all important factors that we’ve seen work. Hiring and training staff will let you build these processes and add efficient technology to every aspect of your business. Integrating your sales and marketing teams will help increase sales revenue and brand awareness while exploring new channels allows audience growth and new revenue stream opportunities. Main takeaway? Adapt to that change so you can thrive–by the alligator.