Digital Transformation: Laying the Groundwork for Modern Marketing Success Part 4

Financial services organizations are racing to modernize the customer or member journey and create relationships that last a lifetime. They are also working to give their relationship managers the technology to compete – and succeed – in a new era of marketing.  

Implementing the right technology solutions to power digital transformation is a critical decision that will have a lasting impact on your profits, growth and most importantly, your people.  

Trusting a CRM alone for sales and marketing leaves you vulnerable to critical gaps that can derail customer or member engagement and relationships. A modern Marketing Operating System (MOS) improves business relationships with a focus on one-to-one engagement that not only streamlines the sales and marketing process, but also humanizes it, creating customers or members for life. 

Before you can enhance the customer journey or member experience to exceed customer or member expectations, you must lay the groundwork for modern marketing success across four crucial steps.   

Below we detail step four in the process:  

Step Four: Align with Your Executive Team  

Digital transformation is less about technology and more about people. It requires a fundamental shift in how people interact, collaborate and work. To ensure long-term success in the face of constant digital disruption, it is crucial for organizations to evolve the right culture and leadership. Doing so begins with endorsing change by establishing a common vision, embracing it through strategy and finally, owning it from the top down. 

Tech projects run the gamut from straightforward technology upgrades to a complete reset of technology, process and change, and affects everyone from IT to marketing to sales. To create a shared vision and strategy, start the conversation with key executive stakeholders and determine the motivations driving the effort. This will set the stage for a successful rollout of your digital transformation initiative. 

Assess Your Competitive Environment  

In order to confidently state where your organization currently excels and where it still falls short, you need to know where you rank against major competitors. The good news? You’re one step ahead of the 47 percent of companies who have yet to begin their digital transformation.  

But, don’t let that slow you down. According to the State of Digital Business Report, over half of those organizations feel they could start losing market share if they don’t ramp up in less than a year.  

Here are some questions to ask yourself

  • What are our industry peers doing today? 
  • Which trends will take hold of the industry over the next 12 to 18 months? 
  • How has customer or member behavior changed and are there any other situational factors in our business or industry? 
  • What are our strengths and weaknesses and how they fit into the larger interconnected marketplace? 
  • What other services and businesses are complementary to these objectives so that we can architect an integrated ecosystem? 

Once you’ve taken a close look at your current environment and looked at potential external threats, now is the time to lay out primary goals for your organization.  

Define Your Goals 

Digital transformation often morphs into something that no longer reflects the original executive vision. As you define the goals of your digital transformation strategy, be mindful of your enterprise-level mission statement and goals. Be creative in thinking about what opportunities are available through digital to enable deeper engagement with your customers or members. After all, customer experience is slated to overtake price in 2020.  

According to Bill Briggs, CTO and managing director of Deloitte, “Being able to define it in a statement that has a meaningful and measurable outcome might seem trite, but it’s amazing how many projects don’t have that clarity.” Before unveiling the initiative to the rest of the organization, craft a clear, concise mission statement specific to digital transformation – and all tech projects therein – that influences and drives decision-making. 

Take Your Customer or Member Experience for a Test Drive 

After assessing your competitive environment and defining your goals as they relate to the company’s mission statement, one final push can seal the deal for digital transformation. Put yourself in the place of your customers or members and describe your overall experience. Is it up to par? Is it consistent on all channels? Does it meet – or better yet, exceed – your expectations?  

You may be surprised to find gaps you didn’t know existed. And, sometimes, they can be alarming enough to get even the most resistant departments on board to fill those gaps as quickly as possible. Considering 79 percent of consumers are willing to leave a brand behind if their experience is disjointed, you could be letting money (and former customers or members) walk out the door without even knowing.  

And, while the idea of plugging gaps in your customer or member experience is a win in and of itself, you can sweeten the deal by increasing customer retention since highly engaged customers or members are twice as likely to transact regardless if a competitor offers a lower price. 


Even the shiniest, most exciting tech stack additions can quickly turn into a disaster if there isn’t buy-in from the top down. Avoiding negative outcomes comes down to your ability to communicate challenges and solutions as they relate to the success of your organization. 

The reality is, more and more financial brands are making the move towards digital transformation. It’s time to get on board for modern marketing success – or get left behind.